Greetings from Hong Kong!
If you’ve ever thought about going on exchange, don’t just think about it, go for it! Exchange is an amazing experience of independence, community, and culture.
I’ve recently just passed mid semester at the City University of Hong Kong and I’m honestly astounded by how fast time has flown by!
I really encourage you to get your hall applications in as soon as possible! CityU has a really colourful and active hall life, the student residence is always organizing activities, field trips, and unique opportunities to try something new. There are also frequent inter-hall competitions from basketball, to singing and gaming. It’s also a great chance to meet both international and local students.
I’ve really been lucky to have secured a place in Hall 10 of the student residence on campus and if you’re studying any creative media subjects in the Creative Media Building, getting to class is a breeze because it is literally right across the road from the hall. The other three main academic buildings are also only mere minutes’ walk away.
But don’t stress if you don’t manage to secure a place in the student residence, I’ve heard great things from students living off-campus. Living right in the midst of it all exposes you to local life which I think is such a unique experience.
CityU is an incredibly exchange-student friendly and multicultural university. They give you plenty of opportunities to meet locals and fellow exchange students through various events organized by the Global Student Office, so you’ll never be short of opportunities to meet new people and learn more about different cultures around the world.
Of course, although you can get away mostly with just speaking English, if you get the opportunity I definitely recommend taking up the chance to learn Cantonese! A few weeks into the semester I really felt that it helped me assimilate a little better into the local life, even if it’s just knowing how to order food, recognizing your order number or saying hello to the friendly locals.
As soon as you get the chance, befriend a local and ask them to take you to a good “Hong Kong style café”. If you’re living at the student residence in Kowloon Tong it only gets better. Sham Shui Po, Mong Kok, Prince Edward, are all places with great food and markets, all just a few MTR stops away or a 20 minute walk (trust me, you’ll want to take a good walk whenever you can because using the MTR to get around everywhere else is just too convenient!). It’s really relaxing to go out for a meal with good friends and good food, and walk off the meal in the evening. Night life is a big thing here in Hong Kong, and restaurants tend to open till late. The variety of food is endless, and I’ve found myself drawn particularly to traditional Hong Kong desserts!
If you’re an avid hiker, I’d say Hong Kong’s your place to be! With Hong Kong’s numerous landforms and interesting landscapes, there are many hiking trails to explore. I recently joined a hike hosted by the student residence to Kuk Po where we visited a few old villages. It was a nice change in pace to take a breather from the bustle of university and the city.
To think I only have a month of study left here, I’m really going to miss Hong Kong. It was really easy to settle down here, Hong Kong definitely feels like a second home to me. Definitely try exchange at Hong Kong if you get the chance!
Bachelor of Design in Animation
City University of Hong Kong
Australian Government New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient.