HKU International Affairs Office

Arrival Advice

Resources and Support

Arrival Advice

We understand that arriving in a new country can be an overwhelming experience, especially if it is your first time in Hong Kong. Here you can find all the necessary information and tips to make your arrival as smooth as possible. We want to ensure that you feel comfortable and confident as you begin the journey at HKU, and we are here to support you every step of the way. So, take a deep breath and let us guide you through the arrival process. Welcome to Hong Kong, and welcome to HKU!


Preparation before arriving HKU

Arrival and Semester Dates


HKU University Number and Portal Account

  • Exchange students will receive a 10-digit HKU University Number (UID), Portal ID and PIN details through email around 1 to 2 weeks before semester starts.
  • Visiting students will receive UID, Portal ID and PIN directly from your host faculty.  


Student Registration Procedures

  • Please click on the following links for detailed information about Online Master Registration and Student Card Registration.

Exchange Student Registration for New Admissions 2023-24

Visiting Student Registration for New Admissions 2023-24

Navigation Path: Student Registration and Student Registration Card


Online Master Registration

  • After obtaining your HKU Portal Account details, please complete Online Master Registration immediately.
    Navigation path: HKU Portal > My Page > Self-Service > Master Registration
  • If you have not completed Online Master Registration, you will not be allowed to do course enrolment and your Student Registration Card will not be issued.
  • If you do not have a contact number in HK, please leave it blank and update it once you have it.  


Course Enrolment

  • You are only eligible for the courses that are stated in your admission letter, you are not enrolled to those courses. All students MUST enrol for courses during Course Selection (only available in Semester One) or Add/Drop Period (available in Semester One and Semester Two).
  • After the completion of the Online Master Registration on the HKU Portal, you may preview the optional course list and corresponding timetable of your curriculum on the Portal.
  • Course enrolment is completed online via HKU Portal. You will only be allowed to enrol into courses during the schedule of Course Enrolment Period. For detailed instructions, you may refer to Quick Guide on Course Selection and Enrolment.
  • The approval of courses is on a case-by-case basis / subject to the Faculty's approval. Actual enrolment is subject to class availability, courses offered in the first semester, quota and class schedule. Students are required to check the course pre-requisites before selecting courses. 


Things to know before arriving Hong Kong

Arrival Guide in HKU and Hong Kong

Both the Arrival Kit and A Glimpse of Student Life @HKU provides practical information that you will need before arriving Hong Kong! More information can also be found in CEDARS New Non-Local Students website.


Travel to Hong Kong

  • Students are advised to book their return tickets after they have received a confirmed examination timetable, which will not be released until 1–2 months before the assessment period.


Arriving HKU and its Student Residences

  • The quickest way is to take the Airport Express from the Airport to Hong Kong Station and then take a taxi.  
  • You may wish to look for Chinese addresses of your residences beforehand and show it to the taxi driver. HKU Campus Map could come in handy!


Applying for Hong Kong Identity Card

  • Only students who are going to spend more than 180 days in Hong Kong are eligible to apply for a Hong Kong Identity Card.


Medical Care in Hong Kong

University Health Service (UHS)

  • UHS provides free primary health care to full-time registered students. Certain medications, preventive services and other items are charged at cost. Dental service is also available at a notional charge.
  • You may refer to the medical benefits for incoming students from overseas for details.


Public Clinics and Hospitals in Hong Kong

  • When specialist care and hospitalisation are required, you can consider using the services provided at public clinics and general wards of government hospitals.
  • Non-local students who will be spending less than 180 days in Hong Kong must present their valid passport / travel documents and student visa in order to enjoy subsidised services and hospitalisation in government clinics/hospitals.
  • Non-local students who will be spending more than 180 days in Hong Kong must present their HKID card in order to be eligible for subsidised services and hospitalisation in government clinics/hospitals.

For details of the fees charged by government hospitals, please visit (Services Guides Fees and Charges).


Health and Travel Insurance Plan

  • Health and travel insurance is optional but highly recommended.
  • Students may arrange insurance at their own cost in order to meet their needs for the duration of their studies in Hong Kong.
  • The coverage should include provisions for emergency evacuation, rescuer's expenses and repatriation. If you plan to travel outside Hong Kong, you should make sure that your insurance policy covers those destinations as well.
  • Registered students are entitled to HKU Group Travel Insurance (Portal login required to read the details) for travelling overseas on activities which are officially arranged by the University.


Octopus Card

  • Octopus Card is a reusable contactless stored value smart card that is commonly used in Hong Kong for transportation, convenience shops or even university applications.
  • Please check with the customer service counter staff in the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations and your Faculty Office for whether you are eligible for an Octopus Card under the “MTR Student Travel Scheme” to enjoy the discounts on transportation.


Packing checklist

Remember to prepare for the following items before your departure.

1. Documents for applying HKU Student Card (Student Registration Card)

  • ID Photo for your HKU Student Card
  • Copy of your Passport Information Page & Visa Label (affixed onto a blank page of passport) / HKID

2. Latest Official Transcript

  • It could be useful for your course enrolment.

3. Costume that represents your home country or home institution 

  • This could come in handy when there are cultural events in HKU.

4. Your Gym Card

  • Bring along your gym card (issued by sports institution or home institution), you could be exempted from taking gym training class before getting HKU gym card.

5. Petty Cash

  • You may need some cash to pay for train and taxi fares when arriving Hong Kong, prepare some HK dollars with you before your arrival.


  • Orientation for Non-local students will be held on the week before the semester starts. Please refer to CEDARS website for updates, online registration is required. 
  • You are strongly encouraged to join the Orientation Day to help familiarise yourself with studying in Hong Kong and at HKU, and also to get to know some new friends!



For items not covered here and frequently asked questions about living in Hong Kong, please refer to FAQ for further details.