Danish Expat Living in Hong Kong - Interview with Camilla

Published: 19 Feb at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Hong Kong
Camilla is a 24-year-old Danish girl, who has just returned from a semester of interning abroad in Hong Kong. Before that she spent one semester studying in the US at a small liberal arts college in Arkansas. On her blog Cammi.dk, Camilla shares her experiences while travelling, her obsession with beauty, along with more personal posts, which often feature her French boyfriend. Camilla's expat blog is called Cammi.dk (see listing here)

The infamous view of Hong Kong from the Peak
The infamous view of Hong Kong from the Peak

Here's the interview with Camilla...

Where are you originally from?
A little town in the northern part of Denmark

In which country and city are you living now?
I have just returned to Denmark after having lived as an expat in Hong Kong

How long have you lived in Hong Kong and how long are you planning to stay?
I lived in Hong Kong for about 4 months

Hiking the Dragon's Back on Hong Kong Island
Hiking the Dragon's Back on Hong Kong Island
Why did you move to Hong Kong and what do you do?
I am currently studying my master's degree in international business communication at Aalborg University, and for my 9th semester I decided to do an internship abroad instead of staying back in Denmark.

Did you bring family with you?
Nope, I went to Hong Kong all on my own

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
I find the transition to living in Hong Kong is very easy. The level of English is very high, and there's a huge community of expats in the city. Although I do love and prefer exploring the local culture, it is also very nice to be able to find stores, food, etc. from the West whenever you're feeling homesick.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
In my opinion it is rather difficult to make friends in Hong Kong, since the main focus for many people is work. However, there are various opportunities to meet new people, because there's always events, meet ups and parties going on all the time. In the beginning I only socialized with other expats, but eventually I became really great friends with some local girls, who had been studying abroad.

The Big Buddha on Lantau Island
The Big Buddha on Lantau Island
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
I would definitely recommend that you try to move away from Central, and instead start exploring the beautiful nature or local villages on the islands or the New Territories. It's amazing what a huge difference you'll see if you just move away from the more western area.

What do you enjoy most about living in Hong Kong?
To me the most amazing thing about Hong Kong is the many contrasts you'll find within a rather small area. If you're not into the local culture, you can easily avoid this by going to western restaurants, stores, clubs, and neighbourhoods, but you can also explore the local culture through their amazing food, nature, markets, and extremely kind local people.

How does the cost of living in Hong Kong compare to home?
Hong Kong is very expensive, especially when it comes to housing. However, I'm rather used to that as Denmark is just as expensive. One thing that I did have to get used to though, is the fact that it actually happens to be cheaper to eat at restaurants than cooking your own food.

Tai Hang fire dragon dance for the Mid-Autumn festival
Tai Hang fire dragon dance for the Mid-Autumn festival
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Hong Kong?
I love Hong Kong, but one negative thing though is the fact that it is very far away from my family and friends in Europe and the US. Luckily we have Skype and Facebook to keep each other up to date.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Hong Kong, what would it be?
I would definitely recommend anyone to move to Hong Kong at some point in their life. I especially think that people who have never been to Asia would find the transitioning very easy, because there are so many cultures represented in Hong Kong.
Also, I would also recommend that you try to attend as many events as possible in order to find some new friends and feel more like home.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Definitely the distance. Before arriving in Hong Kong, I had been travelling around China with my French boyfriend, so whenever he left, I felt extremely alone and far away from everyone that I know.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I came back to Denmark nearly two months ago now, and it honestly feels like I never left, which is of course both good and bad.

Tai O village on Lantau Island,
Tai O village on Lantau Island, "Venice of the East"
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Don't wait for someone to knock on your door and ask if you want to be friends. You need to get yourself out there, so join Facebook events, meet ups, whatever. It would definitely make your transitioning so much easier.
  2. Travel as much as possible. But also remember to explore the local places on the islands and in the New Territories. Hong Kong has so much more to offer than you can imagine.
  3. Also, try to make some local friends who can show you other things than what you'll find on Hong Kong Island.
  4. Get used to people suddenly stopping up right in front of you when walking. In the beginning it pissed me off, but whenever you realize that this happens several times a day, you just get used to it.
  5. Understand that Hong Kong isn't China, especially in terms of culture, behaviour, language, everything really. But don't worry, the locals will definitely make sure that you don't make that mistake more than once.
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
Cammi.dk is a travel and beauty blog where Camilla shares her experiences while travelling, her obsession with beauty, and a few more personal posts about her everyday life.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
If you have any questions or just wanna get in touch, feel free to leave a comment on my blog Cammi.dk, or on my Instagram @cammi_dk

About the author

Expat Blog ListingCamilla is a Danish expat living in Hong Kong. Blog description: Cammi.dk is a lifestyle/beauty blog from the perspective of a Danish girl. Follow me on my journey to Hong Kong this fall and to Chicago in 2016! I blog both in English and Danish!
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