Chapter 1: WHAT you should do first

  • Before coming to CUHK:

    • Download the CUHK Mobile application (iOS/Android).
      This application will help you get around campus with its info on Shuttle Bus Schedules and CUHK Map.

    • Join the Official ISA Facebook group - before doing that update CUHK as your university on your profile so we could accept you into the group! Also make sure that you turn on the notifications for the group since this is the platform we will be promoting new events/activities that is happening around campus.

    • Make sure that you bring enough ID photos with you as it is essential in applying for many items such as Personalised Octopus Card.
      However if you are already in Hong Kong and need to take some ID photos then there is a shop at Shatin station at New Town Plaza called FOTOMAX (Address: Shop No. 639, Level 6, New Town Plaza, Phase I, Shatin, NT | Opening Hours: 10:00a.m. - 9:30p.m.)

    • After arriving in Hong Kong. Purchase an Octopus card and top it up as soon as possible. It is a great time saver. You can get it right away at the airport with HK$50 deposits each!

  • How to get to CUHK from Hong Kong International Airport:

    • There are several ways that you can get to CUHK, depending on your preferences. More information on transportation in Hong Kong is at Chapter 10.

    • If you are joining this year's International Student Orientation Camp, then you need to go to Shaw College to check in.

    • Here are some ways you could take to get to CUHK:

      • Note - the prices listed below for taxi can vary depending on the traffic condition and the number of suitcases.
        Please use the price and journey time information it at your own discretion.

    1. Taking a bus then a taxi (great if you want to spend less and you are travelling with large suitcases)

      • Price: HK$80 ~ HK$100

      • Journey time: 1 hour 10 minutes ~ 1 hour 30 minutes

        1. After exiting the customs at the Hong Kong International Airport head to the bus areas.

        2. Take bus number A41 - the fare is at HK$22.3 per person (prepare exact fare - no change is given).
          The bus operates everyday from 6:00 - 24:00 and the frequency is every 20 minutes.

        3. Get off at the second stop at SHA TIN CENTRAL B/T or 沙田市中心巴士總站.

        4. Head to the taxi stand nearby. You will see many red taxis lined up. Ask the driver to take you to the CUHK or 香港中文大學.

    2. Taking a bus then MTR (if you want to save money and don't want to drag your suitcases all over Hong Kong) - not recommended for first timer to CUHK

      • Price: HK$24 ~ HK$28

      • Journey time: 1 hour 20 minutes ~ 1 hour 30 mi nutes

        1. After exiting the customs at the Hong Kong International Airport head to the bus areas.

        2. Take bus number A41 - the fare is at HK$22.3 per person (prepare exact fare - no change is given).
          The bus operates everyday from 6:00 - 24:00 and the frequency is every 20 minutes.

        3. Get off at the second stop at SHA TIN CENTRAL B/T or 沙田市中心巴士總站.

        4. Head inside the New Town Plaza shopping mall by taking an escalator up. Then head towards the MTR Shatin station.

        5. Take the East Rail Line from MTR Shatin station to MTR University station. ~8 minutes

        6. Once you arrive, go to Exit A or C.

        7. Take the Shuttle Bus provided by CUHK to get around.

    3. Taking a taxi (most expensive but fastest and most comfortable) - not too bad if you are sharing the taxi with others

      • Price: HK$240 ~ HK$300

      • Journey time: 40 minutes ~ 50 minutes

        1. Ask the driver to take you to the CUHK or 香港中文大學.


Internet and wifi

If you prefer to have a connection to the internet 24/7 then a mobile phone monthly plan would be necessary, however on campus there are WiFi coverages throughout which is free for students and it is crazy fast! Connecting to the internet on campus is fairly simple, it's as simple as selecting the "CUHK WiFi" and open a web browser then login with your computing ID and CWEM password. There is also a CUHK WiFi Hotspot Partnership Programme which you can register for after receiving your computing account. The hotspot are throughout areas Hong Kong such as 24-hour convenience stores, shopping malls, and also education institutions all over the world. The hotspots will appear as Universities WiFi/CSL/Y5ZONE/Eduroam which you can connect and login with the account after your registration. 


Apart from the crazy speed we get at CUHK (for the curious minded the highest speed I've ever tested was download: 122.67 Mb/s upload: 135.11 Mb/s), CUHK also has Virtual Private Network (VPN) for us to use which is sometimes needed to access to some of their websites. The set up instructions are all on the website for the device that you are using. The VPN is especially useful when you are away from Hong Kong and need to access contents that can only be access in Hong Kong or on campus. 


Printers can be found across CUHK computer labs and libraries. There are mainly two systems for printing: the ITSC and the library one. These twos used different accounts in logging at the computer, the ITSC one use your computing account while the library one will use your library account. Most people tend to just use their Octopus to pay for their printing which will be charged directly at the printing station. For both of the methods of printing, you can send your printing jobs directly to the printer from your personal computer however you will need to install some software which can be found here for: ITSC and Wi-Fi printing at libraries.


  • According to the Immigration Department of Hong Kong, all Hong Kong residents aged 11 or above (including those who have been permitted to stay in Hong Kong for more than 180 days) are required to register for an identity card (the Hong Kong Identity Card, or HKID)

  • The University will be asking you to submit the Hong Kong Identity Card at Yasumoto International Academic Park (YIA) to complete your registration process. Since issuing of the ID would take few days, it is recommended for you guys to complete this process as soon as possible.

  • HKID is also required by the mobile service provider to register a monthly plan.

  • HKID are free of charge to apply for first timer however if you lose or break your card a fee of HK$370 is required to apply for a new one

  • Nearest office to apply for the HKID from the University is at the Fotan Immigration Office (at Fotan Station, 1 Station away from University Station)

  • Here are the steps to getting your HKID:

    1. Make an appointment in advance as there are usually many people queuing from early in the morning and there are limited quotas per day

    2. Prepare the documents that you should bring: passport, student visa (both photocopy and original) and the filled-in application form (if you are 18 and above/if you are under 18).

    3. Arrive on time on the registered day and hand in all your documents.

    4. Wait patiently for your number to be called.

    5. Go to the officer to examine all your documents and take your photo for the HKID.

    6. Go to the second officer to have the final confirmation.

    7. Once you have completed the application a temporary HKID will be given to you together with the pick up time (roughly 1 month after) for the real HKID.


CUHK is the only university in Hong Kong with colleges system. The college you're affiliated to cannot be changed throughout your study at CUHK, so choose wisely!
The 9 colleges in CUHK are:

For more information on picking colleges check out our college infographics

  • Note: some colleges only provide toilet paper at the beginning of the semester so you will buy your own from PARKnSHOP.


CUHK has 2 banks on campus:

  1. Hang Seng Bank
    Contact: (852) 2998 6262
    Address: 1/F, John Fulton Centre
    Opening Hours: 9:00 am–5:00 pm (Mon–Fri)

  2. The Bank of East Asia
    Contact: (852) 3609 3790
    Address: Room 108, 1/F, Pommerenke Student Centre, Pond Crescent
    Opening Hours: 9:00 am–5:00 pm (Mon–Fri)

Opening bank account at Hang Seng Bank

  • You need 2 documents to open a bank account in Hong Kong: passport and recent proof of address - both for residency in Hong Kong and home country. However you should also bring your Student ID to open bank account at Hang Seng Bank. The recent proof of address in home country can be substituted with any official document that states your address clearly. The proof of residency in Hong Kong can be obtained from your college office.

  • The more popular bank that students use is Hang Seng Bank which is located right in central campus close to PARKnSHOP.

  • Hang Seng Bank Ltd. is also a part of the HSBC Group so you can also use HSBC ATMs interchangeably.

  • Procedure to open a bank account

    • Line up for your turn and ask to open a bank account to the clerk (usually there will be a special line for students opening bank account)

    • Hand in the necessary documents

    • Follow the instructions of the banking officer

    • You will receive your bank account card in less than a month

  • Hang Seng Bank will be very crowded at the beginning of the semester so it is recommended to go very early even before the start of the semester to open your bank account.

  • Use ATMs instead of the banking counter when depositing or withdrawing cash since it is free and you do not need to bring your passport

  • There are 3 Hang Seng Bank ATMs on campus:

    • Hang Seng Bank in central campus at Room 101, John Fulton Centre

    • Lobby of Lee Woo Sing College

    • MTR University Station


There are many service providers in Hong Kong. We recommend that you do your researches carefully and thoroughly before subscribing to any monthly plans.
The service providers that you can find in Shatin (2 stops from MTR University Station) are:

The two types of service you can get is either prepaid or monthly plan. Most students would tend to buy a prepaid first before they get their HKID which is necessary to apply for a monthly plan at some cheaper service providers. You can easily get a prepaid number at both their stores and also at convenient stores like 7-Eleven and OK (Circle K). To register for a monthly plan you will need your HKID (the temporary HKID is fine but you will need to present the official one after you get it) and address proof (the address proof can be applied at your college office. You can also use mails from authorized organizations like banks, which is sent to your current address can be considered as an address proof as well). We advise you to ask around the seniors about their choice of service providers before registering a plan to see what they use and what they think is the best one. 


physical well being

As a student of CUHK, you can receive medical and dental services from the University Health Service. When you wish to see a doctor at the health clinic, it is best to make an appointment ahead of time, which can be done through the internet booking system on the University Health Service's website or through the phone booking system at 3943 6439. Remember to always bring your student ID when visiting the clinic as this will be requested prior to the appointment.
In case of an emergency, you are advised to go to the Accident and Emergency Department at a major hospital. The nearest hospital is Prince of Wales in Shatin, New Territories. If an ambulance service is needed, you can dial 2735 3355 or 999.

mental well being

For mental well being, the Student Counseling and Development Service (SCDS) can help students to overcome difficulties in adjusting to the university life with their services such as psychological counselling where you can make an appointment here. They also provide 24-hour emotional support hotline at 5400 2055. If you ever feel you need someone to talk to, we'll also be there for you. Just talk to any of us from ISA. ;)



For group studies, students can book Group Study Rooms in every libraries within CUHK. You can book the study rooms via their CUHK Library Facilities Booking System which will require your library account to login. There are limits for this booking - for example one person can only book a maximum of 120 minutes session per booking per day for Group Study Rooms, there are variations for each facilities so it's best if you read the FAQ on the room booking system. 


SHuttle BUs service

CUHK is the university with largest campus in Hong Kong so as you can imagine - it's huge. There will be a lots of walking however to reduce students getting leg cramps there are many shuttle bus routes within the campus that give you faster access to most of the buildings within the campus. Even though there are so many routes and stops don't be scared - you will get the hang of it within the few months! The CUHK Shuttle Bus Timetable can be accessed here!




CHAPTER 10: transportation in hong kong

Getting around Hong Kong is fairly easy with its cheap and convenient public transportation. Google Maps is quite useful for planning your journey as it is quite accurate and updated, it will incorporates the MTR and buses routes that you will need to take. There are also other useful navigation applications such as Citymapper (iOS/Android) to help you get around Hong Kong. If you do have mobile phone data you will not have to worry about getting lost in Hong Kong.


  • MTR is the most convenient and the cheapest way to get around Hong Kong.

  • The servicing hours differ for different lines and stations so it is best to observe the time carefully.

  • A mobile application called MTR Mobile is very useful for planning your travel routes with MTR around Hong Kong. The application can help you to:

    • Estimate the journey time with MTR

    • Plan the MTR exits number for your destination

  • An Octopus Card is very convenient for paying for transports around Hong Kong. Almost every transportation means accepts the Octopus card except for Taxis.

  • Students can apply for a Student Octopus Card through the MTR Student Travel Scheme which provide student discounts for travelling via MTR.

    • The application fee for the Student Octopus is HK$90 which includes HK$50 as deposit within the card.

    • The application form can be downloaded from their website or you can get them from the MTR counter at the MTR University station for free.

    • An ID photo will be required for the application so don't forget to have this ready with you.

    • Students will need to go to their respective department or office for the verification of student status at the start of the semester and submit the endorsed application form to any MTR (except Airport Express stations, Lo Wu, Lok Ma Chau, Racecourse, Disneyland Resort and Sunny Bay stations).

    • The Student Status Octopus Card will needed to be renewed every year at the start of the first semester.


  • Buses are second most convenient and cheapest way to get around Hong Kong.

  • Bus routes cover almost all of Hong Kong except the outlying islands.

  • Fares are based on distance travelled and exact change is required if paying by cash. Octopus cards are accepted on all buses in Hong Kong.

  • Buses are fairly easy to use, you just enter as you pay through the font door and exit when it is your stop. You can ask the driver to stop at the stop by pressing the button on the bus. The final destinations are displayed in English and Chinese on the front of each bus.

  • Major bus companies are:

  • You can easily search the bus routes by searching the bus route number on Google.


  • Minibuses tend to be a bit harder to use than the bigger buses as there are mainly two types of minibuses - red and green.

  • Red minibuses operate along routes that are not always fixed and passengers can get on and off anywhere along the route. Only on some routes the minibus will accept Octopus cards but most of the time only cash is accepted. The driver can usually provide change for small notes when paid by cash.

  • Green minibuses operate along specific routes at fixed prices. Exact change is required if paying by cash and they all accept Octopus cards.


  • Taking a tram is a great way to spend your journey within Hong Kong island.

  • The trams run along the Hong Kong island from the west to the east side through the most popular areas.

  • No matter how far you travel, each tram ride costs a flat fare of $2.30 and exact change is required if you are paying by cash.

  • All trams accept Octopus cards. You need to get on the tram at the back and then pay the exact fare at the front when you’re getting off.


  • Being a coastal city, Hong Kong has many ferry routes that connects Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and Outlying Islands.

  • You can cross the habour between the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The frequency is every few minutes to just over 10 minutes. The Star Ferry has piers at Central, Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui and Hung Hom. It only costs HK$2.2 for Central - Tsim Sha Tsui or Wan Chai - Tsim Sha Tsui, it's the best and cheapest way to enjoy Victoria Harbour.

  • Hong Kong Island's Central Pier has many routes to go to the outlying islands, such as Lantau Island, Cheung Chau or Lamma Island.


  • Taxis are very convenient however they are relatively more expensive than other means of travel if used alone.

  • There are three types of Taxis in Hong Kong, the Red taxis that mostly travel the urban areas, the Green taxis that operate within the New Territories and the Blue taxis that operate on Lantau Island.

  • The Red taxis are the most expensive, followed by the Green and the Blue taxis.

  • Extra fees are charged if passengers have luggage or when required to travel on toll ways.

  • If you encounter any problems while using a Hong Kong taxi, such as suspected overcharging, take down the taxi driver's name and licence plate number as shown on the taxi driver identity card on the dashboard. Then contact one of the numbers below to lodge your complaint.

    • Transport Complaints Unit Hotline (+852 2889 9999)

    • Transport Department Customer Enquiries Hotline (+852 2804 2600)

    • Road Co-op Lost & Found 24 Hours Free Hotline for Lost Property on Taxis Hotline (+852 1872 920)


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