Incoming Exchange Programme

Entry Requirements

1. What are the entry requirements for applying HKU exchange programme?

To apply for HKU Incoming Student Exchange Programme, your home institution should have an exchange partnership with HKU. You may check with the exchange office of your home institution for further information. 


Student should be successfully nominated by their home institution and has undertaken a minimum of one-year university level study by the time they begin their exchange studies at HKU.


Please refer to Application Procedures for detailed information. 


2. What are the exchange period options in HKU?

You can be nominated to study at The University of Hong Kong for one or two semesters.


3. Can I enroll in Taught Postgraduate courses/programmes during my exchange studies in HKU?

Since the financial model between Undergraduate programmes and Taught Postgraduate programmes are different, Taught Postgraduate programmes are generally NOT offered to exchange students. It is on a case-by-case basis and subject to the agreement signed between institutions.

4. Can I enroll in Research Postgraduate programmes during my exchange studies in HKU?

If students wish to conduct research under a supervisor, please contact Faculties to make appropriate arrangements.

Exchange Application – Online Application

1. What are the semester dates in HKU?

You may visit Key Semester Dates for your reference. For important academic dates, please refer to Academic Advising Office

2. How can I apply for HKU exchange programme?

You may refer to the step-by-step Application Procedures, students are only required to complete online application.

3. What is the application timeline for exchange application?

Please refer to Exchange Application Schedule for details. After receiving application invitation, you are suggested to complete your application asap.


Applications are reviewed and processed on rolling-basis. Any outstanding supporting documents will cause a severe delay in the assessment of your application. Late applications after the application deadline will NOT be accepted.

4. Do I need to submit any hard copy documents to your office?

In general, hard copy documents are not required for your application. You will be notified by our office if you are especially required to submit hard copy.

5. My full name is incorrect in my online application, what should I do?

Please contact our office at with your full name as stated in your passport.


If your name includes special characters, please provide your transliterated name with roman alphabets that appears in the machine readable lines of your passport.

6. Will I be admitted to a faculty in my exchange programme?

Yes, all exchange students are required to select a host faculty during your exchange programme in HKU.


50% of the course load must be chosen from one Faculty (your intended host faculty). It is optional for students to take the remaining credits from other faculties. Common Core courses will not count as part of the fulfillment of the 50% requirement of course enrollment for exchange students.


Except for the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE), the minimum and maximum course load per semester are 6 and 30 credits respectively.  It is optional for students to take the remaining credits from other faculties. However, please ensure that at least 50% belongs to FBE.


Students admitted to Faculty of Law can choose no more than 6 credits of non-law course (i.e. 1 course) in each semester.  For more information, please refer to their website.


7. What is Proposed Study at HKU?

“Proposed Study at HKU” is only a preliminary course plan for host faculty to review on your application, you are NOT enrolled to those courses. Students are still required to enroll courses online during course selection period or add/drop period in the beginning of semesters.


Students are recommended to check the course pre-requisites before selecting courses. The approval of courses is on a case-by-case basis and subject to the Faculty's approval. Actual enrollment is subject to class availability, courses offered in the first semester and class schedule. [The information is subject to change without prior notice]

8. Why couldn’t I enter certain course codes in the Proposed Study at HKU section?

Please make sure you have entered course codes correctly and pay attention to the spacing. Instead of using copy and paste function, you are suggested to type course codes in the fields.


If certain course codes are invalid in our system, this means that they are currently unavailable/subject to change.


For course codes with asterisks (*), please be reminded to add one spacing between course code and asterisks e.g.  ACCT3107 ***

9. Am I allowed to select courses marked with asterisks (*) in Faculty of Business and Economics?

Course code with *** are only opened to students nominated under faculty-level agreement with Faculty of Business and Economics. Students nominated under University-level agreement are ONLY allowed to take courses without ***. Please check with your home institution on the agreement type before selecting these courses.


If you are nominated under University-level agreement and have selected *** courses, these courses will be removed from your application during assessment without prior notice.

10. What should I write in my personal statement?

You may wish to explain why you are interested in the exchange programme, and why have you chosen HKU as host university. There is no word limit.

11. What supporting documents do I need to upload for my online application?

Students are only required to upload their passport copy. Applicants for Faculty of Law should upload a CV to their application. 


Academic transcripts and English proficiency test results must be uploaded by your home institution before you start the application.

12. There is no transcript / English proficiency proof in my online application, can I upload the documents by myself?

Yes, but please make sure both the transcript and English proficiency proof are official and valid documents.

13. When and how will I receive my application result?

You will be notified by email on your application result, the announcement period are as follows.


  • Fall (Semester 1/ Full Year Intake): Late Jun – Jul
  • Spring (Semester 2 Intake): Oct – Nov

Please make sure to check your email frequently during the above-mentioned period. 

14. My passport is expired / effective period is invalid while I am completing my application, what should I do?

Step 1: Please renew your passport immediately and ensure that your passport will be ready by the visa application deadline. Otherwise, you may not be granted with a student visa and this will affect your admission to HKU.


Step 2: If your passport is in the process of renewal during application, please complete the online application with your existing passport number. Then, inform the following offices about your passport status:



Step 3: After receiving your renewed passport, please send a soft copy of your renewed passport to the above-mentioned offices for our update.

Exchange Application – English Proficiency Requirements

1. I am not a native English speaker, what should I submit for my English proof?

If English is not your first language or the teaching medium in your home institution is not English, you will need a recognised and valid English Language qualification to be admitted into the exchange programme. 


You must provide English Test Results achieved from at least ONE of the Minimum English Language Requirement*


Please refer to the Entry Requirements on our website. 

2. I am a native English speaker/English is the teaching medium of my home institution, what English proof should I provide?

You should ask your exchange coordinator to prepare and sign “English Language Proficiency Statement for Incoming Students” and submit to our office. Please refer to our Entry Requirements on our website for details. Please note that Faculty of Law has higher English language proficiency requirement.

3. I am enrolled to fully English taught programme in a non-English taught institution, what should I provide for English proof?

You should request your home institution to issue an English Statement Letter stating that you are enrolled to fully English Taught Programme. (Note: Only applicable to non-English taught institutions in which student is enrolled to a programme that is fully taught in English)


Please refer to Entry Requirements for details. 

4. What to do if my English proficiency test result is expired?

You are required to submit valid English proficiency test results for your application.


Please retake the test if it is expired, you must submit English proficiency test results by the application deadline. Any late or incomplete submission will not be accepted.

5. What if I am unable to provide an English proficiency proof, or I cannot meet the minimum scores?

Unfortunately, your exchange application will not be considered because English proficiency is one of the admission requirements.

Exchange Application – Course Enrollment Matters

1. What is the course load in HKU?

Please refer to Academic Information> Course Load.

2. What is the credit system of HKU?

You may refer to Academic Information> Course Information.

3. Can I take courses from faculties other than my host faculty?

50% of the course load must be chosen from one Faculty (your intended host faculty). It is optional for students to take the remaining credits from other faculties. 


Except for the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE), the minimum and maximum course load per semester are 6 and 30 credits respectively.  It is optional for students to take the remaining credits from other faculties. However, please ensure that at least 50% belongs to FBE.


Students admitted to Faculty of Law can choose no more than 6 credits of non-law course (i.e. 1 course) in each semester.  For more information, please refer to their website.

4. What are the restricted courses/programmes for exchange students?

The following programmes / courses are NOT opened to exchange students:

  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
  • BSc (Exercise and Health) Programme
  • Most final year project courses provided by all faculties
5. Where can I find the available courses for my proposed study plan?

Please refer to Academic Information> Available Courses Offered by Faculties

6. How are subjects qualified for credit transfer back to my home institution?

You should check carefully with your home institution about credit transfer for courses.

7. I need to take certain courses for my graduation, will my course options in my Proposed Study Plan be guaranteed?

No, course options in your proposed study plan are not guaranteed. Students must enroll courses online during the course selection period or add/drop period in the beginning of semesters.


The approval of courses is on a case-by-case basis and subject to the Faculty's approval. Actual enrollment is subject to pre-requisites, class availability, courses offered in the first semester, and class schedule. [The information is subject to change without prior notice]

8. What can I do if I cannot enroll in certain courses?

Since enrollment to course is not guaranteed, it is always good to prepare yourself with back up course plans.


If, for any reason, you must take a particular course, you may consult the course teacher in the teaching department and state your reason(s) for his/her consideration during class selection or add/drop period in the beginning of semesters.

9. Any Chinese language courses available in HKU?

You may join Survival Cantonese, which is jointly organised by CEDARS-CoPE and the Chinese Language Centre. You will practise Cantonese phrases for daily use with local student tutors and gain a chance to befriend with local students.


School of Chinese offers credit-bearing Chinese courses. The School provides Cantonese courses and Chinese Language Courses for foreign students. Please click here for more information.

10. What are Common Core courses?

You may visit their website at for more information.

11. Can exchange students take Common Core courses?

Yes, you are allowed to take Common Core courses offered to exchange students only.


Common Core courses will not count as part of the fulfillment of the 50% requirement of course enrollment for exchange students. For details, you may refer to Academic Information> Common Core courses 

12. Where can I find detailed course information for credit transfer application in my home university?

Please visit the websites of corresponding faculties/departments for course details. If it is not available online, please contact respective offices by email to request for course details. 


Websites and contacts of faculties/departments can be found in:

 Academic Information> Available Courses Offered by Faculties or Contact of Faculties and their departments

13. What do courses stated in my Notice of Admission mean?

The courses in your Notice of Admission means that you are eligible to take these courses. However, you are still required to enroll in those courses during course selection or add/drop period in the beginning of the semesters.

14. Can I change my host faculty after being accepted to HKU Exchange Programme?

Yes, you may change your course selection during course selection or add/drop period. If you have successfully enrolled more than 50% of the courses in another faculty, you may be transferred to this another faculty.

Visa Application

1. Do I need a student visa?

You may visit the Hong Kong Immigration Department for more information on the eligibility criteria of student visa application. 

2. How to apply for student visa? What supporting documents do I need to prepare?

Student may apply for student visa through our visa office Please note that depending on student’s nationality, student’s visa application will go through two different application paths.

3. When should I start my visa application?

Applications should be started 10 weeks before the semester start date.

4. What are the visa application procedures?

You may refer to Visa Application for details, both online and hard copy application are required.

5. How long will it take for my visa application to be processed?

The Hong Kong Immigration Department requires at least 10 weeks to process their visa applications, any delayed application will affect your admission to HKU.  

6. Is the application fee for student visa sponsorship refundable?

The application fee for student visa sponsorship is HK$990. The fee is non-refundable under all circumstances. Applicants are required to settle the fee using an online credit card payment platform (Visa, Mastercard or Unionpay).

7. Do I need to submit Notice of Admission during visa application?

Exchange students without Notice of Admission can submit their student visa application first with a blank page, and upload it later when available.

8. How to submit Notice of Admission after I have received it?

To secure and proceed with your visa application, students should upload the signed letter to your online visa application. 

9. When will I be receiving my visa label/entry permit?

Visa application will be forwarded to the Hong Kong Immigration Department for handlingOnce student’s visa application is approved, the visa label will be sent to student by courier. 

10. What should I do with the visa label/entry permit?

Please stick the visa label/entry permit onto your passport. You must present it to the Immigration Officer upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport. This is to activate your visa while entering Hong Kong.

11. What should I do if my student visa is not validated?

Some foreign passport holders can visit Hong Kong without visa. In this case, you are likely to have entered Hong Kong as tourist.


You may simply exit and re-enter Hong Kong to activate their student visa by presenting visa label/entry permit to the immigration officer upon re-entry.


After inspection, the officer on duty may grant you entry to Hong Kong as student. At this point, your student visa status is validated and HKU can formally enroll them as student under the laws of Hong Kong.


Accommodation Application

1. What are the accommodation options for exchange students?

Accommodation in HKU is managed by CEDARS – Accommodation office. There are 4 main types of housing in HKU:



Due to shortage in housing resources, students are suggested to apply for accommodation as soon as possible. The allocation of housing is subject to availability. The availability of accommodation is usually higher in Spring semester than in Fall semester.

2. Is accommodation guaranteed for exchange students?

Accommodation in HKU is NOT guaranteed for exchange students. Please take this into consideration before applying to HKU exchange programme.

3. What are the housing fees in HKU?

Please click here for the housing fees, the fees are adjusted annually in general.

4. How to apply for accommodation in HKU?

Please refer to Accommodation Application for details.

5. Do I need to submit Notice of Admission during application?

You may apply for accommodation WITHOUT Notice of Admission during application stage.


After receiving your offer, please be reminded to send a soft copy of your signed Notice of Admission to for their further processing of your application.

6. How will I be notified on the results of my application?

CEDARS will notify you on the accommodation results through email.

7. What is the procedure for accepting my accommodation offer?

Student who has received offer should send a confirmation email to respective hall manager to accept the offer and indicate your expected check-in date. 


The offer will be withdrawn if no response has been received.

8. What is the arrangement for meal plan?

Meal plans are only available for residents of St. John’s College, Ricci Hall and University Hall, cost details can be found here.

9. What facilities do Hall/ Residential College provide?

All halls and residential colleges have common rooms and recreational facilities. Each floor has its own pantry and is equipped with a refrigerator, microwave oven, hotplate, water boiler and drinking fountain. Communal bathroom and toilet facilities are provided on each floor. All rooms are air-conditioned and are furnished with a bed and mattress.


Each student is provided with a closet, writing desk with lamp, chair and bookshelf. An individual network point and a shared telephone line are provided in every room in most halls. Coin or smartcard-operated washing and drying machines are also provided in every hall.

10. What are my options if I am placed on a waiting list?

While you are waiting for your offer (NOT guaranteed), you may look for Privately-rented off-campus accommodation which is generally more expensive than living in halls. Most landlords look for long-term tenancies of at least a year.


If you wish to look for privately rented accommodation, you are strongly advised to arrive earlier so that you will have sufficient time for property inspection and rental negotiation. Monthly rental prices start from HK$4,000 for a small single room and HK$10,000 or more for a flat (for reference only).

Preparation for Registration & Arrival to HKU

1. When am I expected to arrive in HKU?

To plan your arrival, you are strongly encouraged to go through Arrival Advice and the Key Semester Dates


Before arriving HKU, you are recommended to check the earliest accommodation move-in date from respective halls.

2. What can I do If I could not arrive during Registration Week?

If you anticipate late arrival to HKU, please inform your faculty on your expected arrival date to HKU.


Before arriving Hong Kong, please complete online Master Registration and enroll for courses online during course selection or add/drop period.

3. What should I do after accepting the exchange programme offer?

Please expect to receive a Welcome Message from our office in late July (Fall semester) and early December (Spring semester). It includes important instructions about student registration procedures and orientation information.

4. When will I receive my HKU student number and email account?

Each student will receive HKU University Number (student number) and Portal Account details through email in early August (Fall semester) and early January (Spring semester).


After obtaining the information, students must complete Online Master Registration immediately.

5. How to complete Online Master Registration?

Please refer to the email about Online Master Registration being sent to you in late July (Fall semester) and early December (Spring semester).


No changes can be made after you have submitted master registration. You may contact Academic Support and Examinations Section at if you have any questions.

6. Why do I need to complete online Master Registration?

If you do not complete master registration, student registration card cannot be issued and you will not be allowed to enroll in any courses.

7. I have difficulties in online Master Registration, what should I do?

If you do not have a mobile phone number in HK, please leave it blank for now and update it later for receiving important announcement from HKU (if any).


If you have technical difficulties, please contact Information Technology Services at

8. How to submit Student Registration Card application?

Please refer to the instructions in Arrival Adivce > Preparation before arriving HKU > Student Registration Procedures

9. When and Where to collect Student Registration Card?

An acknowledgment email will be sent to your HKU email account to inform you of the collection date and venue when your Student Registration Card is ready.

10. Are there any orientation activities for exchange students?

Yes, CEDARS and our office organises Orientation for Non-Local Students every semester. You are encouraged to join the orientation to learn more about HKU and our campus, please refer to here for details


There are a range of orientation activities to choose from each semester, you may visit Orientation Activities and WoW Calendar for more information. 


Studying in HKU

1. How can I get to HKU and its residences?

The quickest way is to take the Airport Express from the Hong Kong International Airport to Hong Kong Station and then take a taxi.  For other transportation to HKU, click here.


You may wish to look for Chinese addresses of your student residences beforehand and show it to the taxi driver. 


2. Where can I obtain HKU campus map?

HKU Campus Map and Sassoon Road Campus could come in handy!

3. How can I contact my faculty? Where is my faculty office?

Please visit Contact Faculties and Departments for details.

4. How to find a classroom in HKU?

Click here for classroom abbreviations. Knowing the abbreviations will help you find their locations will help you find their locations.

5. Are there any services offered to students with learning disabilities?

HKU welcomes students with special needs. If students have physical, sensory, mental, learning, developmental disabilities or Special Educational Needs.


You are encouraged to visit CEDARS-Counselling and Person Enrichment (CoPE) and access the available support services. CEDARS offers SEN Support, please feel free to contact them at for details.

6. Any handy guide in HKU that could be useful for exchange students?

Please visit our Arrival Advice for a complete guide to HKU! More information can also be found in CEDARS’ Website for Non-local Students

7. Are there any dining facilities on campus?

There are various dining options on campus, students may refer to HKU Catering Outlets. There are many restaurants/cafeterias that offer meals at wide range of prices within walking distance of the campus.

8. How can I obtain HKU official academic transcript? Will it be issued to my home institution?

No hard copy of official transcript will be mailed to your home institution. You may choose to screen capture the exam results from your HKU Portal and submit to your home institution.


If your home institution does not accept electronic copy of your exam results, please apply for official transcript (only available in hard copy) through Academic Support and Examination Section after the announcement of your exam results.


The above arrangement is applicable to all University-level Incoming Exchange students.


If you are nominated through Faculty/Departmental level exchange agreements with HKU, you may check with corresponding faculty office for transcript arrangement.


9. Is there any financial aid for non-local students?

Like most countries, the HKSAR government and the University do not provide financial aid to non-local students. It is therefore important for you to plan your budget well and ensure that you will have adequate financial resources to cover all of your expenses during your stay in Hong Kong.

10. How can I open a bank account in Hong Kong?

Visit here for detailed information in opening a bank account.


If you wish to obtain proof of your current address in Hong Kong and you live on campus, you may obtain proof of residence from our office.


Please send us an email with the following information:


  • Full name:
  • University Number (UID):
  • Faculty:
  • Nationality:
  • Passport number:
  • Permanent home address:
  • Current residential address:
11. Do I need health and travel insurance plan for my exchange studies in HKU?

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 incoming exchange students are entitled to HKU Group Travel Insurance (Portal login required to read the details) for travelling from Hong Kong to overseas on activities which are officially arranged by the University.

12. Where can I get medical service on campus?

University Health Services 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.

13. What are the campus facilities in HKU?

You may refer to Section 14 Campus Facilities in Glimpse of Student Life @ HKU.

14. What are the student support services in HKU?

You may take reference from Student support services in HKU

Living in Hong Kong

1. What is 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.

2. Can I enjoy student discount for Octopus card?

Please check with your Faculty Office whether you are eligible for an Octopus Card under the “MTR Student Travel Scheme” / customer service counter staff in the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations.


You may obtain an MTR Student Travel Scheme Application forms from your faculty office/ customer service counter in MTR.

3. Do I need HKID card?

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

4. Can I take up any employment during my exchange study in Hong Kong?

Most non-local students do not have HKID card and has to apply for student visa to study in Hong Kong. Student visas are usually granted subject to the condition that the student shall not take any kind of employment, whether paid or unpaid, during their exchange studies. 


Non-local exchange students of full-time and locally accredited programmes at undergraduate level or above that involve a study/curriculum-related internship and whose study period is not less than one academic year (i.e., 12 months for a full academic year) may take up a study/curriculum-related internship, but not part-time on-campus employment or summer jobs. For details, please refer to the HKSAR Immigration Department webpage.

5. What is the general nature of the population of Hong Kong?

The majority of Hong Kong’s 7 million people are ethnically Chinese, there is also a large expatriate community. 

6. What are the official languages in Hong Kong?

The official languages /include both English and Chinese. While English is commonly used as an official language and is almost always used in business and government dealings, Cantonese is the dialect most often heard in the streets of Hong Kong.


Many people in Hong Kong also speak Mandarin and the number of Mandarin speakers is now on the rise.

7. How is the weather in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate. For weather information of Hong Kong, please visit Hong Kong Observatory website.


From May to October it is usually hot and humid with occasional heavy rainfall, and sometimes tropical typhoons may occur.


From November to December, the temperature drops and the weather becomes less humid.


January to March can be very cool with some fog and light rain, and average temperatures ranging from 10°C to 15°C (40°F–59°F). Winter clothing is needed.


From April to May the weather is unpredictable with temperatures ranging from cool to pleasant.

8. Can I use my 110-120v electrical appliances from other countries?

No, the electrical voltage in Hong Kong is 220–240v instead. You can buy small appliances such as hairdryers, curling irons, etc., easily in Hong Kong after you arrive. If you bring your own appliances, make sure they are 220–240v adaptable.

9. What is the cost of living in Hong Kong?

Please refer to Section 7 Finances in A Glimpse of Student Life @HKU

10. Can I use my mobile phone from home in Hong Kong?

Please check whether your phone supports the GSM network first and whether it is locked to your original mobile provider. Some telecommunications stores may be able to unlock your phone, please check.

As you will stay in Hong Kong for a while, roaming services could be expensive. You are recommended to get a Hong Kong mobile number, either through prepaid/ fixed monthly rate phone card.

11. Where can I buy prepaid SIM cards for my mobile phone?

Prepaid SIM cards are available in convenience stores (e.g., Circle K, 7-11). The cards normally cost around HK$200 with a certain amount of airtime. Please pay attention that these cards are normally only valid for 180 days after the last recharge. 

12. Where can I find ATM service?

All banks offer ATM services, but they may use different systems (such as the HSBC ATM system and the Jetco system). Check the reverse of your bankcard to confirm this and to avoid additional charges. 

13. Where can I get medical service outside of campus?

When specialist care and hospitalisation are required, you can consider using the services provided at public clinics and general wards of government hospitals.


The charge for those holding a Hong Kong Identity Card (HKID card) is subsidised. Non-local students without a HKID card are required to pay full fees for services and hospitalisation in government hospitals.


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

14. Where can I find my consulate?

Please visit Consular Posts and Officially Recognised Representatives are listed accordingly.

15. Can I stay behind for a while after I completed my exchange study at HKU?

All non-local students are bound by the limit of stay stated in their student visa. Staying beyond the allowed period in Hong Kong will be considered as a breach of the immigration regulations.


Please check your student visa and exit Hong Kong before the date stated in your student visa. Some foreign passport holders may enter Hong Kong as a tourist on a visa-free basis. 


If you need to stay in Hong Kong for a longer period, you may exit Hong Kong before your student visa expires and re-enter as a tourist. Please check the websites of the Hong Kong Immigration Department or the ministry of foreign affairs of your home country to confirm the visa requirements.