Documentation:Science Co-op/China - Hong Kong
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Helpful Tips For Co-op Students Going to Hong Kong
Purpose: This document was created to help you prepare the necessary documents and funds
BEFORE your departure to Hong Kong. This information may help to prevent some difficulties with
paperwork and make it an easier transition for you.
Hong Kong’s research facilities work differently than those in Vancouver. Often in Vancouver, there are many undergraduates present, either on co-op terms, work studies, or volunteering. In Hong Kong, undergraduates in the lab are not as common. To find a research job in Hong Kong, it would be best to approach a principal investigator directly (I have noticed that many PI’s have had training overseas and thus while undergraduates in the lab are not the norm in Hong Kong, many PI’s have been exposed to these environments). Hong Kong is quite multi-cultural with many English speakers. It is a city that is easy to adjust to.
Living on a co-op salary is feasible in Hong Kong. Most of your salary will be used toward housing as housing is quite expensive in Hong Kong. Food and transportation is not very expensive. Since Hong Kong is close to many other interesting places to travel in Hong Kong, your co-op salary will be unlikely to cover vacations. If you plan on travelling to other places, I would suggest having some money saved up.
As mentioned, housing will take up most of your expenses. It should also be mentioned that places to live in Hong Kong are very small.
Depending on the places you travel to and how close your residence is to your work place, $100 should suffice for public transport every two weeks. It should be noted that taking the MTR can get quite expensive if you cross from Hong Kong Island to New Territories often. Hong Kong uses an octopus card for fares. However, while convenient, it is easy to lose track of expenses this way (this pre-loaded octopus card can be used as currency in fast food stores and convenience stores).