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Singapore vs Hong Kong

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YF
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Singapore vs Hong Kong

Postby YF » Thu, 11 Aug 2005 4:09 am

I am starting to plan my travel trip and I will spend a majority of time in either HK or Singapore. I am looking to possibly move there when I finish my PhD but would like to take a bit of a working vacation to see how it suits me.

That said I was hoping people might give me some of there experiences and opinions on HK and Singapore. I fully expect some generalizations here and don't mind -- hopefully this wont upset too many people. Funny thing about the brain: it is BUILT for generalizations. What I am interested in are the specific cultural differences that I may encounter -- just "in the air" as it were. As a Canadian I notice distinct culutral differences between Canadians and Americans -- of course it would be a generalization to say Canadians are polite and friendly and americans are rude an obnoxious -- I know lots of Canadians who are the latter, and Americans who are the former -- never the less I do get the general feeling that Canadians are more polite and friendly, and this is the kind of think I am interested in hearing. If you are going to generalize, I guess so as to not start a flame war, say it with some tact at least. ie, insead of saying Americans are rude, one might say canadians are more polite -- see what I mean? :) Don't want to step on any toes, but I do want the hands on experiences.

As well how would foreigners be treated in HK in comparison? Since english seems to be widespread in Sinagpore would that make the adjustment easier or do most people speak english in HK as well? Also if anyone has any experience in academica in either I would love to hear from you.

Thanks guys (and girls)!
-Rob

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Postby Guest » Fri, 12 Aug 2005 5:58 pm

Hi there!

I am from Hong Kong and my b/f is British, we met in Hong Kong, so I pretty much have some understanding how white people will be treated over there.

English level- depends on where do you go. Of course CBD people speaks better English. But if you want to experinece the local culture, probably not speaking the local language maybe a bit of problem.
For the younger people, they tends to speak reasonable englsih, however, since our mother tongue is not english, the proficiency maybe varies.

Friendly?- depends, generally if you are not being rude or hostile, they are ok. But compare with Singapore, they are not as friendly.

The main difference between living in HK and Singapore is mainly the cost of living and living standard. Rent in HK is very high, it is v. cheap to me to live in Singapore (Condon). However, personally I think the food, transportation, clothing and alcohol are far cheaper in HK. Of course, it also depends on where do you go. Some westerner things Singapore foods is better and cheaper, am not sure about better or not, cheaper maybe since you can go to local market and local rest.. You may not be do the same since those local places in HK they don't speak much english.
But some area do have english menu (even they don't speak english well).

Treatment - I think pretty much same as in Singapore, people may treat you more friendly cause you are white, but people can also be rude to you cause you are white! So.. Same!

What else? hm.. can't think of anything at the moment. Feel free to ask!

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri, 12 Aug 2005 7:45 pm

HK looks not so clean, but nature around is real and amazing, ot like artificial SG. Quality western food much better, draft German beer two times cheaper.

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Keep it coming!

Postby YF » Fri, 12 Aug 2005 9:01 pm

Thanks for the reply guys (and girls) keep it coming, i'm listening!

I am wondering how hard it is to pick up chinese -- and which should one lof the two should one learn anyways? Anyone happen to know which one is used in academia. I have been dying to learn another language but I know myself well enough that I couldn't learn it in strictly vocational way.

I do enjoy experiencing other culture and pride myself in being able to assumulate myself into the local scene. I also think it would be quite interesting being the minority for once (to see both the good and the bad).

It was interesting to note (so far) that their didn't seem to be any major culutral differences between the two -- more like how you might find different provincial-level differences in culutue vs culutral differences between two nations such as USA and Canada. For the record, I am rather fond of my american neighbors although it is definetly fun to do some "american bashing" sometimes -- if you ever watch the simpsons or family guy you'll notice it goes the other way around as well and we canadians quite enjoy the back-and-forth banter!

Thanks for all your help!
-Rob

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 12 Aug 2005 9:33 pm

I'm not in academia but was involved at one point in building Singapore into a world-class education hub. Today INSEAD and the U of Chicago Graduate School of Business have permanent campuses in Singapore. Other leading universities with a presence in Singapore, mostly in the form of collaborations with the 3 local universities, include Shanghai Jiao Tong, Georgia Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Technical University of Munich, Technical University of Eindhoven, Stanford and the Wharton School of Business.

I don't know it this piece of information means anything for you, but offer it for what it's worth. As an academic I suppose you will want to work with top faculty and good students, and hopefully these exist in Singapore because of the presence of these universities.

All the best in your deliberations!

JJS

Postby JJS » Sat, 13 Aug 2005 12:01 pm

It is hard for westerner to pick up Cantonese (which they speak in HK), easier for you guys to learn Mandarin. If you think of living in HK, you need to learn a few Cantonese, esp. where do you live in order the taxi driver know where u going.

The taxi in HK is far far far much better than in Singapore, in terms of price, quantity, and knowledge of the places (which is quite unusual in Singapore). They do not ERP and peak hour charges. If you book a taxi it only cost you S$1 I think. But basically you do not need to book one as they are everywhere at anytime.

Regarding to academia, maybe "Wind in My Hair" is right in some point, but he/ she may not know too much about HK's eduaction.

I am not sure how many Uni in Singapore, but there are 7 local university and one University for part-time only. All these 7 local university also carry out evening course from cert. level to Master degree. Some faculty of these Univesity are well know and pretigeous. Maybe you can have a look at their website to find out more about it. Those Uni are:

Hong Kong University - as I know they are famous for Medicine, Law, Architecture

Chinese University of Hong Kong - they are famous for Business Studies, MBA, Medicine, Public Relations, Journalism, anything about Chinese i think

University of Science and Technology - Famous for Business Studies (quite well known), MBA, Engineering, Computer Science

Polytechnic University - It was a Polytechnic before obviously, they are strong in Engineering, Computer Science, Fashion design

Hong Kong Baptist University - Journalism, graphic design, Chinese subjects, Politics

City University - Conputer Science, Engineering

And there is another one not sure what is their englsih name, but I don't think you would miss anything with that one.

Anyway, some of these university also provide some distant learning programme from University all over the world.

I wasn't educated in Singapore, so not sure about their education system here. But I know those student who graduated from good university are quite bright.

Although WIMH said there are lots of other good university here, I am not quite sure how many of them are for their local people. It is because there are lots of overseas student in Singapore and if you look at the job market here in Singapore, they don't often ask for someone who has a degree.

If you are looking more international environment in school, maybe you should choose Singapore. However, lecturer and professor in Hong Kong are well known with good salary! But maybe the salary in Singapore won't be too bad as their University seems more like doing business in Asia and at the same time trying to give some education.


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