ISOIS ▸ Final reports

Host country:
Host institution:
Mobility type:
Program:
Faculty:
Ac. year:
Semesters:
Study level:
Language filled in:

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hong Kong 2018/2019 Partner universities

Personal data
Mobility type:
study

Faculty at MU:
Faculty of Social Studies

Field of study:
Sociology

Level of study during period of placement:
Doctoral

Language used:
English

Summer/winter school?:
no

Period of studies:
autumn 2018

Period of placement (from-to):
2018-09-01 - 2018-11-30

Number of months:
3.00

Activities before my departure abroad
Where can information be found about courses taught at the foreign school?:
at the university website

Which documents were needed for acceptance at the foreign university?:
phd degree - agreement of the supervisor, diplomas, motivation letter, forms.

How far ahead did you have to organise your acceptance?:
probably the sooner the better, i started immediately after nomination

Did you need a visa?:
yes

Documents and materials needed for a visa:
form, offer letter, photography

Length of wait for visa:
the visa arrived several days before commencing my stay

Fee for the visa:
180 HKD

Studies
Did you have a Learning Agreement signed before your departure?:
yes

If not, why not?:

Before your departure did you know how your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
no

During your stay did you change your Learning Agreement?:
yes

When and how did course registration take place? Are there any restrictions? Possibilities of making changes?:
I don't know, I was a visiting phd student

Did you take any examinations at the foreign school?:
no

Does the school use the ECTS system?:
no

If not then explain how the credits there were recalculated into ECTS:
I don't know

Describe the teaching methods (theory, practical and projects) and assessment of students:
as far as I know there were frontal lectures and studios where students worked on team projects.

Quality of teaching in comparison with home school:
I can't compare

How did you receive study materials?:
N/A

Can you recommend an interesting course/subject/teacher?:
Courses by G. Bruyns and P. Hasdell should be good and inspiring

How well is the school library equipped?:
It is hard to compare so generally. The university has good ebook databases and I found some books from the field of architecture and planning that were not available at Masaryk university. On attachment student status it was not possible to borrow books home.

Availability of computers, internet access, level of software needed, requirements on notebook:
Having notebook is expected, there is eduroam coverage on campus.

Options from printing and copying:
As a 'mere' attachment student, I did not have a student account, thus I could not print as other students. However there is a possibility to print, quite costly, from Octopus card in th VA building. .

Does the foreign school/student organisation arrange special events for exchange students?:
yes

If yes then what?:
I don't know, did not apply to me as PhD.

How would you assess your integration with the local students (evaluation like in school from 1 to 5 with 1 as highest):
3

or describe in your own words:
The majority of peers (PhD students) are overloaded or only commute for consultations from Mainland. Therefore the possibilities to socialise on campus were limited, and mostly to non-chinese students who, if present, tend to stick together.

Practical questions on your placement
Where did you live?:
private accommodation, the university does not provide halls for attachment students, nor assistance for flat-searching.

Cost of accommodation - monthly:
768 EUR

Additional comments to the price of accommodation (as to what the price includes):
I was lucky to find room in a fully equipped flat, there were no additional costs, only deposit of one rent.

Describe the equipment. Tips for future students – what should they bring with them?:
Most importantly, not many things :) space is the rarest commodity in HK - and my room, still quite big by local standards, had limited options for both storage and movement.

Due to the higher costs of living and goods available in big packages it is worth filling the empty spaces in the luggage with practical items, such as shampoo, washing powder, etc.

Also, not many flats have the possibility to cook, better to check ahead.

How and how far ahead should accommodation be organised?:
the sooner the better probably. however, I got mine several days before departure - and some people even look for accomodation on site.

What are the catering options?:
there are canteens on campus, also it is quite common and affordable (for HK standards) to eat streetfood. It is worth making use of the abundant wetmarkets and cook at home - only chinese, not western style, that would be too expensive.

What are the rough costs of groceries (compare with Czech prices):
meals in canteen started at 25 HKD - about 75 CZK. Overal the food was more expensive (as everything), but still possible to get nearly to czech costs with cooking at home.

Transport to location of placement:
flight

Rough prices for transportation:
round ticket can be about 14 000 CZK

Tips for purchasing cheap tickets and other recommendations:
It is cheaper to purchase round ticket

What are the local transport options (public transport, cycling, on foot, rough prices):
Unless you live in the New Territories, bike is probably a very dangerous pursuit.
However, apart from endless traffic jams, the public transport (metro, buses, minibuses, boats, trams) works great, prices a bit higher than ours.

What kind of formalities have to be arranged before arrival, for example residence permit?:
All I needed to do for my attachment program after arrival was to meet my supervisor, get him sign some documents, and submit these to the Research office.

What health insurance did you use? (rough price, advantages, disadvantages, is it necessary to arrange insurance at the university other than your home (Czech) insurance?):
The university conditioned the stay by purchasing insurance that covers particular items and repatriation. I chose the cheapest, from Axa, it cost me 4900 CZK.

Did you have any experience with medical treatment abroad?:
no

Did you work during your studies?:
no, the visa does not allow that.

What are the conditions for working for MU students?:
not possible to work.

Tips for free-time activities:
Hong Kong is a perfect destination for hikers. Moreover, not even three months are enough for exploring the metropolitan area. It is worth going beyond advertised tourist destinations, frequent local restaurants and markets, take part in local events.

Some museums are free, the campus also offers a good choice of sports, there are free yoga classes in the city, etc. Hong Kong is not exactly a cultural or intellectual metropolis, but still, worth looking for events.

Financial support and expenses
Total grant from Centre for International Cooperation:
15000 CZK

Monthly grant in CZK:
5000 CZK

Number of supported months:
3

Total number of months:
3

What other sources did you make use of to finance your placement?:
5000 HKD/month from PolyU, my PhD stipend, savings

If you received another grant, state which and how much in CZK:

 
Total fees associated with enrolment at the university:
180 HKD

a/ amount of enrolment fee:
0 HKD

b/ amount of tuition fees:
0 HKD

c/ amount of other fees (which):
180 HKD

 
What was your average monthly expenditure?:
-0 HKD

a/ of which for accommodation:
6800 HKD

b/ of which for catering:
-0 HKD

c/ travel and recreation:
-0 HKD

Any comments to the average monthly expenditure:

Recognition of foreign studies at the home faculty
How many credits did you gain during your studies (in the system of the foreign school)?:
0

How many ECTS credits were recognised at MU?:
20

Did you know in advance which of your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
This was not applicable to my situation as visiting PhD student

What problems did you have with recognition?:
On my home department, I was not able to register a course for study abroad (FSS900 Zahraniční výzkumný pobyt) twice, so I had to change LA during the semester and there were uncertainities how to solve the situation.

Overall assessment
Assessment of personal benefit (1 = excellent):
5

Assessment of academic benefit (1 = excellent):
5

Evaluate the information and support provided by the foreign school (1 = excellent):
3

Did you encounter any serious problems during your stay:
no

What would you recommend to take with you:
-

What most surprised you at the partner university in a positive way:
the experience of having an office in Zaha Hadid's building :)
also the enthusiasm of the lecturers, inspirative environment of the School of Design dpt.

What most surprised you at the partner university in a negative way:
bureaucracy
the communication within the workgroups and with the department took place on Whatsapp and the organisation of the work on the department, meetings etc was therefore quite fluid, with many organisational changes and demands on instant communication.

Further comments: