Nicola - The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Bachelor of International Hotel and Tourism Management/ Business Management
Semester 1, 2017
What I liked about CUHK is the number of activities they offered for exchange students to learn about the culture, try new foods and make new friends.

Academic experience

I had to study 5 courses in Hong Kong in order to be able to receive full credit transfer for UQ. 4 of these I did towards my hospitality major and the other 1 towards my International Business major. The teaching style and assessment were quite similar to UQ except you only have lectures and no tutorials. After the semester I was also able to undertake an internship at the Hyatt Regency which I could also receive course credit for.

Personal experience

Most of the friends I made were with other international students although I did have a local roommate who I also became quite close with. What I liked about CUHK is the number of activities they offered for exchange students to learn about the culture, try new foods and make new friends. Many of these friends i was then able to travel with throughout the semester to Penang, Taiwan, Beijing, Macau, Japan and Guilin.

Accommodation

I lived on campus in Morningside college which is probably the most international college (with an equal mix of local and international students). It has communal dinner 3 nights a week and even though the food wasn't always great it was a good opportunity to come together with everyone and catch up with those who you wouldn't see otherwise.

Costs

Rent - super cheap, for the whole semester only around $7000 or $8000 HKD which is around $1300 AUD. 

Food - budget around $400AUD a month for food because you will probably find yourself eating out a lot since that is the culture of HK. If you eat at the canteens on campus you can get food for around $24-30HKD but if you eat outside then meals will normally start at around $50 or 70HKD and increase depending on what kind of restaurant you go to. 

Transport - this is all paid for with the octopus card that you will use for all the trains, buses and even convenience stores, supermarkets, some restaurants... I spent around $75 a month on public transport.

Entertainment - Mostly you will find yourself doing free activities such as hiking, walking around city, chilling at beach... so you don't need a whole lot of money besides that for food and shopping. 

Travel - depends how many trips you take but generally Asia is pretty cheap to travel in and you can get fairly cheap flights if you time it right (eg. if you want to travel to Japan during the cherry blossom season then it will be expensive but sooo worth it) so if you stay in hostels, eat cheap food and don't do anything too extravagant then your travel costs will be pretty reasonable.

Professional Development

Definitely the best professional development was from the skills I learnt during my Hyatt Internship. Being able to learn about the HK work culture and speak with people from a wide range of backgrounds was definitely a great opportunity.

Highlight

The highlight would definitely have to be the friendships I made with the international students - I can now travel just about anywhere in the world and there will be someone nearby who I can catch up with.

Top tips

  • Bring warm clothes if you are coming in January and February - don't underestimate how cold it gets for around 1 or 2 weeks- even the guys from Sweden said it was worse than home!
  • Don't be under the impression that Hong Kong is just a metropolis city - there is so much more to it than that and you will literally find everything from hiking to camping to exploring abandoned villages.