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By Johnna WIENS (HSBC Prosperity Hall)

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Once again, the time of year has come when we have to say goodbye (for now!) to some of our dear friends.  Exchange students are returning to their host universities, international and non-local students are returning home for the summer months and final-year students are graduating and leaving the CityU campus for good.  Good-byes are exchanged and well wishes are wished, all with promises to keep in touch and never forget. 

Leaving CityU brings mixed feelings for most students, whether they are here on a student exchange programme or a local student about to graduate.  I enjoyed my time here. There will be some sad moments as I go, however I am excited to be going home and to be around loved friends and getting my own space back,” said Brandon Carroll, an exchange student from San Francisco State University in the United States.  Likewise, Nicola Tsang, a final-year student in the Department of English, is “glad that I can finally graduate, because I took a gap year last year, and I’m excited right now, because I’m busy planning my graduation trip.”

For a number of students, their experiences and the friends they have made during their time spent in Hong Kong have left them reluctant to leave. Living here has been wonderful; I have met people that I have come to truly care about, and the place, it is beyond anything I could have hoped for. So the [day I leave] is a big-booted monster tromping ‘round the corner, coming to end the dream,” explained Matthew Bambridge, an exchange student from Swansea University in Wales

But for some, leaving at the end of this semester does not mean leaving for good.  “I might be back to work,” Carroll said.  Bambridge agrees.  “I plan on coming back to Hong Kong at some point.”

As your good-byes are said and suitcases are packed, remember that the end of a semester is not the same thing as the end of a friendship, thanks to e-mails and airplanes.  And remember to show your appreciation to your friends and staff around you. Happy memories will last, while new and exciting experiences are sure to be waiting just around the corner.