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Austausch - OUT


16/17 WS + SS


Hong Kong - University of Hong Kong


Rechtswissenschaft (2000)


Studying two semester in the University of Hong Kong is one of the most amazing experience in my academic path. It was extremely intense regarding the cultural discovery, but incredibly interesting and meaningful to be part of the fastest changing part in the world for one year.


Preparing an exchange to Hong Kong is a long and tremendous process, in particular for all the document submissions due to UZH and to HKU (including academic and immigration matters). Go through this process consciously and do not miss the deadline. Everything happens smoothly in this case.

 As Hong Kong is an extremely crowed city and expensive one regarding the accommodation, I advise you to prepare your stay there early enough. The university portal offer some application around May, do put an alarm in the middle of the night if necessary. As an exchange student, you have high chance to get an accommodation in a student hall or residence with super affordable price. It's less of a struggle if you know where you go when you land in Hong Kong airport.

 Except that, the immigration process takes time, but there is nothing to do but wait. If you are lucky you receive your visa when you are still in Switzerland, if not, once you are in Hong Kong. You need to leave the territory to validate it then. But I can guarantee you, there is worse than Macau or Shenzhen to go, to validate a visa. 


Arriving in Hong Kong in August if you've never been to Asia before is a huge punch in your face. You probably gonna sweat on the registration desk of your residence.

Except this, the airpot is extremely well connected to the city, either by Express train or by bus. You also have cab. I recommend you the bus (A10), as it usually drops you very near of the students residences. You will then discover that Hong Kong Island is anything but flat.. Uetliberg is a nice hill in comparison.

If you already have an accommodation, just go to Central to get anything you need from phone to food, to umbrella. The residences are usually organising some group trip to Ikea in order for you to bring some personal stuff in your room. Don't need to wait that much, just take the MTR (local tube) and get a blanket and a pillow. As the temperature is around 30 with 200% humidity, don't keep the european habits.

 I also advise you to go as soon as possible on the campus for the administrative matters. There is less people and it's easier then to go to sport with your brand new student card.

Attend also as much as possible of their welcoming events. It's the best place to meet other exchange and it will make you feeling less lonely. 


As said previously, Hong Kong housing market is very particular.

For students, there are various offers.

First the halls, directly on the campus, very convenient and centred. However, they tend to be relatively old and have strict rules (as everywhere you will see). It's not the option I had the chance to try, but most of people staying there one semester liked it. The biggest disadvantage is probably the strong spirit you have among full-time students there, which renders the integration quite difficult. Both because of the different lifestyle and the short-stay of exchange students.

 The second option are the residential college. Relatively new, well centred too and affordable. Same concept than halls, but you don't have as many organised activities. You share a floor with around 15 persons from the same set, share bathroom and share kitchen. there are single room (8m2) and double room (15m2). Personally, sharing 15m2 is way better than being alone in 8m2, you have a feeling of space. However, it really depends of your roommate. Mine was really cool at least ! These college have insanely strict rules for students. No visitors during the night, no alcohol, etc.. It's super strict and don't hope an environment as a campus in the US. However, there are plenty of place to party hard in Central, just not at your place. For what you pay each semester, it's a small sacrifice.

The last option are either the university off-campus accommodation, more flexible, but a bit more pricey or you rent your place by yourself. There are thousands of post on Facebook groups, so it's pretty easy to find something. However, the prices are super high. If you think about this option, I advise you to look only for housing on Hong Kong Island. Kowloon side is a bit further and you don't have the same experience of Hong Kong when living there.

 Don't expect to develop your chef skills there, it's a waste of time to cook. So if the kitchen is not amazing, it's a sign for you to try all the restaurant around your place. It's cheaper to eat outside, you discover new tastes every time and it's more convenient (just be aware of the take away bag, if you care about the planet !).


The University has a super cool campus. To celebrate the 100th birthday of HKU, they built a brand new part with high-rise building, a bit of a garden and you beneficial from an amazing view on the city.

It's super modern, there are plenty of space to work 24/7 (if you are required to do so), the food is edible, without being awesome, but you have plenty of choices and you are close from the off-campus restaurant.

It's really big, as you need around 15 minutes to go from one end to the other, thousands of students as well.

 Cool vibe!

Regarding the class, which are supposed to be the most important aspect of you coming to Hong Kong, it's very traditional to any university. You need to enrol online, you have an add/drop period, during which you can attend class and decided whether or not you take it.

As advise, I would select my courses as soon as possible, take some intensive one, so you are more free during the semester, avoid the courses with exams and take rather research paper. It's more flexible and allow you to finish your semester earlier if you know how to organise your time. Also professor are super open, so don't hesitate to network with them. They are often amazing contacts. 


Hong Kong is in the middle between West and China so it's super intense to live in.

You probably know, but around 60% of Hong Kong territory is actually forest and protected area. So the nature is everywhere (15 minutes from the campus by walk, you hear birds and can get lost). There are beaches all over. Try absolutely Repulse Bay on the week-end and Sai Kung (way further). Hong Kong is famous for hikes (5 major ones between 50km and 100km divided in sections) or running trails if you like it more extreme. Go on the island around (Lamma, Lantau, Cheung Chau, ...). You forget that you are in Hong Kong and it's amazing to be back in Central in the evening, to realised to where on a island with no cars and cows walking freely on the streets.

It's one of the most amazing place to party, there are plenty (unlimited) number of clubs in Lan Kwai Fong (party area created by a German in the 80s). Everything is around a few corners, so it's very convenient to move from one place to the other. Not necessary to describe more, you will discover it early enough and make your own experience. I can just say than it's a blast.

Travelling from Hong Kong is also super convenient, as it's in the middle of Asia. You can go to China (Shenzhen) by bus and train (around 1h). A city way bigger than Hong Kong with 10mio of people. Fascinating and really cool during the week-end to party differently. Except that, Taiwan (Republic of China) is very close and has strong cultural history in its relation with China (the People's Republic). Japan is also amazing and super interesting for its cultural differences and history. All the South East Asia is also reachable within 2 hours by plane. So don't wait to much before travelling and make the most of your time there. Hong Kong airport is extremely efficient, so it renders your trip even easier.

 If your read this review to motivate you to apply for Hong Kong, do not hesitate anymore. If you have already been accepted to go there, be ready. You gonna have the time of your life.

YOLO and take care there !