Upon my arrival in Hong Kong three weeks ago I was preparing and expecting to arrive at a place completely different to my home in England. Whilst Hong Kong has no resembelence to a small town in Buckinghamshire, I feel surprisingly comfortable and at home here already.
My first few days in Hong Kong were dedicated to mundane and somewhat stressful activities such as sorting out bank payments for the halls, registering on classes and buying bedding, toiletries and stationary. In hindsight, I think I should have arrived in Hong Kong at least four days or even a week before the official move in day to sort all these things out so I was less tired and more organised to start the term. Three weeks in, I am still finding my feet but I feel I am now very close to having more of a routine.
From the offset, I have been really impressed with the effort the staff and students have put in to welcoming the exchange students into the university and there is a really friendly atmosphere on campus which has helped me settle in a lot.
The halls of residence (which is a 10 minute walk from campus) houses thousands of exchange and local students so there are lots of people to meet. The other exchange students I have met, apart from the ones from British universities, are only staying for one semester which means they will be leaving at Christmas. Therefore, they are all thoroughly making their way through their Hong Kong bucket lists. Due to the 33 degree heat and humidity, I have not participated in many hiking adventures yet. I will save these for January time when the weather is much more bearable!
Despite this, I have still managed to explore and enjoy Hong Kong. I am looking forward to seeing what else Hong Kong has to offer over the next 7 months.
(Recommended) places I have been so far:
- Hong Kong Central Park
- Chi Lin Nunnery
- Hello Kitty Cuisine in Austin
- Happy Valley Races
- Mid Autumn festival celebrations
- Lamma Island (beaches)
What to organise/do in your first week in Hong Kong
- Purchase an octopus card from the customer service desk at any MTR station – these are used to pay for trains and can be used in supermarkets and restaurants. Essentially it is card that you load cash onto. You can then apply for a student octopus card which gives you discount off travel.
- Sim cards can be bought at local 7/11 shops. The deal I have is around £3 every 10 days for unlimited data, calls and texts.
- Go to IKEA (ideally on your first day) to pick up bedding, pillows, mattress topper, towels, etc.