My host university for exchange is City University of Hong Kong. I arrived in Hong Kong 1 week earlier to take part in the Orientation program. Since it is currently the monsoon period, rainfall is frequent and unpredictable.
Most payments here are made through the Octopus card. So far, I have been using the octopus card for travelling, payment of my food in the school canteen as well as the vending machines. The card can be top up at any MTR stations or convenience stores such as 7-eleven.
I am currently staying in campus HK, an off-campus accommodation located in Tsuen Wan since I did not managed to get the school accommodation. Competition for a placement in the school hostel is very high due to the large intake of foreign students each year. The local students told me that in order for them to secure a place in the hostel, they have to actively participate in co-curriculum activities and hostel events.
Even though Campus HK’s rental is 3 times more expensive than that of the school hostel, it was one of the cheapest options available. Housing prices in Hong Kong has skyrocketed over the past few years due to the limited land area available. It is not surprising to be paying 4500 – 8000 HKD a month for a bed space in a cramped apartment. Finding an affordable short-term accommodation is extremely difficult for exchange students since most places only offer a minimum lease period of 6 months.
While the hostel is a little far from school (approximately 45 mins travelling time), there are free shuttle buses to the nearest MTR at an interval of 30mins or 1 hour. I was placed in the room that faces the Tsing-Ma Bridge and the view from the room is absolutely stunning! For those who values tranquility and doesn’t mind the hassle of travelling to the city, I would definitely recommend this place.