HKUST is a beautiful and amazing university! Past Review

By (The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 09/01/2015 to 12/19/2015 with

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: Hong Kong - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to make friends from many different countries. I also learned how to adapt my lifestyle and I gained a lot of insight into many different cultures.

Review Photos

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: Hong Kong - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: Hong Kong - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: Hong Kong - Direct Enrollment & Exchange Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Great university! Challenging but not too rigorous coursework. Lots of resources and help available to students.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There are many administrators and offices to help you on campus. Most of the office workers speak English but if not they will have someone there who does. The foreign student office of your college can help you if you have any issues.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

While you are applying you get to choose whether you want your roommate to be another foreign student or a local one, but you don't really get to choose which hall to live in. I lived in the Hall VI dormitory. We had a fan and an A/C unit, but you have to pay for A/C on an hourly basis. They A/C rate is cheap but it gets very hot and humid at HKUST so you will probably be using it a lot. Each room has a sink but you have to use the common bathrooms for showering and using the toilet. Only four showers per floor and there was always at least one that was broken or faulty. It is also very easy to leave your shampoo and soap in the shower and it will disappear very quickly so be careful. The workers for the hall speak little to no English but there are a few who can help you.

* Food:

There are two large cafeterias, a Starbucks, a McDonald's, and a few cafes on campus so there is plenty to choose from. Going off campus is a bit of a journey so having good on-campus food is really nice. The food is not gourmet but most people find some good things and then stick with those dishes. The western style food can be a bit weird but I rarely ended up disliking the dishes I got. Breakfast is really good on campus and McDonald's can be a good place when you are just craving a burger or something.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This really depends on you. Pretty much everyone is really friendly, but the local students usually won't approach you unless you make an effort. You will have many other foreign friends but if you really want to get to know more Hong Kong local students you have to go to events and join clubs. Many people will be excited to talk to a foreign student, but some people might not be comfortable with their English speaking so try not to speak too fast and be patient.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues while I was in Hong Kong, but my home university and HKUST made sure that everyone knew who to contact and where to go if there was a medical issue. Some other foreign students had fairly bad colds but I never got sick once while I was there. I don't remember there being any specific vaccinations needed but your doctor might recommend some, especially if you plan on visiting other parts of Asia while you are abroad.

* Safety:

I felt very safe on campus and in the city. The campus has little to no crime, and the only deaths, that I knew of, that had occurred since the university was founded were from individuals taking there own lives. I felt safer in Hong Kong than I do in Texas.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The campus was beautiful, the people were friendly, and I had so much fun!


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

On-campus food was very cheap there is a grocery store on campus which can be even cheaper. You will need more money if you go to the city a lot, especially if you go downtown, but transportation is very cheap and easy.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100 or less
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you are worried about money, try to eat on-campus whenever you can and if you buy groceries and cook things yourselves it will be even cheaper. Also try to get a Student Octopus Card for travel since you get a discount when you use the MTR. Transportation is cheap but since HKUST is far from the city you will most likely have to take taxis at some point, so make sure to share them whenever you can.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The campus was beautiful!
  • The city was fun and impressive!
  • The transportation was so convenient!
* What could be improved?
  • The campus is a little far from the city.
  • Make sure the students have multiple ways to get money just in case.
  • More information about travel during your time abroad.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Hong Kong is in the heart of Asia so all of the international students wanted to travel almost every weekend. I wish I would have been more prepared for that financially.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Energy Systems in a Sustainable World

Course Department: Mechanical Engineering
Instructor: Francesco Ciucci
Instruction Language: English
Comments: One of the most organized engineering courses I've ever been in! Professor Ciucci is awesome! The material is very basic though since it is really a first year, introductory course. A couple homework assignments throughout the semester, two fairly straightforward exams, and a "project" that involves simply summarizing a scientific article.
Credit Transfer Issues: I had no issues transferring the credit for this course because I found a very similar course at my home university.
Course Name/Rating:

Materials Failure in Mechanical Applications

Course Department: Mechanical Engineering
Instructor: Jang-Kyo Kim
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This is an upper level materials course so it is pretty challenging. Involves regular homework assignments and two exams. I underestimated the first exam and did not do as well as I would have liked but I did much better on the second exam after putting a bit more time and effort into the material. The course material is definitely useful for an engineer.
Credit Transfer Issues: I did not have any issues transferring the credit because I found a very similar course at my home university.
Course Name/Rating:

The Impact and Value of Technology Innovation

Course Department: School of Engineering
Instructor: Po Chi Wu
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Not challenging if you pay attention during the lectures and are interested in the material. The material is very relevant and you get to learn more about the city of Hong Kong. Unless you get into the material and get involved in the discussions though you will be very bored and probably will not pay attention during lectures. That is what happened to me, but as long as you can write a good essay you will be fine. Very few assignments, including some short essays and a poster project. Most of the assignments are team based so this might be a good class to take with some friends. There was one field trip to the developing area of East Kowloon, but all they did was drop us off and told us explore and to come back after a few hours.
Credit Transfer Issues: I was not able to transfer this course's credit because I could not find a similar course at my home university. However, I took this course simply to make me a full time student so I did not need the credit.
Course Name/Rating:

Linear Algebra

Course Department: Mathematics
Instruction Language: English
Comments: A pretty standard math course. Homework was online and a bit challenging, but if you pay attention in class you should be able to do it. Also there are plenty of online videos for linear algebra that work similar problems. There are two exams that can be challenging if you are not prepared enough. I did very well on the first exam with a normal amount of studying but the final was pretty difficult.
Credit Transfer Issues: I did not have any trouble transferring the course credit because I found a very similar course at my home university.