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The School - City University of Hong Kong
City University of HK is one of the 9 universities in HK. It may not be the most popular university in HK; however, there is one thing that CityU beats the other universities - its location. CityU is located in somehow the center of Hong Kong. You can go to all the interesting places quickly. Also, it is at the hub of the transportation system of HK. At Kowloon Tong Station, you can go to almost anywhere in HK, as well as to China, by train
Mailing address of CityU - City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
More about CityU:Getting to CityU
The Campus and its facilities
Studying at CityU (Arrangement for Typhoon / Storm)
You may want to download a map of the HK Airport from their website - www.hongkongairport.com
The fastest way to go to the Campus / Residence from the airport is sure by cab. It takes about 30 mins for around US$ 30 (Many students were over-charged from US$ 70 to 100 on their first day in HK, especially when they were unfamiliar with the new surrounding in addition to the inconvenience caused by carrying all their baggage at the airport !!!). You only need to make sure that the driver understand you are going to the Residence (if you are staying on campus), not the campus. Please make sure! The taxi drivers here are just too stubborn sometimes and will take you to the campus instead. Show them the picture of the Residence if necessary.
The address of the Residence is:
城巿大學宿舍，九龍塘，歌和老街 22 號
Shing See Dai Hok Shuk Shair the Residence, Gau Loan Tong the city, Gor War Lo Guy the street)
The Residence, City University of Hong Kong, 22 Cornwall Street, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon
If you are living in the Jockey Club House, you will need to get off at the campus, at the To Yuen Street x Tat Chee Avenue entrance, next to Heung Tao Secondary School, instead.
And NTT Guesthouse, Baptist University, Wai Lee Road, Kowloon Tong - for those who are staying there.
The best way actually is by taking the bus number E22 (NOT E22A, E22P or A22, etc.), running from 5:30 am to midnight. There is a bus stop RIGHT at the student residence (The Shek Kip Mei Park / CityU Student Residence) bus stop, bus drivers are usually more than happy to remind you to get off if you have asked him in advance). So it is a good deal if you don't have too many stuffs. The fare is HK$ 18. You can pay by Octopus Card that you won't need to worry about making the exact fare. I will not suggest you to take the subway if you have a lot of stuffs, since there is no direct line from the airport to the Residence, and it would be really painful if you have to carry all your luggage from the station nearest to the campus (Kowloon Tong Station) to the residence, you will be going up a hill!
But if you are going to stay at Jockey Club House (not Jockey Club Hall), arriving by train would be a more direct than taking a bus.
If you still want to take a cab but also want to save some money, you may take the Airport Express to Kowloon Station (HK$ 90), and from there take a cab to the Residence. The fare should be around US$ 10 only.
* If you arrived late (after midnight and before 5:30 am) you may not be able to take the bus / train to the Residence. The last bust / train leaves at midnight sharp, so the only option would be taking a cab. Although you may take the overnight bus no. N21 to Tsim Sha Tsui (last stop), the busiest area in the city, then take a cab from there to the Residence for US$ 10 or less.
Free Shuttle-Bus pickup service between Airport and CityU (Residence)
After fighting for many years, I have convinced the school that starting from 2008 / 09 Fall Semester they would provide a free shuttle-bus service between the airport and CityU. It usually runs on the first 5 days of the arrival period only (1 week before school starts, starts from Monday), between 10:00 to 22:00. The bus may depart at every 3 hours and it will take you directly to the Student Residence to settle down; before all the excitement waiting ahead of you. The bus will then go on to the Campus from the Residence.
You will receive more information about the arrival arrangement via email. So PLEASE MAKE SURE you have told the international students office your email address CLEARLY.
If you are not going to the dorm (you are not living on campus); or if you arrive early and need to stay in a hotel; you may make use of the shuttle bus which leaves from the Airport. Please visit Vigor Holding at the airport lobby or visit www.vigorholding.com. Different from the MTR shuttle bus, It goes to almost anywhere you want
For more information, you may check the Pre-Departure Information Website I have created for the school before - http://www.meaoins.cityu.edu.hk/PAV
Electronic ID (EID)
New students will also be given an Electronic ID (EID) which is shown on your enrolment notification letter / admission offer letter / CityU Student Identity Card. You may visit the University Orientation Website www.cityu.edu.hk/orientation to activate your EID before coming to Hong Kong. With the EID, you can log on the CityU e-Portal - an electronic infrastructure that provides you with various online services and information related to your study and your life at CityU. Your personal email account will also be available by then.
How to activate your EID:
Go to this link https://banweb.cityu.edu.hk/pls/PROD/twgkpweq_cityu.P_Terms_Conditions and follow the instruction provided in the Orientation Website.
Pre-Enrolment - You will receive pre-enrolment instructions by email and you should complete it before you come to CityU, Hong Kong. You can go to the Orientation Website for more information and complete pre-enrolment there, after activated your EID.
For information about checking in to the dorm, please go to the Residence part.
1. Survival Kit from GSO (international students office)
After settle down at the Residence or your own accommodation, you should go to GSO to get your enrollment letter (if you are an exchange student) and / or the survival kit for international students. It contains detail of the orientation program, important notes for your study at CityU and living in HK, and many other useful stuffs. GSO office is located at Room 3210, 3/F, Cheng Yick-chi Building . You will receive more instruction before the arrival period by email.
2. Activate your Student Status
Given the fact that you already have your student visa and enter HK as a student via the immigration control, the next thing you need to do is to complete your enrollment process and become a real student of CityU. (If you did not have your student visa when you come to HK, please refer to the notes on activating your student visa at "Preparation, Visa Section")
If you have completed pre-enrolment before coming to HK, then you are required to complete the enrolment process in person with the Academic Regulations and Records Office (ARRO) according to the time and venue as indicated on the enrolment notification letter, which is placed inside the GSO Welcome Pack if you haven't been assigned an enrolment timeslot before. You may refer to our campus map for the location of the venue for enrolment. At the time of enrolment, please produce your acceptance letter and identity document, e.g. your passport to the University for verification. Expired visa and visitor visa will not be accepted.
If you have not completed pre-enrolment before coming, please consult the ARRO counter as well.
The last day for enrolment is the end date of teaching week 2 (Saturday, by noon) as specified in the academic calendar. If you will arrive later than that, you MUST inform GSO and Residence Office.
Student Identity Card
All students will be given a Student Identity Card upon completion of enrolment. The Student Identity Card is your personal identification document at CityU. It is required for access to various facilities on campus including the Library, Sports Complex, Computing Services Centre and the residential halls. You must take good care of your student identity card during your studies at the University.
3. Course Registration
You may have your courses pre-registered before arriving at CityU. However, course registration can ONLY be "completed" after you have registered as a student in CityU, when you have your Student Card and Intranet account. Once you activate your account, you can go to the course registration site to complete the registration for real. So, the early you are here, the earlier and easier you can register your course.
If you fail to register your course, you can ask the professor directly via email or, ideally at the individual orientation program of your department.
Students who are required to register their courses for study should complete the course registration process before the deadline, i.e. The first day of teaching week 2 (Monday). If your department does not provide online course registration, you may need to select your course on the AIMS platform and print out your selection (Add / Drop Form), then return it to the teaching department for approval. Please be reminded that the minimum and maximum numbers of credits a student can take in each semester are 12 and 18 respectively.
Procedure to print your Add / Drop Form for approval:
1. Click AIMS on the left bottom corner at e-Portal (http://eportal.cityu.edu.hk)
If you want to see a demonstration, you may refer to this link: HERE
Notes on the first day of your arrival:
Since you may have known already that there will be no bedding (bed sheet, pillow, pillow case...) and blanket supplied by the dorm (HK$ 150 rent for 1 week). That could be a problem on the first day you arrive if it is cold. To those who are arriving at night, I guess you have no choice but bringing your own blanket and bedding, or sleeping with you coat on.
To those who are arriving before 8 pm, you still have time to buy a new set. The best place to do it is at the New Town Plaza in Shatin. It is the biggest mall in HK, and technically contains every thing you need. Just go to the Kowloon Tong Station (next to the campus), and aboard the East Rail line train towards Lo Wu / Lok Ma Chau. Get off at Shatin Station (2 stops from the campus) and there you are. There are IKEA, Pricerite (a much cheaper version of IKEA), and some other small shops where you can find your bedding and blanket in great variety and low prices. IKEA and Pricerite would be easier for you because the staffs there speak English. But most importantly, you can also buy other things you need there like towel, utensils, and many more.
It is true that you can also buy your bedding and blanket in the mall next to the campus (the Festival Walk / Yau Yat Shing). But there is only one shop (Franc Franc) and the stuffs inside are freaking expensive (US$ 30 for a pillow case). Well, you may ignore what I said if you are Paris Hilton.
If you arrive even earlier and you aren't tired, you may go to Mong Kok as well. The bedding shops in Mong Kok are concentrated in Fa Yuen Street, which is a ladies' love.
The Orientation Program
School year in HK starts in September, and in CityU, the study period is divided into 2 semesters, namely Semester A and B. Semester A starts from September to December, while Semester B starts from January to May. There is also a Summer semester for some taking non-core subjects. Although exchange students can come to study at CityU in either Semester A or B, the school only organizes formal orientation program in the beginning of Semester A.
The orientation program in Semester A is organized by all the departments and schools of the university. Students will go to their individual orientation according to the departments or schools they belong to.
The orientation usually lasts for a few days, and it is in fact a very brief introduction of the department or school. Students get a chance to meet all the teaching staffs and at the end, there will be free refreshment provided.
In Semester B, only a few departments or schools will organize orientation program.
Website of the school orientation program: www.cityu.edu.hk/orientation
The GSO - International and Non-local Students Orientation
Students may also find other orientation program in the school and they are organized by the GSO - Global Services Office (International and Non-local Students section). GSO is the only school body which focus on providing assistance to overseas students (except Visiting Students), which means non-academic guidance and information.
The orientation program organized by GSO is roughly the same in both semesters. They include welcoming reception, city tour, campus tour, etc.
Welcoming reception is the gathering for all new overseas students to know each other, free food and drink will be provided there.
City tour is guided tour to some of the major attractions of HK. City tour is usually divided into 2 different kinds - the city and the heritage. The city tour will go to the urban area of HK, while the heritage city tour will take students to the rural area of HK for cultural activities. Participant is required to pay in advance to reserve his place in any of the tours.
In my experience, welcoming reception is a must because it is in the beginning of your stay and it is a very good opportunity for everyone to know each other. Campus and neighborhood tour is also important if you don't wanna be stuck in a strange surrounding most of your time in the first few weeks of your stay.
There will be also a series of seminar hosted by GSO, other school bodies, and some outside organizations. They maybe useful, but the one hosted by GSO is very important because you will find out where to get help (for real) when necessary.
Throughout the semester, GSO will also organize a wide range of activities for overseas students. They are actually programs that you should not miss.
Similar to the welcoming reception, there may be a farewell party at the end of a semester.
Here is a video about the International Students Band formed by GSO in 2008. We had a very successful maiden performance; but that was also our last performance LOL. We had only practiced for 3 times before the show, so please forgive us if we were not that good. And I was singing Everybody Backstreet's Back if you did not know :-)
The Buddy Scheme
You may have been contacted by a local student from CityU before you arrive in HK if you have requested for a peer for assistance. S/he is the "buddy" of the Buddy Scheme found by GSO. It is hoped that every overseas students coming to CityU will have a buddy who knows the school and the city very well that can provide necessary assistance to the overseas student at any time. You should send GSO an email if you want to have a Buddy - email@example.com
The campus of CityU is basically combined with 3 big buildings - the Academic Exchange Building, the Academic Building, the Amenities Building, the Multi-media Building, the Community College, and the Academic and Administration Building.
The Academic Exchange Building
housed the hostels for professors, and the school for professionals
Here are some notes about the CityU campus. For more information on school facilities and activities, you may visit the CityU website - http://www.cityu.edu.hk (You can click on the picture to get a bigger view)
Just a few words:
Studying at CityU may be quite different from what you used to. Almost every class has group project which requires presentation at the end of the semester.
Some local students and local teachers are still not used to the English teaching culture of the university; and sometimes you will hear Chinese in classrooms and be ignored if you do not understand Chinese.
Here is a video about the election campaign of the students body of CityU. Every year from October to November; or February to April; you will see the candidates for the students body dressed up in funny-looking uniforms and shouting (in Chinese only) at every corner of the small campus from 7 am to 7 pm. I admired their creativity but I doubted the effectiveness of this kind of campaign because I am quite sure you would not understand what they are shouting even if you are a native speaker. (courtesy of David Woo)
Classroom culture is more relaxing so you may find students eating and talking on phones in classes.
Nevertheless, just try to be positive and see it as a cultural learning opportunity. If CityU wants to be a higher level university, I believe they will find a way to eliminate these issues someday.
And to be objective, let's also hear the view from some other ex-international students. (courtesy of Annyeong Group)
List of Extra Curricular Activities Groups in CityU: (www.cityusu.net)
Sorry to say but by the time I left CityU, the student body is still very unenthusiastic about getting international students involving in their activities. Not saying local students do not welcome international students; but they do not care much about international students as 99% of their publication is only in Chinese. Also, it is unlikely for you to get a response if you send them an email in English. I believe they do not mean to be rude and they are just fail to realize it is considered rude; I hope they are able to see a bigger picture soon.
Using the search function from the school website, you can find almost all the contact information of the professors and executives in the school.
Sometimes you need to have more patience in talking to the staff there. Rules and procedures are highly rated in HK even it can be very bureaucratic in most circumstances. Remember, you are in a different culture so you may experience something ridiculous in your perspective, but patience always pay off at the end.
Learning Mandarin or Cantonese
You may think it would be awesome to learn Mandarin or Cantonese at the school here is HK. True, there are Mandarin and Cantonese classes offered in CityU; but you must make sure that they will not crash with the schedule of your other classes, or exceed the 18-credits limited in one semester. If that is the case, you may register the Mandarin or Cantonese courses offered by the School of Continuing and Professional Education in the Academic Exchange Building and make a payment of a few thousands HK$.
For beginners, you can register the Mandarin for Non-Chinese Speakers I or II; offered by the Chinese department. Also from the Chinese department, non-beginners may register the Putonghua classes which is taught in Chinese.
Arrangement for Typhoon and Storm
When Typhoon Signal no. 8 or higher / Blackstorm Warning is in force:
August, 2017 (Version 6.0);
since January 01, 2007
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