Before I came to Pittsburgh for grad student, someone told me there's nothing to do here. And I would freeze to death.
Well, it's certainly different from Hong Kong. But it's a great city. It's medium sized, and you can find a bit of everything, without the craziness of big cities.
First off, CMU has a diverse student population, with students coming from every parts of the world. I haven't counted, but I'm sure my friends come from more than 20 counties. (Just counted, it's roughly 25!)
Pittsburgh has a fantastic football team (Steelers) and an ice hockey team (Penguins). Ahem, and a baseball team, the Pirates. Sorry to say, but the Pirates hasn't been doing that well. Yet, I have only been to Pirates games. Their tickets are cheap.
Whoever says Pittsburgh is cold lies. Don't listen to him. Or her. I have traveled to other cities in the states that are much colder. Try those cities north of Pittsburgh closer to the lake, and you'll know what real cold is! And of course there are even colder ones further north. And it actually doesn't snow that much in the winter. But I never have to shovel snow.
The nicest thing about Pittsburgh is perhaps its cheap housing. As a grad student, I could have afford to buy a house. Though I didn't. And I regret. Many of my friends bought those. Good investment indeed. The Pittsburgh housing market wasn't affected much at all in 2008. People here really buy houses to live in them.