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By Ash AKUMA (Jockey Club Harmony Hall)

If I had to sum up in one word my entire conversation with our very own International Non-Local Residence Tutor (RT) - Rebecca Neumann - it would have to be “Venture”. The objective of my interview with Rebecca was to establish an international perspective on being an RT at CityU. What I did not see coming my way was the colourful background and views of a truly adventurous individual.

After finishing her high school in Germany and pursuing her higher education in America, an exchange program exposed Rebecca to students in Mainland China and Hong Kong. After a brief stay in Alaska, Rebecca moved to Hong Kong to be a Research Assistant in the Biology and Chemistry Department. She has been an RT for Jockey Club Academy Hall since August 2009. She is currently working hard at mastering Cantonese to eliminate communication barriers, explaining “my colleagues are mostly from HK. I like shopping in the markets and ordering food in local restaurants,  so Cantonese is helpful here.

So what are her opinions about living in Hong Kong and of being the only International Residence Tutor amongst the current 61 serving RTs? “I think we have a good RT team here in my Hall. My team members are all very sweet and open students.” She further explained that she and the other RT’s in her Hall were united with the same issues in terms of organising activities and dealing with student discipline issues. She shared, “being an RT is sometimes also a big challenge, since you have to be kind of a supervisor and friend at the same time...and you might have to deal with situations you have never handled before.

When I asked her how different it was to live on campus, I was receptive to her bubbling enthusiasm: “this was a great experience for me, a completely different life” and “I also really like the active atmosphere in halls…lots of activities, students really have a chance to participate”. Her personal favourite local tradition seems to be going out to have sweet soup with friends.

I will definitely be seeing the open-minded Rebecca soon to indulge in the local culture which is new and exciting to her. Maybe some of you would like to join us too?