Hong Kong surrounds the world’s busiest deep-water port (“Hong Kong” in Cantonese means “fragrant harbor”), and this emphasis on trade fuels a dizzyingly paced, up-to-the-minute commercialism. At the same time, even though Hong Kong was ruled by the British from 1841 to 1997, the city’s populace is 98% Chinese, and they preserve old cultural traditions. In a city bristling with modern skyscrapers, herbal medicine shops abut trendy clothing boutiques; wheelbarrows are parked next to Rolls Royces; and birds in cages are taken for strolls in the city’s parks past roadside fortune tellers.
Hong Kong is one of the world’s most densely populated communities (16,000 people per square mile), which makes jostling inevitable and accepted—but socializing is respectful and formal. By living with a local host family and attending high school, you’ll be fully immersed in the unique culture of Hong Kong, which is one of the most densely populated places in the world. You’ll meet lots of new people and have the opportunity to become a part of the community. Get ready for an experience unlike any other!