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Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020

How international students in Hong Kong can keep living costs low

How international students in Hong Kong can keep living costs low

Living costs can be cheap for students in Hong Kong, one of the most expensive cities in the world ... if you know where to look.

Living among the crazy, rich Asians can seem intimidating. You’d think tuition fees and living costs in Hong Kong are unreasonable, but the truth is that there are ways to beat the system. Tuition fees range from US$11,500 to $34,000 a year, though bear in mind that there are added extra costs.

Hong Kong is home to several of the top world-renowned universities — take a look at the rankings here. Aside from being the main gateway to China, it’s home to the rich backdrop you see in Wong Kar Wai films and TVB dramas, delicious polo buns and world-class hike trails. There are many more to discover during your study breaks — it’s set to be an adventure of a lifetime.


Kitchen staff prepare food at their “dai pai dong” street food stall in Hong Kong on January 9, 2019.


Cost-wise, we won’t lie. It is one of the most expensive cities in the world. You’d need to seek out scholarships and bursaries, of which there are many. Luckily, living costs can be cheap, if you know where to look. With a knack for organising, and sacrificing bubble teas, you can most make the most out of your Hong Kong experience with the following tips:

Live on campus


University accommodation usually costs less than an off-campus apartment. They’re usually cleaner (if your housemates aren’t from hell), have more amenities and closer to classes and social events.

Take public transport


Don’t be afraid to brush shoulders with other human beings. The Hong Kong system is one of the most efficient in the world, and some cities have taken to copying it. You are able to travel in Hong Kong from end to end for less than what you’d pay for a cup of coffee. It’s also completely safe to do so.


Commuters take the Disneyland MTR (Mass Transit Railway) train link to Hong Kong’s Disneyland station on June 17, 2020.

Eat like a local


* Service is basic but the food hits the spot. You can’t beat the very affordable prices — here are some tasty examples. Eating at campus student canteens will also help you save some money so you can purchase that overpriced bubble tea you really don’t need.

Max out your student discounts


* Take advantage of the student discounts offered by museums, cinemas, transport companies, restaurants and even some retail outlets. Don’t be shy to show your status off, all you need to do is show your student ID. Sometimes the discounts can really get you places.

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