A Guide for Holiday Season on Exchange

Holiday season is perhaps the hardest time to be away from home. It’s a time you normally spend with family and friends, but instead, find yourself thousands of kilometres away from home. Here are a couple of ways you can spend Christmas, Hanukkah or any other holidays whilst on exchange!


Hong Kong, China  – Adam

To be honest, one of my favourite events Christmas events has to be the Hong Kong Winter Wonderland, located in Central Hong Kong. The area is literally packed with massive Christmas trees, lights and decorations, which is not only good for the gram but also generally astonishing.

Although a Hong Kong Christmas may deviate from a traditional Aussie one at the beach, at their core they are both quite similar. All you need is to be surrounded by good people, some nice food, and I guarantee you’ll have an amazing Christmas!

Hong Kong Winter Wonderland

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Steven

Although KL has no snow and the temperature is still humid, it is very much like Australia. At least the freezing weather can be avoided but the Christmas spirit can still be felt – streets lined with lights, malls decorated with massive Christmas trees and fake snowfalls can be found. Shops all had massive end of year sales and the traffic is as usual – lots of congestion.

Suria KLCC Shopping Mall.jpg

Seoul, South Korea – James

I had a great time with the Recreational Research Club and its Christmas Recreational Party. We played song guessing games, storytelling and balloon popping, and finished up with a nice Christmas-y decorated cake. We followed the night with delicious Korean BBQ and drinks to warm us all up.


Tokyo, Japan – Joy

Christmas in Japan was very eventful. We lined up for KFC’s special Christmas (designed for couples, but three of us shared it anyway) – it had fried chicken, salad, chocolate cake and a decorative for commemoration! Afters, we went to see Tokyo Tower lit up with a heart, then went to Midtown, Roppongi Hills to see its enchanting Christmas lights. The city was filled with couples and romantic vibes that day.


Munich, Germany – Cindy

We spent Christmas in our Munich AirBnB. We went to the supermarket, stocked up and did Christmas on a budget. We made Christmas dinner together and were stuffed by the end of it. It was super cosy having Christmas in winter and definitely a memorable one. I had a Kris Kringle with my friends and we exchanged our gifts. We ended the night with a Shrek movie.

Munich Germany Christmas

Rome, Italy – Melissa

I was extremely lucky to have my mum visit me over Christmas and New Years. We weren’t really sure what tourist attractions would be open around Christmas, so we made sure we visited the Vatican and the Colosseum in advanced. Funnily enough, the markets recommended by the local tourist office was not open on Christmas Day and we stumbled into the St Peters Square during the Pope’s midday address. Then we visited the Trevi Fountain for the third time that trip.

St Peters Square Christmas Midday Address

Poland, Krakow – Jennifer

My 2017 Christmas holiday was spent Christmas Market hopping all cross Southern and Eastern Europe. It was amazing, especially for my taste buds!

Krakow Christmas Markets

North America

Banff, Canada – Andrew

When you think of Christmas, you normally think of the snow right (not in Australia)? Well, I was lucky enough to be conquering a 6-hour hike in Bourgeau Lake surrounded by millions of Christmas trees in Banff, Alberta. YOLO to all the ‘beware of bear’ signs and mysterious paw prints I walked past.


Mammoth Mountain, USA – Amol

8 friends and I from my fraternity went to Mammoth Mountain in Eastern California. It was an 8 hour drive but 100% worth it. It was the first time seeing snow for me and I built my first snow man. It was fantastic learning to ski. I was only slightly self conscious about being overtaken and out classed by 7 year olds.

Mammoth Mountains

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