Student Report

Student Report
Name of the University: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Exchange semester: Spring, 2013
The application process for HKUST was very
easy. We received in total two
packages/emails with information about the
process. The first one came in October and the
second one in December. All information
about visa, housing, contact courses etc. was
well explained in the mails. Choosing and
applying for courses can be a little difficult, so
I got help from a former HKUST student.
Even though it’s an easy process it takes a lot
of time. Be prepared to spend a day or two
figuring everything out.
The visa process was done through the school
and you only had to take some copies of your passport, fill in some forms and send head
covers of yourself. The visa costs around 700 HKD or 500 NOK.
I travelled for one month prior to the exchange in south-east Asia. Flying to Hong Kong is
very easy and you can get cheap tickets if you book early enough. Travelling during the
semester is also very popular. I visited Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Macao.
Travelling in South-east Asia is super cheap and travelling companions is easy to find in the
exchange group.
Housing is provided by the university where you will get the opportunity to live in student
halls. There are many different student halls at campus with different standards. I lived at Hall
7 that is one of the newer and nicer halls. Hall 7 is also the hall where most international
students at the university live. Here you get a small room that you share with a roommate, in
my case an American guy. If you choose HKUST I will recommend choosing living at
student halls. It’s located on campus and only in a range of 5000-8000 HKD per semester.
Choosing hall I will also recommend Hall 7 or 6, because most exchange students live here
and they are a bit nicer. In Hall 6 you have to share bathroom and showers with the whole
floor, while in Hall 7 two rooms (4 people) share one toilet and one shower. If you want to
meet a lot of local students the other halls are probably better.
Cost in Hong Kong is very dependent on what you do. I know people that has spend next to
nothing down here, while I have spent a lot of money. Everyday campus life is super cheap,
where you easily can live on 1000 HKD a week. It’s first when you are going into central
Hong Kong your wallet is going to be thinner. Partying is not cheap at all, and we often went
out 2-3 times a week. Eating out on non-Chinese restaurants is also expensive, where you can
compare prices to Norwegian standards. Rent at school is between 5000-8000 HKD,
depending on which hall you chose. Books are cheap and in most classes they don’t use books
but only power points. So I spend 200 HKD on books. Food I spent around 1000 HKD a week
if I just ate at campus. If I went out eating a couple of nights you can add 500 HKD. Transport
in Hong Kong is very easy and cheap. You have an octopus card that you can use on every
form for transportation. Normal ride into the city from campus is 15 HKD. Other expenses are
hard to say how much I have used. A lot has gone when I have been travelling and a lot has
been used partying.
The school is situated in Clearwater Bay, 30 min cab drive from Central Hong Kong. The
surroundings of the school are magnificent with beautiful landscape and the ocean. You don’t
feel like you are in one of the biggest cities in the world studying at this school. The school
consists of academic buildings and a lot of housing buildings. The academic buildings lie on
top of the hill, while all the student halls are situated in the hillside. Down by the ocean you
will find nice beach areas, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a big artificial soccer pitch, a
smaller soccer pitch, basketball courts etc. The school different divisions are business, science
and technology. The study structure is very similar to American Universities where you take a
4-year bachelor.
Course registration
The registration of courses will you do online prior to arrival. This can be a little tricky, and
you should know which course you want before the process starts. When school starts there is
a 2 week add/drop period, where you can change classes if you don’t like the ones you have.
The most popular classes is difficult to get in the add/drop period because they are often full.
Academic calendar
Arrival date:
First day of the semester:
Last day of classes:
Examination period:
Any special events/holidays:
Chinese New Year,
Spring break
In spring semester
there are a lot of free
When you arrive HK it is pretty normal that your buddy will meet you at the airport, if this is
something you want. Checking in at school and your dorm is also very easy. Sadly isn’t there
an introduction week like we are used to in Norway, but the exchange students have a lot of
fun together. The only thing the school provides is a culture tour around the city one of the
days. If you have any worries you can speak with your contact person at campus, and they
will help you. They were very helpful towards me. To promote BI and Norway in our stay we
participated on the exchange fair at school.
Social activities
In social activities you definitely get the best relationship with other exchange students and
international full-time students at the school. It’s difficult to get to know local students on a
personal level, because they are very shy and extremely committed to school. While for
westerner student’s university-life is very much about social life and probably a little less on
school, this is not the case in Hong Kong. The relationship to other exchange students was
great and we had a lot of fun together. There are a lot of student organizations at the school,
but most communication in these organisations is in Cantonese.
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is much known for its academics and is
regarded as one of the best business schools in Asia. Everything from teachers to course
material was top class.
The way school works is very similar to high school in Norway or how Universities are in
America. Everything was in English, so this was not a problem. I won’t say that it was much
tougher then BI, but just very different. We only have one exam in each subject each semester
that is 100% of your grad while in HK you get evaluated all the time. The workload isn’t that
much more than BI, but you can’t decide when in the semester you want to do it. Relationship
professor-student is one unique thing in this university, where you really can get to know your
professor. The relationship with other students is also good, but it can also get a little ugly
some times because of the competition for the best grades.
We only used book in one of our classes in HK. Most teachers prefer that you use their power
points instead. They will also provide a lot of extra material if you are interested in reading
more about the subjects. All course material is in English. Mandatory course material is much
less than what you are used to in BI where you always have a big book in each subject.
The grading system at HKUST is everything from presentations, case studies, group
homework, in-class participation, in-class quizzes, participation on-line, mid-terms and finals.
This depends very on which class you choose. Many of the management/marketing classes
have group assignments, but no final exam. These classes have a steady work load through the
semester. Finance, accounting, operations, economics classes often emphasize more on the
midterm and final exam. What kind of grading process depends very on the courses you
Library and technology
Library facilities at the school are excellent. You have one main library where one of the
floors never closes. Top floor of the library you have a lot of computers to use. There is also
one printing/computer room that is packed with computers. The school have both Bloomberg
and Reuter’s terminals.
Course code & name
MGMT 3040
ISOM 2700
FINA 3104
FINA 3304
Exam form
4-hour written
2 hour exam
3 hour exam
3 hour exam
Finans 1