I grew up as a completely white-washed Asian American in New York, and eventually had some BS existential "cultural re-awakening" in my late teens, at which point I loved everything about China and Asia, especially in the context of all the hype about "China being the future" etc. I learnt Chinese, visited China whenever I could, became fluent in Mandarin, and then chose to study in HK over Columbia and NYU Stern - because I wanted to be a bit more adventurous, not the trite "hard working asian kid goes to columbia and majors in econ" stereotype. I am now in probably one of the best non-science undergraduate programs in HKU, studying a dual degree in law and business.
BOY, HAVE I SCREWED UP. I thought this continent was the new place of opportunity and economic growth, yata yata. I was told there was a huge market for truly bilingual Asians in the job market, yata yata. Now, I'm starting my job hunt, and all the jobs that I want (IBanking Front Office, Consulting, Law) are not recruiting from my school! No, no - those jobs are going to my friends back in NYC or graduates in London, who they fly in first class and pay handsomely.
The jobs I DO have access to pay a bewildering 15k a month. My first reaction was "ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME?". Comparing this vis-a-vis back home, even AFTER computation of taxes, it seems like I'm getting screwed. In HK I'm facing what appear to be 1) Higher costs of living, and 2) Lower take-home pay. I thought this was a first-world city? Why am I getting paid like I'm in the third-world? I know to some of you this might come off spoiled or entitled, but I really can't see myself living in HK on 15k/month. I have cousins and friends in NYC who make US$ 45k/yr and are still struggling - I can't imagine what 15k/month will be like in HK. And unlike the rest of my classmates, I don't have family here I can crash with until I'm 35 and married.
Is this not complete and utter BS? In addition to that, I'm told I will never, ever, in my entire life, get access to an expat package because apparently I'm not a "real expat" - when I just moved to this continent less than two years ago.
I would just try to apply to the jobs I want back home, but it looks like I won't even be able to get a janitorial job - no respectable employer back home recognizes an HKU degree, and the kid from SUNY Binghamton has a better shot at landing a decent job than me. "Best university in Asia" my ass.
Is there any recourse which I can take to remedy this mistake? I think it's far too late and far too big of an investment to transfer back to an American university. Somewhere deep down I know this is just something I'll have to suck up and get used to, but are there any other options for me?