|Live and Study Abroad • Hong Kong
Your professional guide for incoming and outgoing academic exchange; and living in HK.
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About this Website
If you did not know before, this Website, the Forum, the Facebook and Couchsurfing groups are the expansion of a Guide for international students and people coming to Hong Kong. Back in 2006, I was probably the first and only person in HK who had started a tailor-made, comprehensive orientation services for international students. The more time I had spent in helping students in adjusting life in Hong Kong and schools, the more I realized how useful and important pre-arrival and early-arrival information were to them. Hence, I considered it was necessary to create a Guide so that they could find out all the things they needed to know at once and at any time they wanted. As you may know most of the international students only arrive in Hong Kong a few days prior to school begins; online channel was the most effective and probably the only way I could meet them and deliver the information and resources. As a result, I had created and presented a survival Guide to Hong Kong online and developed a Facebook group to gather all incoming international students as early as 3 months prior to their arrival. Since then, the international students going to study in the City University of Hong Kong had a dedicated lighthouse which started functioning early enough to enable them making adequate preparation; and consequently, able to enjoy Hong Kong more than they had expected and more than any other students in any other schools in Hong Kong were able to.
Today, I have decided to expand this Guide to this Website which also included information for Hong Kong students leaving for overseas to study because I believe study abroad is something anyone who was born after year 2000 should do in their life. I enjoy supporting local people to go study abroad as much as I do for incoming people. I believe many local students and their parents embrace the idea of study abroad. I am not joking if you have heard about a recent report saying that some local parents were thinking of spending HK$ 30,000 to send their kids (at 4 years old) to a study-trip in the US for 2 weeks (xx Kindergarten, 2013). I am not going to judge about this case here; but I do want to ask one question: Apparently study abroad is very popular among local students and parents. How come I could hardly find any book or online material talking about study abroad specially for local Hong Kong students? I had indeed looked at all major bookstores in Hong Kong. All I could find were books about selecting the best universities in the US, UK or Australia. However, study abroad is not only about attending college overseas. Such as the example I have quoted; it can also be a 2 weeks trip or a year-long experience. To my surprise, there are thousands of books talking about this in other countries (You can just do a quick search on Amazon.com); but no one in Hong Kong has ever tried to publish just one book related to it.
Is it because there are already many private companies who can provide advice and service to local parents and students; and for sure many local schools also have their own programs that local students and parents think they can simply rely on other people when planning about study abroad? To a certain extent, I understand their thinking; but if they want to pick the right trip and make the most of the experience, they should start changing their mind.
Many local students and their parents may still consider study abroad as just another overseas vacation. Or it is just something their friends have done, so they should be doing as well. It might be true in 10 years ago, but with more and more people who have study abroad experience; you need to consider it is something more than just another vacation if you want to achieve more and become a better person by the end of the journey. You have to think and decide what is the best for you and what you should do during the trip. Not a salesperson / advisor from a study trip agency or even a staff from your school who may not have any experience in study abroad can tell you and decide for you.
By sharing my experience and knowledge here, I am trying my best to help local students and parents by gathering my and other international students' wisdom, and expanding the Guide to this Website; as well as the Forum and two online student groups; because no one is going to do it for them at least for now. After all, my ultimate goal is to encourage international collaboration through international exchange; and only that we can achieve world peace.
So now I hope you will enjoy and get what you have expected from the Website; and it would be great if you will join us together to share your knowledge and promote international exchange for Hong Kong and international collaboration together!
About ME / Disclaimer
Hi, my name is Lorencio. I enjoy helping people.
Since 2006, I have been spending a lot of time promoting and supporting international students and foreigners coming to live and study in Hong Kong. I have met thousands of people coming from all the 6 habitable continents around the world. I believe I am experienced in interacting with people from various cultural backgrounds. I have met hundreds of people coming from all North, East, South and West of Germany for example. I think it is fair to say that I am knowledgeable with cultural difference and able to appreciate it.
Some of the highlights of my past experience:
The first person in Hong Kong used online social networking to communicate with and unite all the international students of one of the universities in Hong Kong; and later turned that university to be the first one in Hong Kong used online social networking to communicate with all her international students by applied it in my job with that university.
Also the first person in Hong Kong who creates and implements tailor-made, versatile orientation activities to new international students to explore and see all the different sides of Hong Kong. They are referred to and adopted by other people and other schools nowadays.
Have interacted with over 3,000 incoming international students since 2006; who are coming from over 290 different schools in more than 70 different countries and regions from all around the world.
The International Students Union group on Facebook created by me has over 2,000 active international students members who are ready to support international academic exchange in Hong Kong and overseas.
An active member of the Association of International Educators (NAFSA) since 2010 - the official international organization based in the US for the promotion of international education. They provide member updates of international education trends and skills.
Therefore, I believe I can understand the special needs of individual international student / foreigner coming from a particular country; and at the same time I can give Hong Kong people some kind of insight about a particular country they are going to.
The origin of the Hong Kong Survival Guide
The origin of this Guide I created dated back to 2005 when I went to study in the Law school in one of the universities in HK. At that time, there was very few assistance to international students; and I had spent a lot of time adapting and figuring out how to get everything I needed there. One semester later, I told myself that I could not let the same thing happened to other international students in the university ever again. Therefore, I had joined a buddy program there and expanded my social network among all the international students. I escalated the buddy program to a higher level that I was not only there to answer questions from international students, but also I had united all of them and showed them the best of Hong Kong.
It was all those things I had been doing given me an opportunity to get a job in the international students office of the university later. Grabbing the opportunity, I further enhanced the services for international students there. My contributions were acknowledged by thousands of student; as well as their families, friends and teachers at home. Unfortunately, it was the most important party (aka the one who benefited the most from my work) who did not recognize my contribution at the end.
So in summer 2011, I quit my job. I hope my effort could inspire the people who are still there and carry on my passion; so that the international students there can still enjoy it the most when they are in Hong Kong.
My experience told me because of the limited resource they can find, foreigners in HK may not get what they really want in most of the time, and sometimes they come to me for advice. As more and more people come to me and tell me about the incompleteness of the available resources, my desire to build an online guide for foreigners in HK has become stronger and stronger. As a result, this Guide is created.
The idea of maintaining this Guide is that everyone can access to information here for free and support each other in the same goal in promoting international cultural and academic exchanges.
Why this Guide may be the best one about Hong Kong:
Because I really know about Hong Kong; maybe better than anyone else - I am the first and may still be the only person who has visited almost all the 7-ELEVEn shops (over 1,100 as at June 2017) in Hong Kong. As you may know 7-ELEVEn shops can be found in basically every where in Hong Kong, thus, what I have done is not only a record; but also the fact that I may have visited the largest area of Hong Kong that anybody ever have. So this Guide does not like many other guidebooks, it is a true personal experience. If you are interested about my 7-ELEVEn adventure, please visit my other website www.lorencio.us for more information.
My vision about this Website
I really hope this Website can help anyone who is coming to Hong Kong. I understand I could not answer all the questions; but with the help of everyone participating in our Forum and other online resources together, I am pretty sure this Website can make everyone's life much easier.
Hong Kong is ever-changing, not to mention that I am the only person who creates and maintains this Website; so it would be appreciated if you can understand that this website may not be able to provide all the up-to-date and accurate information at any given time.
This Website, the Forum, the Facebook Group and the Couchsurfing Group all together is called the City for Exchange or Incoming Outgoing Hong Kong. I think Hong Kong is a nice place for cultural exchanges; l which has been done successfully here for about 200 years already.
This Website is not like any tourist guide. It doesn't tell you everything about Hong Kong for a visiting objective. On the other hand, it is designed for expats. It is hoped that from a personal, first-hand point of view, this Website can be more useful than any other guide. So if you have friends coming to HK, tell them about this Website
If you have any enquiry about the Website, please feel free to contact me and we can talk about it. You are very welcome to give me any comment and feedback.
For enquiry or comment, please write to email@example.com
This Website, the Forum, the Facebook Group and the Couchsurfing Group, all together is known as City for Exchange and Incoming Outgoing Hong Kong ("IOHK"); are created by Lorencio H F M Shiu ("the creator"). Some of the images are borrowed from other websites on the Internet. However, it may be considered as an offence to extract any part or the complete part of this Website for commercial uses without the authorization from the creator of this Website.
IOHK is not affiliated with any authority or organization. Besides, the creator bears no liability for any lost, injury or bad experience of anybody resulting from any kind of relationship built between him or her and any of the people / places / activities mentioned in IOHK.
Me with my adorable students - A conclusion of my life at City University of Hong Kong
Writing at the End
Here are what my friends (the students) said (via Facebook) as a conclusion of my contribution to international student exchange:
This is unacceptable. Exchange students should be rallying outside the college of Business office and protesting!!! What the hell man has nothing changed @ City U, is everything just competition or a barrier for them? I see protests/rally for so much other things, dumb things and what YOU did is soo important and valuable, changing the lives of thousands of kids, and you get nothing? We should all be buying plane ticks over there to show em. ideally. Even if you dont get a mass rebellion, I personally think you deserve one
Lorencio - Thank you so much for your help when I first arrived. It was really useful. You have not said anything about the college of business since the incident happened and I know that. I'm sorry to hear it ended this way and CityU doesnt realize it. If there is anything that I can do for you, please let me know. All the best to you!
Alexander Azad Mizoory Beck
Lorencio, I have a bad memory with most things, but really without your help I would not have had so many friends so fast in HK, I felt like I already knew Hong Kong before I came thanks to your help, I had no help at all with getting here...and getting to residence before you came, I actually thought you were working for the university doing what you did, it wasn't until I came here that I realized it was for free, I feel those people should be ashamed of themselves, I don't know why they have it in for you, I'm so thank ful for your help and everytime I think of Hong Kong you'll be one of the first people I think of, I will come back again and again and I will say hi again and again. Thank you is the least we can say.
I have heard some local students talking about that last year, i think they are just jealous of you and your ability to organize events, which is some bullshit
Thanks for everything, let's hope there is a decent successor!?!
Fuckin city u is run by morons
Perhaps we can start a letter-writing or email campaign expressing our discontent with the establishment that did this to you.. do you have an email address or address??
Dear Lorencio, to be sincere when I was in HK I joined only few of the things you organized but what I can say is that I surely enjoyed them;)! You had all the right to do anything you did and if some "pricks" didn't like the effort you put... in it, well, I believe it's just because their lives are so boring and they don't have anything to do than complaining about others...! As I use to say to this people "FUCK OFF" and don't worry just keep being yourself and look forward and not behind:)! Let them burn in their fire! LOVE!!!
Claudia Monserrat Frias L
You are an amazing person, I feel so sorry and frustrated for what happened... All the best in whatever you decide to pursue now ;)
So sorry to hear about that...I hope that with the experience you gained through all those years you won't have problems with finding another job (maybe for different uni?) that you will find enjoyable. Take care
Too bad that the people at CityU seem to be so stupid! you did so much for us when i was there about 3 years ago. without you the whole group of international students would not have been so unified and we certainly would not have seen so much of hongkong! you showed us so many sites and also gave us so much information, it was just amazing! :) without you the exchange semester would not have been the same... i can also say that because i am now on another exchange semester in mexico and here actually nobody cares about us and it is so hard to see more of the city than the main spots, actually impossible without a person that spends time and shows one around, also places that are a bit hidden but however beautiful and worth to see! thank you so much for what you did for us!!! and shame on the people of cityu!
I'm interested to write a book about your HK adventures and secret places to visit. lets get in touch
I really appreciated all you organized for us. I think when I was there it was still your 'hobby' and you weren't employed by CityU yet. But seriously, I loved really getting to know the 'real' HK and I know because I knew a local there (you) before I came, I was able to make the most of my experience...and make friends with you and others sooner because of your events. Thank you for everything, Lorencio!
Skitz...Lorencio, great times. Best of luck to you in the future!
It cannot end this way..............It is really awful......college of business cannot do this............ :(
Sorry for that, and thank you for everything u did for us!
Lorencio, although we just worked together in INSO for buddy scheme years ago, I can feel your true passion in helping international students, and it should be appreciated and regarded. I can call the whole story simply office politics. They're just bored and making all these stupid mistakes. Every person should have freedom of speech, and not being restricted even by your employer. There's no way you can work there anymore. Even this case can be settled, you'll be still backfired by a simple mistake in the future. And I think this issue should be brought up to Prof Guo Way
Never forgotten lorencio! take care!
Thanks for all you've done man, without your info I would've been so lost here when I arrived... Take care!
Cheers lorencio! good luck for the future!
Jang Kin Man
Thank u so much Lorencio! Especially your introduction week for exchanges and even for me as a visiting student was incredible nice!! Good luck with whatever u do mate!
Wouter Van Der Kolk
Sorry to hear about this Lorencio, really appreciate all you have done!
Lorencio, thank you for being the AMAZING guy that you are! The CityU experience wouldn't be the same without you, and its the university's loss.. you rock ♥ xxxxxxxxxxxx
Not just international students are benefit from you! we buddies, the locals also appreciate what you did! thanks so much ;)
I am really sorry for you! Thank you so much for everything you did for us. You made it possible that all new exchange students had a chance to get together regularly and that we got introduced to HK. This was invaluable information for us. See you at your party!
Lorencio, thank u very much for giving me the opportunity to participate on the international day. although i experienced some cultural differences at that time, i am still appropriated for what you have done for all the exchange student. i can see your passion and you truly devoted to your work. so sorry for u. Gold will glitter anywhere...Good luck!
Thanks man for everything.... you're awesome!! all the best for the future :D
Same as everyone : you are awesome, my memories of HK THANKS to you are amazing, and honestly I'll remember you all my life through those memories and pictures shot back at the time. If anytime you want to come to Paris, don't hesitate one second to call me I'd be glad to welcome you !
Dang! I've been wondering since the fb group's shut down, and this is what it is. I definitely can say that the school will regret for the decision they made about you. Nobody can substitute you, I think. Even though I was not that much involved to those activities you created without living in residence hall, still I could feel how you care all of us. I still remember you told me that you are the only one at cityu who care "visiting students." Warm wishes for you and your future:)
Stephanie Masako Chiang
I'll never forget you! keep your head up. on to better things now lorenzio, more rewarding. come take a vacation in hawaii!!!
We will never forget you and the lots of help!! add London and Budapest to the list :)
Not smart of CityU, the events were a very important part of the cityu experience, especially to get to know people. Good luck with your future endeavors! And thanks for the good time
Philippe Lefebvre Duquette
As Nuria said,
I'm confident you will find a good job where your devotion and qualities
will be more appreciated. As I understand, for City U, reputation and
the brand name of an institution is more important than the well being
of its exch...ange students... However, we all know how you helped us by
answering all our questions on-the-spot and helping us meet each other
by organizing original activities. Thus, in my opinion, you, as an
individual, contributed more to our overall exchange experience than any
other official department or association of the school altogether.
Lorencio, when I read your lines I feel very sorry for you
and much more sorry for CityU. They are so narrow minded and just don't
get the point. They don't know anything about the great efforts you made
for this school.
Thank you for everything! Without you I wouldn't have seen a crazy American drinking snake blood - and this is still one of my best stories about HK ;-)
Lorencio, I am sad to learn about your falling out with CityU. The university has lost a very valuable person. You, however, have not lost the most important part - a wide network of people from across the world who know what a great person you are. You were a great help to all of us. Let me know if you ever drop by Montreal.
like everybody, I am sorry to hear
this unfortunate news Lorencio. I remember the excitement I had the
summer leading up to my studies abroad in Hong Kong. However, I was met
with a lot of stressful matters that was new to me. This included... my
visa, registering for classes, and how I'm going to find and navigate my
way around a new city in a foreign country!
Keryn Jenefer Roberts
Hi Lorencio, sorry to hear about your troubles with City U. Politics at universities are deep and hard to navigate and I am sorry to hear that you have been affected so negatively by them. Your hard work is not in vain and I am sure that everyone is so thankful for the amazing experiences you organised for us to go on. I know that personally my time in Hong Kong would not have been as amazing without all the trips you organised. Take care and I hope that another amazing opportunity comes along soon. Keryn
Thanks for sharing this with us Lorencio, surely CityU is doing a huge mistake!
Lorencio- I am truly sorry about what happened. You have been great and everyone appreciates your hard work! I don't think the experience for the international students will be the same w o you!
What ever doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Lorencio, this is a big loss for CityU, i would recommend CityU back home just for the good harmony among students, but since your activities no longer will exist they might as well attend any school in Hong Kong. Hope they will realize this someday, and I personally want to thank you for this year you have given me and i never will forget you, you will do good without them, they wont without you!
Lorencio- You ARE CityU. You are almost a mascot or personified real life person that represents the international experience one can have at CityU. You have helped hundred of students have a better experience on their exchange and I for one appreciate you and your efforts! Good luck for the future!!!
I do wish you stay in Hong Kong.... i am so sorry this has happen to you... i just don't understand why they don't get it that you were just making our exchange life a little easier... i don't think they understand how hard it can be to be ...in a foreign country without anyone to depend on other then our selves... you have been the rock we all needed I think I am speaking for all the exchange students... you are an amazing person thank you for being that rock for us
Wish you the best Lorencio!!
Caroline De Jong
I'm sure after quitting your job you can go couch surfing for a couple of years. You made so many friends by taking care of us. Thanks Lorencio! I appreciate everything you did for us.
Thanks for everything this semester and last, Lorencio. You helped make my time here a really positive experience. All the best to you and your future endeavors!!!
No one ever forgot you, although you might have forgotten me, some one will need to fill your shoes, or city-u will lose transfer programs. I can say you were one of the few good friends I made while there. they dont know what an asset they have given up.
Lorencio - i could never forget you! you definitely made my hk experience better than it would have been just with the school. sorry to hear that your cityu experience ended this way. let me know if there is anything i can do to help.
Lorencio, you have done a great job and I am very grateful for the activities and excursions you have organised. I am sure it helped most of us to have a smooth start and quickly meet friends. I am sorry that your work with the uni ended th...is way and hope that you'll keep your enthusiasm and energy for the new tasks to come. However, I am not sure if the whole issue should be discussed on facebook because the reputation you give the business department, based on your own experience, may affect the view of students and how they report back to their home university about CityU.
Oh gosh, there is so much to say, but I don't know what I should actually say. First of all, you should take comfort in the fact that if these college bureaucrats in the College of Business where really "hot snot," they would really be runn...ing successful businesses instead. Most of them have probably retreated into the bowels of academia where the power that they would not get in real life constantly feeds their ego. (if they want to hunt me down, so be it) If you think that is bad, I have said far worse about colleges and such in my past, and I have had my own disputes with some of my university bureaucracy at home. Fortunately, I also have enough allies and connections to help me too. Well, anyway, I very much appreciate what all you have done here. You made coming to hk so much easier than it could have been. I have even given the link to your website to other people because it is so good. When I was deciding which program I was going to do, a friend of mine put me in contact with someone who had already been. This person was very complimentary of his entire experience and also mentioned how helpful you were. I will not be able to look future students from home in the eye and tell them that. I wish you the best on your future, and I am thankful that I chose to come to CityU in the Spring of 2011 and not a day after.
Lorencio You. Tha. Bombbbbbbb! Cheers for all your help in HK man wouldn't have been the same without you.
Lorencio this is a absolute travesty! you did so much for me and everyone else and I don't think I would have enjoyed my stay in HK as much if it wasn't for you organising all the trips you did! I hope you are well and CityU realise what they have lost.
Good times having you around, man. Hope someone else steps up to your plate, but your shoes will be hard to fill.
It was awesome having you there, Lorencio. I'll miss the 7-11 photos, too!
Khor Yhuen Zhuen
Appreciate your effort. Thanks! You really didn't have to do all of that, but you did! :)
You'll always be the best at what you do in our eyes! They're missing out! I wish you the best of luck wherever else you go next! ♥ See you sooN!!!
Lorencio, I'm sad to hear you have to go. Without you, the HK experience will not be the same!
Ur the man lorencio! thanks for everything and hopefully i can visit you soon in HK!
Hope everything works out for you Lorencio! Definitely appreciated the friendship during my stay at CityU.
Sad to hear about this Lorencio..those were certainly amazing stuff that you did for the exchange population. May life lead you on to greater things :)
Man thats ridiculous! Truth is CityU is one of the most rigid and dehumanized institution Ive ever seen (and note that I live in post-communist country!). As I told u on charity event, we can do a move for u. But as u said u r too tired then I can just say Lorencio u did awesome job. U really help people and help me to make this exchange the time of my life. Thank You! And if u ever around Poland/Turkey/Scotland or whatever country I will be at that time Give me a shout!
Hey Lorencio, sorry to hear about this whole mess. Keep your head up. Even though its been a few years, I still remember everything that you did for us and it was very much appreciated. Good luck with all your future endeavors!
Lorencio for President!!! (not sure for which country but that'll be worked out later...)
Lorencio - its been 3 and a half years since i left hk, but im pretty sure my syracuse university crew from fall of 2007 would extend our deepest sympathies. enjoy the 7-11 carlsberg beer and make sure you keep fighting the good fight in LKF and wan chai.
Thank u for ur effort! i still miss everything in HK..hmm
So sorry to hear about the way things went for you, Lorenzio! You did the most wonderful job, there's no disputing that, and should you want some protest voiced by international students, I am certain you will have every single one of us to back you up. Other than that, I wish you all the best for the future, and that your days left at CityU may not be too horrible. Thanks for all the good banter!!! xxxx
Sucks it had to end up this way, because of some people not grasping everything u have done for us, international students. Thanks for everything Lorencio.
On your side all the way man. I know you'll find success wherever you settle. Thank you for making my Hong Kong experience better than I could have ever imagined. You could not be replaced in a million years and I thank you. Good luck Lorencio!
I'm sorry to hear that this happened to you. I know we didn't get close while I was there but it was always great when I saw you around. Your such a great person and I'm sure things will turn around for you soon. after all you have all of us friends if you need anything. and thanks for making this page. it'll help me keep in touch with everyone and its nice to stay in touch. thank you for all that you've done for all of us. :D
I'm so sorry to read that. Thank you for everything again. Wish you the very best.
Soohyun Summer Kim
Hey whats up lorencio! I still miss a lot of things in hk !! and whenever i think back about hk i really feel thankful to the buddy frenz that helped us settle down. And of course u toooo :) thanks for ur effort, i really mean it! If u ever need my help in korea i will always be there ;) wishes u the best lorencio !!!
Hey dude...~~ i wish you all the best and hope we can have some beers in HK~i m going to HK for ur fairwell~~
It is so sad to hear this!!! I hope things from here on leads to better things! =D
Ares Criado Ruibal
Lorencio!! No sabes la sorpresa que me llevo por lo ocurrido!Y lo mal que me sabe!Sin duda todos los estudiantes que hemos estado en CityU sabemos todo lo que has hecho por nosotros, y eso es invalorable! Sin duda que es una decision poco afortunada. pero estoy segura que la vida te dará algo mejor, almenos que te agradezacn todo lo que haces. Mil gracias por todo y por compartir esta vivencia tan dura. Estoy instalada en Barcelona, so, whenever you like, here I'll be. I wrote in Spanish, I hope you like it and, most important, understand everything, right?! ;) Wish you best. Thank you again, Lorencio!
Lorencio, first of all thank you so much for all you did for us, at least from my experience it was great to have someone caring for us to have such an easy way to go through this new experience which wouldn't be the same at all, without your help! I will never forget what you did for us, because HK experience really changed me... I think you have to keep your good memories and set new goals, you dont deserve to stay in a place where they don't appreciate you enough! I do know what you are talking about bc since I got back home i'm the coordinator of the activities for exchange students at my home university and it's always so frustrating when you can't help as much as you would like to, or the people who is in charge (and over you) can't understand what exchange students really need to have a better experience... I'm sure you will find some new job where they understand better all your effort!!! At least you must know that the exchange students who were helped by you, do understand it!!
That's the end. Thanks for reading!
August, 2017 (Version 6.0);
since January 01, 2007
Best viewed in 1024 x 768 resolution; IE 11 / Safari / Chrome / Firefox - By Lorencio H M Shiu; all rights reserved MMVII - MMXVII
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