Living in Hong Kong – Postgraduate Guide |
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Living in Hong Kong – Postgraduate Guide

Written by Ben Taylor

Given the number of excellent universities in Hong Kong, it’s no surprise that so many international students flock here to study a Masters. This lively place combines modernity, tradition and nature like few other places, making for an unforgettable postgraduate destination.

On this page we’ve covered some of the main practicalities involved with studying a Masters in Hong Kong, from employment opportunities and accommodation to banking and transport.

What’s it like to study abroad in Hong Kong?

Despite its relatively small geographical area, Hong Kong is a vibrant, modern metropolis with much to explore and experience. And, even though it’s perhaps most well-known for an ultra-modern skyline of glittering skyscrapers, Hong Kong is also home to lush jungles and verdant mountains – all within convenient access of the bustling city centre.

Whether you’re interested in taking a trip to the top of Hong Kong Island’s highest point via the Peak Tram or seeing some of your favourite cartoon characters in the flesh at Hong Kong Disneyland, you won’t be stuck for things to do when you need a break from the university library.

Hong Kong cuisine is world-famous, attracting food fanatics from around the globe to sample its diverse mix of Chinese gastronomy and other Asian dishes. Hawker stalls are a source of cheap, delicious dim sum, but you can also splash out at one of the several Michelin-starred restaurants in Hong Kong.

Shopaholics will enjoy its unique combination of luxury malls, buzzing markets and independent boutiques.

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As one of the most densely-populated areas in the world, space and accommodation in Hong Kong is at a premium. Relatively affordable university housing can be found but you should be prepared to begin your search as early as possible – ideally when you receive an offer from your university in Hong Kong.

University accommodation

Many Hong Kong universities offer on-campus accommodation in the form of student hostels. Unless you specify otherwise, you’ll usually share a room with another student (single rooms are available in some cases).

Rental fees for this kind of accommodation ranges from HKD $5,000 and HKD $15,000 per semester (USD $637 to USD $1,911), depending on the university and location.

Private accommodation

If you don’t want to live on-campus, you should apply for private rental housing. Typical costs for this vary between HKD $8,000 and HKD $15,000 per month (USD $1,019 to USD $1,911), making it a more expensive option than university-owned accommodation. However, you may find that you have a greater choice when it comes to the nature and location of the housing.

Living costs

Hong Kong isn’t a cheap place to live – and is considerably more expensive than mainland China. Despite this, you’ll find that many essential cost roughly the same as they would in Western Europe (not to mention the fact that there are few better places around to try out cheap, world-class street food!).

These are some typical costs you’ll encounter while studying a Masters in Hong Kong, based on crowd-sourced figures from Numbeo:

  • Restaurant meal – HKD $60 (USD $7.65)
  • Cinema ticket – HKD $100 (USD $12.74)
  • Monthly travel pass – HKD $500 (USD $64)
  • Monthly utilities – HKD $1,808 (USD $232)

Learn more about studying in Hong Kong

Looking for more information about Masters study in Hong Kong? Our detailed guide covers everything from university rankings and courses to fees, funding and applications.

Working whilst studying

International Masters students are allowed to work in certain circumstances, provided they’re studying for one academic year or more.

You can take part in an internship (pain or unpaid), as long as it’s closely related to your studies and approved by your university. It shouldn’t be any longer than a third of the duration of your course.

On-campus, part-time work of up to 20 hours a week is also permitted. International students can also work without restriction during the summer months (1 June to 31 August).

Further information

By now you should have a decent idea of the practicalities of student life in Hong Kong, as well as an impression of its vibrant culture, landscape and cuisine. There are a few more things to read up on before packing your bags for Hong Kong, though.

Health insurance

Most universities in Hong Kong require international students to take out a health insurance policy, valid for the duration of their stay. Some institutions have their own health insurance plans that you can enrol on, or you can opt for a policy with a private insurance company.


Opening a bank account when you arrive in Hong Kong is you want to avoid unnecessary international transaction fees. The process for this is fairly simple – you’ll usually need to bring the following documents with you to a local bank branch:

  • Your passport
  • Student visa
  • Student ID
  • Proof of residence

The Hong Kong dollar (HKD) is pegged to the US dollar, which means that it enjoys a stable exchange rate. ATMs are widespread across the territory, with cash and card accepted in most places.


Hong Kong is rightly proud of its world-class public transport system, which is the cheapest and most efficient to travel around. The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is comprised of underground, overground and tram networks, while an extensive bus system covers most of the territory.

Otherwise, taxis are a reliable and relatively cheap way of getting from A to B, particularly late at night. Ferries link the harbour and Hong Kong’s islands.

Search for a Masters in Hong Kong

Ready to start looking for your ideal study abroad opportunity? Browse and compare Masters degrees in Hong Kong on

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Last updated: 27 November 2023