Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory on the Pearl River Delta of East Asia. It has its own government, currency and legal system, and social norms are often different to those of the mainland. Hong Kong appeals as a base from which to explore both traditional and modern-day Chinese culture, which is made compact by geography and efficient by its relatively inexpensive public transport system. Densely populated, fast-paced and lively, Hong Kong ticks all the characteristics as one of the world’s leading knowledge-based economies. The city is surrounded by natural beauty and short boat trip away from nearby islands, where beaches and mountains offer a calming contrast to the non-stop urban bustle of the city centre.
All eight public universities in Hong Kong use English as the medium of instruction for the majority of courses, and all are well-known and respected regionally and internationally. Overall, there are almost 20 degree-awarding higher education institutions in Hong Kong. Some of the best of these institutions include the University of Hong Kong (HKU) which ranks at 27th in the QS World University Rankings 2016/2017, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), which is ranked 36th, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is also not far behind at 44th and the City University of Hong Kong which is placed at 55th. Within Asia, Hong Kong claims four representatives among the 10 top universities in Asia alone, again led by the University of Hong Kong (HKU), which retains 2nd place in Asia, while HKUST also places strongly at 4th.
Literally means fragrant harbour, Hong Kong offers amazing seaport view from which its city skyline grew – dramatic cityscape, with towering skyscrapers jutting into the sky. While the city certainly has no shortage of big, glitzy high-rises, revitalised remnants of old Hong Kong remain apparent in its many historical buildings. Hong Kong's glass and steel persona often camouflage its enchanting neighbourhoods and islands. Over 70% of Hong Kong is mountains and sprawling country parks, some also home to geological and historical gems. Escape the city limits on one of the world’s smoothest transport systems and spend your day wandering in a Song-dynasty village, hiking on a deserted island or kayaking among volcanic sea arches.
‘’ Hong Kong's glass and steel persona often camouflage its enchanting neighbourhoods and islands ’’
Working part-time in a city as expensive as Hong Kong can be a lifeline for international students and allow you to make local connections. As a full-time student at locally-accredited programmes at undergraduate level with minimum duration of one year, you may work part-time on-campus for not more than 20 hours per week throughout the year and during the summer months without any limit in relation to working hours and location. You should apply for prior approval from the Immigration Department with the support from your institution before taking up internships but generally it is allowed as long as it is curriculum-related and be arranged or endorsed by the institutions you are studying in. Duration of your internships may vary according to your programme’s duration.
As a student in Hong Kong’s competitive education system, you are likely to be spending most of your time valuing your education and making connections through school activities. However, do not forget to enjoy the enchanting city where you can join taichi classes at dawn, be mesmerised by its film and literary scenes and the thousands of shows staged year-round at the city's many museums and concert halls. The fashionista in you will appreciate the impressive assortment glitzy malls, chic side-street boutiques and vintage dens. Hong Kong comes alive at night with something to do at every time of the day in this city that never sleeps from trendy bars, live entertainment and late supper that taste better after midnight. Alas, despite all of that you might experience some Hong Kong culture shock, as you realise that small talk and friendly greetings are not common. Do not be offended if the cashier at a supermarket does not strike up a conversation, or if waiters in non-touristic restaurants do not even thank you when you pay your bill.
Hong Kong is a dynamic fusion of Chinese roots, colonial connections and home-grown expertise. You are likely to find top cuisine in the city that worships the God of Cookery, whether the deliciousness in the pot is Cantonese, Sichuanese, Japanese or French. The depth of Hong Kong’s dedication for good food and breadth of its culinary repertoire allow whatever gastronomic desires to be sated, either in the form of bowl of wonton noodles, freshly steamed dim sum, stinky tofu, or the creations of the latest celebrity chef. Explore the local area (especially the street food culture) and discover the famous Kowloon City Market for seasonal fruit, Tai Po Hui Market Cooked Food Centre for budget-friendly dim sum and fresh seafood along Sham Shui Po.
Applying for student visa does not need to be an awful experience but you have to prepare your documents, in other words, do your due diligence. Once you have been accepted by an institution, you must get a student visa or entry permit. Sometimes, your institution will help you to apply for your visas or entry permits, or even complete the process for you. All non-local students need student visas, whether you come for an exchange programme or full-time studies. In general, non-local students will need local sponsors, which can be arranged through your institutions, with the necessary supporting documents. It will normally take six weeks to process a visa or entry permit application for study upon receipt of all the required documents so you need to apply as far in advance as possible!
If you are a Mainland Chinese resident, you should submit your applications to the Immigration Department through the education institution (the sponsor) granting the acceptance. Otherwise you can submit your application forms and supporting documents via post directly or through the local sponsor to the Hong Kong Immigration Department or the Chinese diplomatic and consular mission in your country.
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