Chi Wah Learning Commons

Top 5 – Study Spots on Campus

February 19, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

I can only imagine two types of people sitting in front of the computer reading this post:

-          students who actually want to know this for future reference

-          and those who are reading this with narrowed eyes and raised eyebrows, daring me to come up with a list better than their own.

Now if you’re the latter, easy there. You probably study more than me, and I applaud you for that. But hey, you can never go wrong with extra suggestions, or confirmation that you already know best, eh?

So here’s my list, in no particular order, compiled by asking all my “bok jun” friends who more or less do nothing but study, bless their souls.

Lui Che Woo Law Library


Located on the first and second floor of Cheng Yu Tung Tower in Centennial Campus. I personally like the floor. Yes, the carpeted floor. It’s the kind that prevents shoes from echoing and annoying everyone in proximity. The place basically absorbs sound.

And since it’s the law library, there’re many law students here, whom are usually not too bad on the eyes, and the serious professional look on their faces as they flip through impossibly thick law books consistently reminds you to get back to work. Yup, you right there, daydreaming yet again and taking up a place in here when you’re not even taking a law course.

Oh and the view’s not too bad either. You can easily find seats with a close-up of Belcher’s. If you’re able to get back to studying long enough, you might be able to buy a place of your own there someday. No kidding.

Main Library

Aahhh yes, the main library, right next to life-saving Starbucks. The one with an awesome green roof (which is closed for the time being) and endless floors of studying space. I have friends who love the fourth floor, because very few people venture so high up and so it’s a lot quieter.

But the vast majority of HKU students haunt the third floor, where there are ample computers and VENDING MACHINES. Comfortable sofas are a favorite, and so are the very popular bean shaped portable tables. I have a nerd friend who explained her affection towards this study area is due to the chair height being just right so she can study all day long. And trust me, I’ve seen her at it. I think the bean shaped tables can recognize her by now.

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The second floor has a great number of study cubicles as well, but most of them don’t have power sockets, so if you need your laptop for readings and checking Facebook every now and then (don’t deny, we all do it), then you may have to hunt around for a bit on this floor.


The first floor is my favorite. Because there’s the AV and Reserve Collection zone a.k.a Paradise. I don’t know who else is watching Friends, but whoever you are, you are ticking me off. I can never start a new season from the first episode because it’s always borrowed. Oh wait, I’m talking about studying spots right. Sorry, got carried away there. Of course, you can study on this floor as well. And most of the study spots have power sockets, no worries.

I’m sure you’ve seen the occasional queue at around 11pm every night outside the Main Library. The library closes at 11pm, but there’s a section that opens afterwards until the next morning for the all-nighters (or those who have such intention but never manage to pull through). The areas open are the third floor study tables in the old wing next to the Collaboration Zone, as well as the little room right next to Starbucks which you enter through. The place reeks of coffee. I think that’s how the people studying there stay awake when theirs run out. The strong caffeine smell helps you to hang in there a little longer.

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For the people who can work under a fair amount of noise and bustling atmosphere. There’s almost always a queue in Starbucks and if you can take the constant chatter and forks tinkling as people eat their cinnamon danishes and blueberry scones, it’s a pretty good place to cram in a few notes. You’ll never run out of coffee, that’s for sure. Which also means you won’t nod off (but if you still do, it means your brain is on strike and you really need to sleep. There’s only so much one can take. Let it go.).

University Street


On the way from the SU canteen to the Centennial Campus as well as the floor above is lined with tables overlooking the harbor. You can eat there, drink your coffee, chat with friends, do group discussions when you fail to book a study room, and it’s outdoors. Again, there’s bound to be some noise, but if you’re not the kind to be bothered, the occasional fresh breeze and greetings from friends as they pass by may just be what keeps you awake and energized. But bear in mind that there’s no power source available. And you may not want to brave the unpredictable weather at this time of the year when this occasional fresh breeze might just freeze your fingers as well as your determination to study.

Chi Wah Learning Commons

It even has the word learning in the name. It’d be a shame if this didn’t make the list, eh?




Three floors and so many little turns and exits you’d think the place is endless. Yet it is full to the brim during finals season. There’re quiet study rooms, computers, bean bags, countless portable tables similar to the 3rd floor of the Main Library and a coffee corner on the first floor. The bean bags are a godsend. Too comfortable, I might say. And it’s easier to get food near the Learning Commons compared to the Main Library. There’s Bijas, Delifrance, SU canteen, Grove, Super Congee, and Starbucks. No wonder so many people camp here. It’s a shame it’s not open in the weekends (the first floor is only open until 1pm on Saturdays).

Yup, that’s the list for the top 5 places to study on campus. There are many other places which earned a fair number of votes as well, including the Oval in Knowles Building, the Music Library with her incredible view, the Education Library at Meng Wah Complex, computer labs in Haking Wong Building reserved only for Engineering students (don’t worry, I don’t have access either, and in no hurry to gain it), Global Lounge, and last but not least, one’s own room, which may or may not be located on campus.

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Here’s a big hKUDOS thank you to all those who bothered to answer my random questions on their study hideouts: Andrew Tan, Sean Lee, Seongjae Kim, Roy Kwon, Calvin Kim, Mindy Low, Karyn Chan, Ng Yee Ling, Lukasz, Donald Lam, Kenny Chow, Heng Choc and complete strangers I stopped mid-rush to their next lecture.

Hope the list helps and good luck studying!

- HJ Kim