HKUWW Exchange Programme

General Information

How does student exchange work at HKU?

We offer exchange for one semester / one full year to students. The accepted HKU students will continue to pay tuition fees to HKU during the exchange period. The student may apply for credit transfer for the courses completed at the partner institution, subject to their curriculum requirements and the approval of the faculty concerned.

How can I apply for exchange?

You may choose one of the following two options:


(1) HKUWW Undergraduate Student Exchange Programme


Normally we would have three rounds each year. Application is opened for the exchange programme which takes place in the next academic year. It means students are required to apply for the exchange programme one year in advance. The main round will be opened for applications in around late September which offers S1 / S2 / full-year (FY) options to students, while the late rounds will be opened in around March to April which only offers S2 exchange term to students. All undergraduate students from all faculties are welcome to join this programme.


The application link should be available on our webpage when application period starts. Please refer to the application page for timeline and details.




(2) Faculty level/departmental level Exchange Programme


Certain faculties or departments run their own exchange programmes. Note that the application period for faculty-level exchange programmes varies among faculties. If you wish to participate in the programmes, please approach your faculty to obtain further information.


Alternatively, if you are interested in the institutions that are not on our partners list, you may consider joining their visiting or other short-term study abroad programmes. Please note that paying tuition fees to the host institution is required. You will also have to go through the whole application process on your own. Obtaining your faculty’s approval for credit transfer is also required. Please contact your faculty’s academic advisor for further information if you have such plan.

Can I apply for both HKUWW Exchange Programme and Faculty Level Exchange Programme?

Different faculties have different policies, so please ask your faculty about the specific policy before the application. For students who apply for both programmes, please note that only one offer will be released.

Should I apply for exchange through IAO or my faculty?

Please note that there are different types of exchange agreements with the partner institutions. Some agreements are exclusively assigned to specific faculties only. Different institutions may also have their own restrictions on programmes offered to exchange students. For instance, some institutions do not allow exchange students to take courses from certain faculties. You are reminded to do some research on the host university’s webpage and read the fact sheets for the relevant information before you start the applications.

How can I transfer credits from the host institution?

For questions related to credit transfer, please contact your faculty directly as your faculty is the approval authority to decide which courses to be awarded the credits towards your HKU degree. 


You are reminded to apply to your faculty for approval of credit transfer and leave of absence after you have been formally admitted by the host institution. During the application stage, you may refer to the course database with previously successful course approval information as reference. Planning ahead and communicating with your faculty is key.

Where will I live while I am studying at the host institution?

Many partner institutions provide housing for exchange students. Some do not, but provide assistance to find accommodation. Be prepared that you may need to arrange your own accommodation.

Can I apply for exchange places given up by students in the Main Round?

In previous years there have been at least two rounds of late round applications. However, late round application(s) will only be available if we have remaining exchange places to offer. Please check our website for the most up-to-date information.

HKUWW or Faculty/Department-level Exchange Programmes

What are the procedures?

Here is a brief rundown of the procedures:


  1. Apply for exchange programme through related office (IAO / faculty / department).
  2. Submit required supporting documents.
  3. Attend interviews (if any).
  4. Receive placement result from related office and pay HK$2000 deposit.
  5. Receive application instruction emails from related office
  6. Complete the exchange application process and submit required supporting documents to the host institution.
  7. Receive admission/acceptance letter from the host institution.
  8. Apply for entry visa (if required).
  9. Time to fly!
Before application

Please make sure that you do some research before you start the HKUWW application. You may visit your interested host institutions’ webpage for the course(s) offered / course restrictions to exchange students, note that they may have restrictions on choosing course(s) among faculties to exchange students. Please check to see if they match your curriculum, otherwise there is the risk that credits could not be transferred back to HKU afterwards.


Be prepared you have the English proficiency proof ready. Note that TOEFL/IELTS score is one of the most important assessment criteria for HKUWW. If students are not able to provide the related result, they may have disadvantage during the exchange placement. Please note that late submission of English proficiency proof would not be accepted.


Please make sure that you check carefully before you submit your HKUWW application, note that no further amendments would be accepted after application submission.

Can I apply without TOEFL / IELTS?

Please note that TOEFL / IELTS score is one of the most important assessment criteria. If students are not able to provide the related result, they may have disadvantage during the exchange placement. Note that we do not accept late submission after application deadline.


If your existing proof is valid until HKUWW application deadline, you may submit the proof as supporting document. Please arrange to re-take the language test in due course for the application to the host institution. In view of the limited available timeslots for IELTS or TOEFL tests, you should schedule to take/re-take the test as soon as possible.


If you do not have one, please upload a proof that show you have already registered for the test or a statement that you do not have the result and with the date that you expect the result to be released. 


English proficiency proof is required for all applications. If you were graduated from an international school or overseas high school, you may submit IB / SAT / GCSE or other related international qualifications. Subject to the respective host institution's recognition, students may sometimes be required to submit IELTS / TOEFL results as host institution's application.

Special Arrangement: should I apply for IELTS (Academic) or IELTS (UKIV Academic), if I wish to apply for UK institutions?

If you are required to apply for Tier 4 student visa, only IELTS (UKIV Academic) will be accepted. Please be reminded to apply for the specific test rather than the regular one.


If you are not required to apply for Tier 4 student visa in order to study in UK, both IELTS (UKIV Academic) and regular tests can be accepted for exchange application. 


Please obtain update for the related policy regularly as it may change from time to time.

During application

Please take note of the assessment criteria for the placement of nomination. You may visit our webpage for more details: /avail_program.php?id=1&type=outgoing


All the application received will be assessed based on the following:

• Academic performance (CGPA as of Semester 1 in the year of application)

• Personal statement

• English language proficiency


And you may select a maximum of eight choices. Note that all eight choices will be reviewed and considered during the course of assessment.  

After application

After HKUWW applicant has been offered a place at the particular host institution, you will then require to pay HKD$2000 deposit and upload the payment proof to our outgoing system before the given deadline. If we don’t receive your payment proof by the deadline, we would consider that you are no longer interested in joining the programme. 


Students who accepted the offer will be officially nominated by IAO to the host institution, and will be instructed to submit application to the host institution.


Note that different host institutions will have different application timelines. For students who are offered S1 / FY exchange, you would receive application instruction emails in around February to May. For students who are offered S2 exchange, you would receive application instruction emails in around July to November. Our programme manager would contact you in due course. 

Can I change my exchange period at a later stage?

Note that you are not allowed to change the exchange period once you have accepted the offer.

Can I extend semester of my exchange period at a later stage?

There is no regular extension of exchange study. However, you may consider applying to the host institution through a sperate Visiting Student programme. Note that students are responsible for paying the full tuition fee.

Can I go on exchange during the last semester of my final year?

If you go on exchange during the last semester of your final year, there is a chance that you will not be able to graduate on time. As different host institutions have different semester dates, there may be insufficient time to process the credit transfer at HKU which in turn will defer your graduation. Please be cautious about this arrangement and planning ahead is important. You are advised to discuss with your academic advisor in advance.

I am a final year student but I would like to defer my study and would like to apply for the exchange programme.

If you have the plan of deferring your study while at the same time wish to apply for exchange, you are required to obtain the approval from your faculty showing that you are eligible to participate in the exchange programme.  Application access will only be opened with the valid proof provided by the faculty’s staff. 

I have received an offer in the main round. Can I apply for the late round again?

If you would like to apply for the late round, you will have to withdraw your exisiting offer and submit the application for late round on or before the application deadline. Please be reminded that the paid deposit will be forfeited for students who withdraw after the acceptance. There is no guarantee that you will receive an offer in the late round.

Is it possible for me to defer my exchange period to next academic year?

Note that the exchange period cannot be deferred to the next academic year. If you want to exchange in next year, you will have to withdraw from the existing offer and apply again. Please note that the paid deposit will be forfeited for students who withdrawn after the acceptance. There is no guarantee that you will receive an offer in the later round.

How can I withdraw from exchange?

Please login to the application system: and submit the withdrawal.

Can I apply if my current CGPA is not high enough?

In previous years, the chance of getting into the programme is those students with relatively higher academic standing around CGPA 3.0. However, please note that the competition is very fierce and the situation is different every year. During exchange placement, your CGPA in Semester 1 during the year of application will be taken into consideration. For MBBS applicants, your academic ranking will be taken into consideration.

I am a Year 1 student and I don’t have my CGPA now. Can I apply for HKUWW?

Yes, you can. We will refer to your CGPA after the release of Semester 1 results of in the year of the HKUWW application. It usually takes place in around late January.


Scholarship for Semester Exchange

In general, only students participating in physical exchange programme are eligible to receive financial assistance for semester exchange. 


For details, you may visit: