Exchange in Hong Kong: ‘You can really feel the spirit of entrepreneurship in the air’.

Linda Tran, a third year Management student, reveals what it means to experience Hong Kong. It‘s not just a city with regular typhoons and dramatic hills, something that Europeans immediately note, it’s also a pulsing metropolis where Asia meets Western culture.

Linda at the Mid Autumn festival where she bumped into some weird promotional events, such as this robot.

Linda is on a 5-month exchange course at the Polytechnic University HK (PolyU), at the department of Institute of Clothing and Textiles. ‘I enjoy the course and the facilities of the university, especially the huge textile lab where you can find a variety of spinning and weaving machines and dyeing materials.’ By taking more courses than other students she hopes to get the most out of her time there. The subjects she studies include Fashion Finance, Advertising Management, International Business for Fashion & Textiles, Elementary Chinese and Professional English. Linda points out that AMFI and PolyU are pretty much identical in the quality of education and student diversity.

Fashion & Textiles Resource Centre is part of Institute of Textiles and Clothing at PolyU.

Regular exhibitions at the Fashion Gallery of PolyY are open to public.

Another advantage of the programme is the possibility to travel. The school organises trips to Shenzen and Dongguan in China where Zara and H&M have their productions. On this aspect Linda says: ‘It is not just learning on paper, but you actually experience the production processes of these brands in the factories.’

Linda was born in Hong Kong, but grew up in Zwolle. Part of her Hong Kong mission was to explore more about her roots and family history. ‘Everything makes much more sense now to me’ she says when talking about her family, and yet, she adds: ‘I am probably really a Dutch person. I miss cheese and ‘stroopwafels’. However, these kind of nostalgia would probably be a waste of time in this exciting place. The school workload and demands imposed on students are as heavy as at AMFI. Still, it seems, she manages to find time to go out, to the beach or even hiking.

Daily view from Linda’s appartment.

‘If you go downtown to SOHO you can also find plenty of inspiring art galleries and Fashion Designers. It seems like every day a new venue or shop gets opened, where you see the merge of modern cutting-edge design with traditional Chinese tradition. You can really feel the spirit of entrepreneurship in the air.’ As a fashion professional in the making she emphasizes that her Hong Kong experience is one of her greatest sources of  inspiration.

If you want to read more about Linda’s experiences in Hong Kong, go to her blog

Text: Zil Vostalova, 2nd year International Fashion & Design student. Photos: Linda Tran.