HEALTH AND SAFETY
Your first few weeks in Hong Kong may be hectic and confusing. During the term, manage your time and finances wisely to avoid unnecessary stresses (or distress). Take some time to explore Hong Kong, experience the culture, and keep in touch with your family back home. You may also participate in student activities, and discover new interests to make the best of your time in Hong Kong.
You are encouraged to consult professional counselors, who are available on campus, should you experience any of the following:
- Emotional instability, depression or anxiety
- Interpersonal tension or conflict
- Maladjustment to University or campus life
- Unsatisfactory academic performance
- cohol and/or drug abuse
- Eating disorders
FAITH AND RELIGION
Religious freedom is protected and guaranteed under Hong Kong's Basic Law. While most of Hong Kong's ethnic Chinese adhere to traditional Chinese faiths such as Buddhism and Taoism, there are numerous other religions in the territory that contribute to its cultural diversity. These include Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism, amongst many others.
The below places of worship are the closest locations to HKUST for the respective faiths:
Being able to adhere to diet-specific preferences or needs is an important part of staying physically and mentally well when you are living in a new environment. While it may take some time for you to adjust to what is available for your dietary needs in Hong Kong, it is possible as long as you give it a little effort and are open to a little bit of compromise.
Halal certification is granted through the Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong.
A list of the certified restaurants published by the Hong Kong Tourism Board is available here.
The Va'ad Hakashrut of Hong Kong (VHHK) supervises the strict kashrut of the Jewish Community Center, including the restaurant and the Koshermart.
More information from the Jewish Community Centre of Hong Kong is available here.
FOOD ALLERGIES / INTOLERANCE
The best way to avoid an allergic reaction to food is to avoid that food. Ask the food provider about the ingredients used to make the dish, review the ingredient labels on packaged foods, or eat only what you prepare yourself.
If your food allergies or intolerance can lead to life threatening symptoms, we advise you to be vigilant when eating out, as the possibilities of cross contamination in food preparation facilities can sometimes be unavoidable. In addition, you should be aware that different countries have different food labeling laws, which may require products to list only the major items or not require them to list any ingredients altogether.
When traveling to a place where you are unfamiliar with the local language, you should carry a card with you that describes your food allergy/intolerance and its resultant symptoms. This card should be in the local language, so that it can be shown to eateries to clearly communicate the details and severity of your allergy/intolerance.
While social drinking is acceptable, we strongly discourage excessive drinking to the point where it impairs your judgment.
The legal drinking age in Hong Kong is 18. Premises serving alcohol may perform ID checks. In such cases, you will have to provide a government-issued identity card stating clearly your date of birth, such as your passport or HKID.
Smoking is hazardous to your health. Hong Kong law prohibits smoking in most enclosed areas, including restaurants, karaoke boxes, malls and some bars; as well as in most public outdoor areas, including public beaches, swimming pools, transport interchanges, escalators and university campuses. As such, HKUST is a non-smoking campus.
Any person who smokes or carries a lighted tobacco product in a statutory non-smoking area will be fined up to HK$1,500.
More information on the policy of non-smoking campus is available here.
Hong Kong laws regarding the enforcement and penalties for narcotics may be different from that of other countries. You should pay attention to these. In Hong Kong, the below are considered offences and are liable for conviction:
- Trafficking a dangerous drug (includes selling or distributing a drug)
- Manufacturing a dangerous drug
- In possession of, or smoking, inhaling, ingesting or injecting a dangerous drug
- In possession of any pipe, equipment or appartus fit and intended for smoking, inhaling, ingesting or injecting a dangerous drug
- Cultivating any plant of the genus cannabis or opium poppy