Destination Hong Kong

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There are many reasons why you should choose to study in Hong Kong. It’s fast-paced, furious and can be stressful for the first-timer, but underneath it all is a city where anything is possible and tropical greenery is more common than you might think.

The stereotypical image of Hong Kong for an international student is of a crowded, traffic-choked metropolis – but first impressions are often wrong. While deciding to study somewhere you’ve never even visited before can be daunting, it can also pay off in the future. It’s only by living somewhere that you really get to know it.

Hong Kong is the perfect entry point to China

While studying in Hong Kong you will be able to conveniently travel to mainland China both for sightseeing and for job interviews if you plan to build your career there. It’s not only Hong Kong that has a booming economy – opportunities in China continue to grow.

Hong Kong is a land of vast opportunities

Hong Kong is an internationally-renowned business city, and is particularly popular with students wanting to get into banking and finance. HSBC has its main headquarters in Hong Kong, whilst the city is the main trading hub for mainland China. This is a great place to set up your first business.

Hong Kong is a fun and dynamic city to live in

Are you a graduate student or graduate trainee? People from all around the world come to Hong Kong to study, to work and to live. The city is a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures. Graduate programmes are available in English and Chinese.

There is also an abundance of funding for international students looking to come to Hong Kong. The universities offer scholarship programmes for a number of areas – particularly in engineering and research. Student grants and awards are also available, but are usually awarded on a competitive basis, taking into account both your academic ability and financial needs. Consult with your chosen institution and look for funding opportunities in the subject you want to work in.

Look beyond the bustle

The typical image of Hong Kong is one of skyscrapers and overcrowding. When you read up on coming to Hong Kong, most websites and guidebooks will focus on expensive restaurants and tacky markets. However, there is another side to Hong Kong that only reveals itself to those who know it.

As a resident, it’s possible to explore this other side. Forget about the choking highways and head off down the back streets, or go to the suburbs. A world of cheap noodle restaurants, peaceful temples and workaday bars awaits you.

Take advantage of cheap accommodation

Hong Kong has some of the highest housing costs in Asia and space comes at a premium. So, unless you’re a business leader (or just have incredibly rich parents) don’t expect to get a palace. However, many universities subsidise students’ accommodation, which is often in some of the most interesting areas of the city. Take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Eat some of the best food in the world

Students coming to Hong Kong are in for a treat – this is one of the world’s best places to eat. From dim sum to hole in the wall noodle bars, Hong Kong offers some of the best restaurants to try Cantonese cuisine. And the best thing? You don’t have to break the bank to eat well here. Hong Kong has its fair share of Michelin-starred establishments, but some of the cheapest places to eat are the best.

Get away from the city

Want greenery? You’ve got it. More than 70% of Hong Kong is actually covered by national parks. Public transport provides easy access to spectacular spots for hiking, cycling, and rock climbing on the mainland and on some of Hong Kong’s many outlying islands. This is a perfect chance to get a glimpse of a slower, more traditional way of living. Go fishing, sleep near a beach and head up a mountain and forget you’re in the city for a couple of days.

Learn Cantonese, improve your English or even take up Mandarin

Cantonese is the local language of Hong Kong, but with many migrants from China also living, studying and working here, Mandarin is widely spoken too. The other official language of Hong Kong is English, making it a convenient destination for many international students and a great place to brush up on your language skills.
Hong Kong knows how to party

Like all metropolises, Hong Kong is overloaded with fun ways to relax and unwind – and Hong Kongers do love a party. From the annual weekend-long bash that is the Rugby Sevens to singing your heart out at a karaoke bar, there are plenty of ways to let off steam at the end of a week of hard studying.

Contributed by:

Karan Filfilan
www.isasonline.org

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