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The Residence - Cornwall Street or Jockey Club House
The dorm of CityU may be a bit small and facilities is just enough. However, it is because of this 'packed' environment that creates lots and lots of fun among the residents. People like to gather at the open areas on the ground level every day and night; and share about their life, experience, learning, and every thing. It has become a tradition for students to gather every night, having a few beers, and partying together. Yes, you can drink at the Residence.
Jockey Club House is nearer to the campus as well as the mall and train stations. It is undoubtedly more convenient, and you don’t need to walk up the hill every time you go home. However, if you enjoy meeting people all the time, you may feel more happy to stay in the Cornwall Street Residence.
You should go to the Student Residence website and download a Resident Handbook before you move in to the dorm - http://www.cityu.edu.hk/sro. In the Handbook you can find a lot of things you need to know about the Residence. Other than that, you may find some other things below which are not mentioned in the Handbook.
During office hours
*Some students may not have their student visa ready when they arrived at CityU for the first time, and could not enroll as a student. However, you may still stay at the dorm provided that you could show your acceptance / offer letter to the Residence.
The first thing you have to do when you arrive at the Residence from the Airport is perhaps, checking in to your room. In normal office hour, i.e. 9 am to 5 pm, you can go to the Student Residence Office (SRO) located on the G/F of Hall 1 (Jockey Club Humanity Hall). You will need to present your passport and acceptance letter from CityU. Then you will be given a key card which would cost you HK$ 100 in case you have lost it. The next thing you may want to do is adding money to your key card for the air-conditioner operation. Then, you should be able to enter your room which you will be spending for 4 to 10 months, or more. If you are lucky, you will meet your roomie.
You may want to apply for the Internet connection if sleeping is not your top priority by then. Bring your laptop to the computer room located on the G/F on your building, and follow the steps I show you in the later part of this page. Usually it takes 24 hours to set up the connection after making the application.
During non-office hours
If you arrive before 9 am or after 5 pm, you will need to complete the check-in procedure at the Security Office (SO), just on the left hand side of the Student Residence Office. The only, but critical, difference between checking in at SRO and SO is that, you cannot add money to your key card for air conditioning at the SO...I had it one time it was in a hot summer day and I was running out of credit for my AC...and the security guard said to me "sorry it is not office hours, we could not do anything for you".
*If you cannot check-in to the Residence by the end of the first week of class, please notify the residence office in advance; otherwise they may give away your room.
One time, I forgot to bring my key card with me to the shower; which was outside my room. So I had to walk all the way to the Security Office, again filling in some forms as the standard procedure (just for asking them to open the damned door for me), and then go back to my building and WAITED for 30 mins for someone to open the door for me. The most interesting part was, I was not wearing anything but my towel. And when the guard came up, the first thing he did was not opening the damned door for me; but asking me to show him my student card...man, I am not much better than being naked, where did you think I had my student card hidden???
The Residence's address is:
Hence your mailing address will be: Your Room No, Your Hall No, Student Residence (or Jockey Club House), City University of Hong Kong, 22 Cornwall Street (or Tat Chee Avenue)), Kowloon, Hong Kong
Right now the main Residence is located on a hill. You can either go there from the Campus via the CityU Circle; or from the adjacent shopping mall Festival Walk. Either way is actually walking along the Tat Chee Avenue. It is expected that in 2012, after the completion of the new academic building, there will be escalators connecting the main campus and the Student Residence ;-)
There are 11 halls in the Cornwall Street Residence - 9 buildings precisely. It is about 120 sq ft / 12 sq meter in size for a double room, and 90 sq ft / 9 sq meter for a single room. All together there are around 200 single rooms for undergraduate and exchange students. So it is hard for those students to get a single room there, unless they have a very sound reason supported with evidence. Besides, you can also request your flatmates or roommates but better be quick. Again, nothing is guaranteed.
The halls are divided into undergraduate halls and postgraduate hall. Postgraduate hall (hall 8) is all single room. You can only live in hall 8 if you are applying for a postgraduate program of CityU, the one in your home school doesn't count. Every year, there is about 1% exchange students who are not offered on-campus residence.
All international students will be distributed among all the different halls, not together in one single hall. So you will have international and local students together in the same hall / floor.
Below are pictures of some typical rooms: (click to enlarge)
And here is a video of a typical double room for undergraduates. (courtesy of Damon Wong)
It is reported that Guestroom is no longer available at the Student Residence. You may try to see if you can ask a professor or non-academic staff to book a room for your guests from the Facilities Management Website ONLY.
If your family or friend is visiting you, you may apply a guestroom for them on campus for up to a few weeks. You can find information about price and size of the guesthouse in the facilities management website. Beware that it is better to arrange the booking at least 1 month in advance because there are not many guestrooms.
A guestroom cost about HK$ 300 per person per day. In Hong Kong it is a nice and cheap place for short-stay because the room is bigger than most of the hotel room there. Besides, you can also stay with your friend / relative / boy or girl friend together in the room. As you may know, you can not stay in another hall building after midnight; but the same rule does not apply to guestroom.
I have been staying in a few of them before, it is really nice! Its basically a hotel, with cleaning service, free air-conditioning, hangers, towel with CityU logo, toothbrush and toothpaste, toilet paper, stove, pillows and blankets, TV, bath gel and shampoo, bathtub...the only thing is you need to pay for the Internet - HK$ 50 a week. Anyway, lets see some pictures :) Again, click to enlarge
Summer or Winter Stay
Full time students can stay through the Winter break without additional procedure and cost. Only exchange students who are studying from Semester A through Semester B can stay through Winter break under the same condition.
Both full time students and only exchange students WHO are studying from Semester B through Semester A the following year (with a valid student visa throughout the period) may apply for Summer stay and pay additional cost. The application period usually starts at late March.
The REAL 'Halls at a glance':
Hall 1 - the first hall. Nothing special about it.
Even number rooms are facing the courtyard - party area. A little noisy
at night if you are not into that. Odd no. rooms facing the US$ 5
millions houses of the rich kids in HK with a huge private pool - sorry
the pool is not a part of CityU, although you may not see anybody using
it at all.
Hall 8 - Its for the postgraduate students...for some reason it is a bit dirty.
Hall 9 - The abandoned one as it is relatively far away from the rest. Either facing hall 7 or the hill. Hall 9 may be the quietest area since it is abandoned.
Hall 10 / 11 - open in 2011. Seems to be the most beautiful halls. There is a Sky-Park on the platform floor open to all, though these two halls are only local student halls at this moment.
You can find all the information, such as facilities, environment, fees, etc., from the Residence website - http://www.cityu.edu.hk/sro. Nonetheless, I have a few notes about the facilities in the dorm for your reference:
Homey Kitchen is the (only) cafeteria at the Residence area. It provides very cheap local style food and some western style afternoon-tea sets. The tea sets are pretty good; but all the other kinds of food are not very tasty. Well, where else at CityU you can find a US$ 2 fried rice? I think we cannot be too harsh on them because even at Homey Kitchen, they cannot use fire also.
After the opening of the Run Run Shaw Multimedia Building right next to the Residence in 2011, the Homey Kitchen is undergoing plan of expansion. But I just hope they can start using fire.
There are BBQ sites at the roof-top of the Amenities Building. Usually you have to book the site 2 weeks before if you want to make sure it is available. Booking information is located here: http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/cdfo/?lang=Eng&pageID=bbq
The pedestal provided to you contain a lockable drawer but you have to buy your own pad lock. I will suggest you to lock all your valuables inside it EVERY TIME when you are away from your room. I lost US$ 500 and another exchange student lost her laptop both at about the same time. Sometimes it is not your fault, because your roomie may accidentally forgot to lock the room when both of you are not inside the room (Based on true reported property lost story). That's why I said EVERY TIME.
You may have heard already that outside guests are not allowed to enter your hall building after midnight every day. Outside guests mean people who do not live in the same hall building; even if they are also residents of the whole Residence complex in another hall buildings.
Most security guards are not able to speak English. Nevertheless, security guards are generally friendly as long as you are not breaking the 'guest-rule'.
Besides, you can always find a luggage scale at the security counter of your hall building. You may need it when you pack your stuff before going back home by the end of the semester.
Telephone (IP phone) - The grey phone on one of the tables, shared with your roomie if you have one
Using the phone in your room to make telephone call is free, but you can only make local calls from it.
To make a call, press ‘0’ and then followed by the telephone number.
The telephone number of your room is an 8 digit number which is combined with the prefix "3442" and the other part found on the LCD screen of the phone. It is a 4 digit number. For example, if the LCD screen is showing "1234", the telephone number of your room would be "3442 1234".
If you want to make inter-call between student rooms, you don't need to press '0' and the prefix, just press "1234" will be fine.
If you make an external call with the phone, there will be no caller display on the phone of the other side. If you want to show your phone number, you may add "1357" before the telephone number. For example, if you want to call "2345 2345", you will start by '0' and then '1357 2345 2345'.
Everyone will have a mailbox on the ground floor of your hall. You need to buy a pad lock for it. If you want to receive mail from your friends or family, Just tell them your mailing address which is: (for bigger parcel, you will need to pick up at a post office. Visit the next part - The Neighborhood for more information)
Your Room No, Your Hall No, Student Residence (or Jockey Club House), City University of Hong Kong, 22 Cornwall Street (or Tat Chee Avenue), Kowloon, Hong Kong
You may have known already that
there is no bedding (bed sheet, pillow, pillow case...) and blanket
provided by the dorm (HK$ 150 rent for 1 day...).
The best place to buy bedding and other personal stuffs is at the
New Town Plaza in Shatin. It is the biggest mall in HK, and
technically contains every thing you need. Just go to the Kowloon
Tong East Rail Station (next to the campus), and aboard the train towards
Lo Wu. Get off at Shatin Station (2 stops from the campus) and there
you are. There are IKEA, Pricerite (a much cheaper version of IKEA),
and some other small shops where you can find your bedding and
blanket in great variety and low prices. IKEA and Pricerite would be
easier for you because the staffs there speak English. But most
importantly, you can also buy other things you need there like
towel, utensils, and many more.
For more detail about the railway service, please go to the Transportation section.
These are the assembly rooms in the dorm. Community functions are held inside. In the time of examination, they will become study rooms.
Students living in the dorm can book these rooms for partying or something in advance, at the Student Residence Office in Hall 1.
There are about 4 to 5 computers and 1 shared printer in the computer room (G/F) in every halls.
Not every common room has public bathroom. Common room is a place to chill and eat. On the resident floors common room also serves as a kitchen. Only that you cannot use fire in the kitchens. (Rumor has that drinking alcohol is forbidden in the common rooms on the ground floor of each of the halls starting 2014...)
There are only 2 fridges in each of the common room on each floor and they are shared by about 40 occupants. So, how much space you can have to store your food? You do the math. In addition, "food / drink missing" is very common.
In some halls, such as Hall 4 and Hall 7, there is fitness equipment in one of the common rooms.
You can view local channels and mainland China channels from the TV
List of the channels you can watch from the common room TV (Or if you have a TV in your room)
A map with locations of the facilities: (click to enlarge)
The Cornwall Street Residence is located on the small hillside of Kowloon. It is a quiet neighborhood, ideal for chilling and exercising. Kowloon Tong is in fact the richest area of Kowloon. Go to the roof of any of the halls and you will know why. From the Residence, you can see the magnificent skyline of Hong Kong Island. If you have time, go up the hill just behind the halls and you will have even better view of HK. To me, it is even better than the view from the Peak.
Every tourist guide of HK only tell you to go up to the Peak for a spectacular view of the city. To me, the best place to see the entire skyline in HK can only be found behind the Residence. At Lung Cheung Road right behind the Residence (see Maps section), there is a observation platform where you can see the entire skyline of HK Island, as well as part of Kowloon. There is where the skyline picture of HK in the tourist guides is taken, and 1 of the best places to see the firework in the Victoria Harbour sometimes of a year.
On the East of the Residence is a newly built luxurious residential area. Bring a check of US$ 3 millions and you can move to a 'much better residence'.
It is so interesting that on the West of the Residence / Campus, there sits the poorest residential area of HK - Sham Shui Po. Amazing? Well, this is Hong Kong.
In general, there are no rules in the dorm, apart from damaging anything and no smoking. Students are only obliged to observe the laws of HK - which includes no noise making after 11 pm. However, there is one major rule which can kill all the fun:
If you have any guest visiting you and you want them to go inside your dorm and your room, you must have them fill in their personal data at the security desk right at the entrance of your dorm. You are not allowed to have any guest stay in the dorm after midnight. Guest or anyone who is not living in the same hall building - including other students. Also you have to pick them up in front of the security guard. Therefore, no surprise visit for birthday party anymore.
Personally I cannot understand this rule. I understand that they are trying to maintain a safety and secured living environment at the dorms. But I don't know why even students / residents cannot stay after midnight in their friends' room. YET, if the student / resident is living in the same hall they can stay as long as they want - it is not making any sense there right? One of the reasons they are doing this is because they want to help keeping harmony between roommates. They thought that if one of the roommates having friends in his / her room all the times; the other roommate would be very annoyed given the fact that the room is pretty small there. However, I want to point out college students are all adults already. They (should) know how to settle their problems. If the roommate doesn't like what the other is doing, he / she will take action (even if they fight against each other, that's still cool. It is how young people work things out). If he / she decides not taking any action; that means they can tolerate it and they don't need the intervention of a third party.
You can find more about rules and regulations from the Residence website. However, you may realize that different halls have different rules. For example, gambling is not allowed from Hall 4 to Hall 9, but its cool in Hall 1, 2 and 3. Moreover, no boiling of water in any parts of Hall 4 and Hall 5 except right next to the sink, on a heater. Umm...
So I know picture speaks better than 1,000 words. Here is a video created by my friend (another international student; but I called her my friend because I was not yet a staff when we met) in 2007 ; pretty much the snapshot of the daily-life at the Residence. I still looked young in the video haha (courtesy of Brittany Kaiser)
Every student can enjoy free Internet service in their room, or by using the computers within the campus. To use the Internet service in your room, you have to follow a quite irritating procedure.
Activate your EID
For Windows Users:
Copy your port number and MAC address
For other system users:
You may refer to the installation guide included in the Residence handbook give to you when you check-in. If not, you can download the online version HERE
Apply for Internet connection
Every CityU student also enjoys a free email account, which is "your EID@student.cityu.edu.hk", For more information and to check email through www, simply go to the CityU Email website - http://email.cityu.edu.hk/
Anyway, if you still have problem about getting online from your room, just go to the Computer Services Centre on 2/F Academic Building and ask for help. Make yourself look like a computer dummy and the staff at the service counter will do every thing for you.
Blocking of Internet connection
Sometimes, the Computer Services Centre - CSC will block your Internet connection if you are suspected for illegal activity, or your system is being hacked. If so, you will have to report to the CSC that you have reinstall your OS and updated your virus protection software before you can connect to the Internet again. In extreme case, you will have to ask a CSC staff to check your system. By the way, the CSC will only inform you the blocking of your connection by sending you an email of notification after they blocked it......
Wi-Fi, free wireless Internet connection for CityU student
From the Fall semester 2007, students from all the universities in HK can enjoy free Wi-Fi service at the connection spots around HK. They are usually located in big shopping mall likes the Festival Walk, in coffer shops such as, Starbucks and Pacific Coffee, in 7-Eleven, and some government building. Looking for "PCCW" from the connection points identified by your computer, then open any URL from your browser. A PCCW connection page will appear. Simply following the login steps and you will be able to enjoy timeless free Wi-Fi service.
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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