As an exchange student, from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, currently at the University of California, San Diego, I think I am the right person to give some advice to who are planning to study abroad in Hong Kong, a metropolis renowned for its city dynamic and peculiar cultures.

If you are a wannabe exchange student, when you receive the information packages given by your home/host university, don't you find them too sketchy? Don't worry, here comes a Hong Kong native to introduce you what will not be mentioned in the booklets.

A Quick View of Hong Kong’s Institutions

Hong Kong is no more than a tiny spot in the world map, however, the density of its institutions (or some people call them colleges) is surprisingly high. There are totally eight institutions established in this 1,100-square-kilometer-wide peninsula: 1.The University of Hong Kong (HKU); 2. The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK); 3. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) 4. Hong Kong Baptist University (BU); 5. City University of Hong Kong (CityU); 6. Hong Kong Polytechnic University(PolyU); 7.Lingnan University (LU); 8.The Hong Kong Institute of Education (IED).

Please obtain further details from their websites.

The University of Hong Kong:

The Chinese University of Hong Kong:

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology:

Hong Kong Baptist University:

City University of Hong Kong:

Hong Kong Polytechnic University:

Lingnan University:

The Hong Kong Institute of Education:

Honestly speaking, HKU, CUHK, HKUST are reckoned as the top 3 universities in Hong Kong. Here are the faculties which normally precede others when a high school student makes her choice. You probably need this to help you choose which university can benefit you the most.

1. HKU

Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Engineering


Faculty of Business Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Engineering


School of Business and Management, School of Science


English, Cantonese & Mandarin

Most of the classes are conducted in English while some professors/courses prefer to use Cantonese or Mandarin. However, no matter which language they use in class, people tend to speak in their mother tongue, Cantonese, after stepping out of the lecture hall. Don’t worry. People will speak English to you, unless you are interested in learning some Cantonese.

Composition of Students

Hong Kong students, Mainland students (Mandarin speakers), and exchange students.

Some Important Notes for Exchange Students

1. Entertainment for the Youth

Parties are not popular in Hong Kong, despite of the fact that the drinking age is only 18 (Actually, no one cares, the police doesn’t check you). Do not expect you will party a lot. Hong Kong young people like going Karaoke, movies, window-shopping, and cyber cafés. Never do the majority of them go clubbing. However, if you are really aching for pubs or discos, there are still ample options in downtown areas, like Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui.

2. Sexual Conservatism

Comparatively speaking, Hong Kong people are sexually conservative. For some people, they neither talk about sex in public, nor in private life. It is an advice to watch out your manner and words when you are facing this type of sensitive issues. Nevertheless, on campus, students are never tired of making sexually harrasing jokes and having embarrassing games in the orientation camps. Perhaps the universities are where open-minded people can be found.

Related article: Happy Corner

3. Transportation

In San Diego, California, no man can survive without cars. In Hong Kong, unlike San Diego, the transportation system is well-developed. On one hand, Double-deck buses, which have the capability like starving tigers gorging itself with a hundred people each time, zoom by your side at a frequency approximately 30 bus/min (or more) in downtown. On the other hand, West Railway, Mass Transit Railway, Light Railway Transit, East Railway, and trams and so on, like dragons criss-crossing underground and on the roads, connect 18 districts to form a giant transit network. Basically, if you have a place you want to go in mind, you will have no problem getting there even you do not have a car. “When there is a will, there is a way!”

This essay may not be detailed enough for you to understand the entire culture of Hong Kong, but it does remind you some issues that exchange students usually overlook when they choose to go to a certain country. Hope this handy information may help you figure out your study plan!

P.S. I will try to write another essay to share with you the culture of Hong Kong in detail.