Hey there potential exchange students, my name is Lucy and I am currently on exchange at the City University of Hong Kong. For starters, Hong Kong is a culturally diverse and beautiful city. It is such an independent place; you can walk everywhere and the occasional taxi ride won’t take too much out of your pocket. I spent the weekend in the Lantau Island before orientation began on the following Monday. I would recommend this to those who are new to Hong Kong, as Lantau Island isn’t as busy or congested as Kowloon Island or Hong Kong Island. Plus, it’s relatively closer to HK Disneyland, for those Disney fanatics.
Unbeknownst to many tourists, Hong Kong is made up of 80% mountains, waterfalls and greenery, whilst that slight 20% consists of skyscraper apartment buildings which have holes in the middle. (This apparently is for the dragons to pass through, but it mostly helps the buildings stand up when there are typhoons…but I am going to stick with the dragon storyline).
Overall my arrival in Hong Kong has been a breeze. (This was also just two days after Typhoon Hato, so I was expecting lots of rain). Travelling from the airport to City U was also a breeze. In the first week of orientation and move in, the university provides a free shuttle bus straight to Student Residence, with each bus at hourly intervals. It was about a 40-minute drive to campus. This year, there are over 650 exchange students from across the globe at City U, so I was able to make friends with all kinds of students on the bus ride to Student Residence.
City U is located in Kowloon Tong, on Kowloon Island. It is a two-minute walk from the main campus to the Kowloon Tong MTR Station, as well as a local shopping mall, Festival Walk. I am keen to do some travelling whilst I am here, and plan to visit Shanghai and Singapore throughout the semester. (Btw, for those wishing to travel from HK to China, you will more than likely need another tourist visa, as the Mainland is considered separate from Hong Kong).
Also, as an exchange student, I was paired up with a senior buddy, who has been corresponding with me for a few weeks prior to my arrival. My buddy Tom, has already planned many local activities for us to try together. Overall City U has an extensive list of orientation activities for new students, so I suggest doing as many of those as one can, especially a Campus Tour! This place is huge!!! (P.S. The shopping tour is also great, though we were only given 30 minutes in IKEA…)
Ultimately, living at Student Residence has been pretty convenient thus far, with a 5-minute walk to the main campus. (The walk can be a little bit tricky, but the university has plenty of signs leading the way). I was lucky enough to score a double room, in a newer hall, for a relatively cheap price paid before the start of the semester. I was surprised to discover that I also had an Australian roommate from another state, so it’s kind of great to be constantly reminded of home. I start my classes next week, and I am very excited to see what the rest of this exchange has in store for me!
Lucinda Scotting 12568616, Bachelor of Communications in Creative Writing, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.