GSM Spotlight: Lisa Darminova


Year Senior

Major Applied Mathematics

Minor Computer Science


Study Abroad Program Hong Kong University (Exchange), Spring 2017

How were the academics different in Hong Kong than in the US?

The academic system itself was pretty similar, except that there is more competition for grades at HKU. It gave motivation to all students to do better while also only basing their grading on competition and not on points received. All in all, it was similar to the US system.

If you could go abroad again, what would you do differently?

Apply to study abroad for a whole year instead of a semester!

What concerns/fears did you have about studying abroad, and how did you overcome them?

As this trip was my first time in Asia, I was scared to see how I would find the culture. I was scared that i would be stuck in a foreign country and not enjoy it to the full extent. However, HKU and my fellow exchange students all help expose each other to different cultural aspects of Hong Kong and I started loving the city more and more each day.

What was it about your program specifically that fit your personal goals over other programs?

Hong Kong is an amazing city. The city itself is both a concrete jungle and also a normal jungle. While the central business district is huge there, Hong Kong has amazing beaches and hikes that are popular throughout the Hong Kong community. There is definitely something to do every day there! In addition, the location of Hong Kong is so practical in cost efficient traveling to both south east Asia as well as places like Korea, Japan, and China.

How can studying abroad impact your future career?

It shows future employers that you can adjust to new things easily, that you are not afraid of going out of the box, and that you have a positive mindset.