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Melanie Woo

Communications & Marketing Assistant, International Co-op

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a Hong Kong banner depicting the island and food

"Vision is perhaps our greatest strength... it has kept us alive to the power and continuity of thought through the centuries, it makes us peer into the future and lends shape to the unknown." - Sir Li Ka-Shing, Hong Kong Businessman

Hello! Foon ying dai ga lay lum Heurng Kong!

Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) 

Discover Hong Kong. Discover Asia's world city, where the awe-inspiring attractions are embedded with culture and history and where there is a diverse contrast between city skyscrapers and lush greenery. Labelled as a shopping haven, Hong Kong boasts one of the most unique shopping experiences in Asia - from product-laden malls, kitschy boutiques to traditional shopping districts and street markets, there's almost nothing you can't get! Indulge in the culinary delights and embrace the fast-paced, city-life that encompasses this dynamic city!

Int'l Co-op Students' Experiences in Hong Kong

"Working in a new society, environment and culture in Hong Kong has allowed me to become fully immersed in an Eastern culture that I was not entirely familiar with. By accepting a new adventure, it has allowed me to see the vibrant city from an insider's perspective. My view of life and purpose has changed because of this opportunity. The world is a whole lot bigger than I had imagined."

Yat Li, Communication Graduate
The Peninsula Hong Kong

Working in Hong Kong

Below are some points and cultural tips for you to be aware of when adjusting to a new culture and immersing in your Co-op work term. The following information is from the Kwintessential and Now Health International websites.

  • Greetings: A person should be addressed by an honorific title and their surname. If they want to move to a first-name basis, they will advise you which name to use.

  • Shaking hands: The handshake is rather light. During the greeting, many Hong Kong Chinese lower their eyes as a sign of respect.

  • Attire: Generally, it is formal business attire, unless the workplace states otherwise.

  • Punctuality and TimeYou should arrive at meetings on time. If you are detained, telephone and advise the person you are meeting.

  • Hours: A six-day week is common in many corporations

  • Hierarchy: When meeting your Hong Kong business associates, allow the most senior person in your delegation to lead the group and be introduced first. Decisions are usually made at the top of the company.

  • Business Cards: Are considered significant amongst the business practices. Cards should be received with both hands and studied to appreciate the design. This task, which may seem unnecessary in Canada, will be regarded as proper business conduct in Hong Kong.

Past Co-op Employers from Hong Kong

The following are some past Co-op employers that have hired SFU students. Check with the International Co-op office for other previous employers.

  • Hong Kong Science and Technology parks
  • City University of Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Design Centre
  • Hong Kong Bank of Shanghai
  • The Peninsula Hong Kong
  • HSBC
  • Bank of China
  • Hong Kong Skytech International Trade Co. Ltd. 

Financial Assistance

Hong Kong University BC Alumni Award

This award is available for the Spring semester to Co-op students working in Hong Kong. 

Interesting Facts

  • The city's name, Hong Kong, means Fragrant Harbor
  • The official name of Hong Kong is actually "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region"
  • Hong Kong has more Rolls Royce's per person than any other city in the world
  • Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers in the world
  • The Regent hotel in Tsim Sha Sui has been designed so that the dragons can pass through and feed at the harbour. There is a fountain to attract them and huge glass windows to allow them to pass through
  • Hong Kong has one of five Disneyland theme parks in the world
  • Spitting used to be common practice in Hong Kong, until the 2003 SARS outbreak. Doing so now will result in a fine
  • "You can literally pee over Kowloon" at The Peninsula Hotel where there are washrooms on the top floor of the hotel
  • A favourite winter warmer in Hong Kong is snake soup, which is considered somewhat of a gourmet dish
  • Like tea? Like coffee? Why choose? In Hong Kong, you can have them mixed together in the same cup. Known as Yuenyueng, the drink mixes two-thirds Hong Kong-style milky tea with one third coffee 

Places of Interest

Travelling and exploring is part of the co-op experience! Below are some attractions and sights that are well-known and breathtaking. For additional attractions, please visit DK Travel, here.

  • Hong Kong Museum of Art
  • Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Victoria Peak
  • Lantau Island
  • Ocean Park
  • Water World
  • Middle Kingdom
  • The Central District
  • Lamma Island
  • Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Sha Tin)
  • Hong Kong Space Museum

 

Beyond the Blog

  • Interested in pursuing an international co-op work term? Find out more on the International Co-op website.

  • Read about Yat's Hong Kong adventure and experiences about adapting to different cultural and professional norms and standards to succeed in his placement.

  • SFU Co-op students featured in Hong Kong news! Read all about it here.

Information for this article was taken from the websites below:

Joi Ghin!

Disclaimer: International Co-op does not claim to be experts on the topic above. Given the complexity of the topic and the difficulties faced when generalizing a country, we understand that you may disagree with some of the content posted.

About the Author

Melanie Woo

Communications & Marketing Assistant, International Co-op

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