Monica Ou in a restaurant

Born in a Cantonese family, I grew up in an environment surrounded by the Cantonese language and cuisine. I thought it would be easy for me to quickly adapt to Hong Kong but I was suprised to find out that things were different than I thought. I knew Hong Kong was diverse but I never really had a chance to experience its inclusive culture until this study abroad internship. This inclusiveness allowed me to get to know the "real Hong Kong" from multiple perspectives, both in the working field and on the daily side. I feel like the sense of diversity and inclusiveness were rooted inside all the Hong Kong people since they were friendly to everyone, even those that didn't speak Cantonese. One time my roommate and I got lost at Stanley Bay and we asked someone for help. Even though he didn't speak much English, he was still willing to help us and guided us back to the correct bus stop. I felt like the Hong Kong culture really captured my heart.

At my internship, I'm most proud of launching a base price setting standard, which helped streamline pricing and review processes and boost efficiency. I also became close friends with one of my coworkers. From her, I learned a lot about Hong Kong from both the historical side and a young professional's perspective. She even led me to some authentic Hong Kong cuisine which was delicious. On my last day in Hong Kong, she took me to the Ocean Park and we really enjoyed ourselves there. I was glad to have her accompany me in a foreign country and my experience in Hong Kong was really memorable because of her.

I am really interested in the health care industry in the U.S. and would like to make it more efficient and affordable. I chose Hong Kong as my internship destination because it has been named the world's "best health care system," with a low health care expenditure in proportion to its GDP. I was lucky to be an intern at Baxter, a responsible medical company, where I discovered lots of first-hand information about the Hong Kong health care system and its relationship to the government, medical suppliers, and donors. It was fascinating to tap into this unknown area and learn from it. I hope I can apply the knowledge I learn about the Hong Kong health care system to help with the U.S. one.