In HKUST, housing placement is not an issue as exchange students are guarantee a place to stay. However, getting assigned to a particular Hall is purely based on luck and some may get unlucky placement to older Halls.
I personally recommend getting Hall outside of campus, the Jockey Club Hall as it is one of the newer Halls and you live closer to the city. But there are still perks living in school as you get breathtaking view of the ocean. I got assigned to Hall IV and got slightly unlucky as I did not get a room facing the sea. Thankfully, I still got view of the ocean from the common room.
Hall events will defers depending on the Hall that you are assigned to. My Hall often got pizza party where I get to enjoy free pizza for dinner!
There is also plenty of food options on campus. HKUST has 3 Canteens with multiple stalls and about 10 different restaurants to choose from if you get sick of canteen food. Food might still sold out in the canteens if you missed the lunch and dinner crowd. Hence, it is important to eat your lunch and dinner early if you plan to have your meal in the canteen!
My go to meal is always cart noodles sold at Seafront, a cafe located right beside Hall IV. It is affordable and you get to choose the noodles and ingredient, similar to Yong Tau Foo in Singapore.
There isn’t much study areas on campus but HKUST has a 5 storey library. I recommend going to the library early if you want to be seated facing the sea. You should definitely experience studying with a view of the sea if you’re planning to study in the library.