I understand that this year HKU has not been very generous with their university accommodation allocations. A lot of people have been messaging me, panicking, saying that they did not sign up for this. I get it! But there is no reason to panic, and let me tell you why 🙂
Firstly, be smart and ask them to put you on the waiting list! I know that being 120th on the list seems like the end of the world. But it is not! Last year, I had two friends who were 149 and 170 on the waiting list. One of them panicked and signed a contract for a room somewhere in Mongkok in September, but got offered a place in the halls a week later (which was late September). She could not take the uni offer as she had already pre-paid for the other room. So please do not panic! Especially if you are staying for a full year. You will definitely get a place for your 2nd semester! Just make sure to let Wenkie Koo know that you are interested and waiting! While you are waiting, you can stay at apple hostel http://www.applehotel.hk/ or Dragon Hostel http://www.dragonhostel.com/ which are both quite cheap.
Secondly, if worst comes to worst (and let’s be frank, most of you are imagining the worst right now) there is once again, no need to panic! There are plenty of websites where you can find reasonably priced rooms in Hong Kong! Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can find something even in Kennedy Town! My friend was sharing a room with another for 3500hkd right in the center of Kennedy Town! I understand that you might think this is not ideal, but this is Hong Kong, and sharing a room is nothing unusual. One of my other friends lived right on Connaught Road in Central for 4500hkd. Go and like the page FindYourRoomInHongKong on Facebook and join the group with the same name.
There are many other options. A lot of people go for Apple Dorms. Here is the link, go and have a look http://www.appledorm.com/. The rooms are very small, and you end up sharing your bathroom/shower with other people, but it is very clean! The rooms start from 3000hkd depending in the size. As a student at HKU, you will not spend that much time at home anyways, you will have classes and tutorials and Chi Wah will become your new home J So you really just need a bed for sleeping (in my opinion!).
Most importantly, if you live off campus, you are eligible to apply for a bursary. Have a look here for more info http://www.cedars.hku.hk/sections/Accommodation/files/Guidance_Notes_for_Application_(exchange).pdf. A lot of people get it, and I have not met anyone who has not gotten it. The university is very well aware of the shortage of places in halls, and they make sure that the off-campus experience for exchange students is as cheap and “painless” and possible. The bursary gives you a maximum of 1500hkd per month. Many non-local students usually sign up for Apple Dorms, which costs them 1500hkd per month after the bursary – which is a bargain in such a densely populated city as Hong Kong!
If you still feel confused or have any more questions that I haven’t addressed here – do not hesitate to message me! 🙂 Everything’s gonna be alright 🙂
Loads of comforting hugs!