Prepare to Study Abroad


Before your departure for studying abroad, it is very important for you to learn about the credit transfer, application of leave of absence and other preparations. Therefore, please take some time to read through the information here to get yourself more familiarised with the items you need to know and prepare.



Pre-departure Preparation


Pre-departure Briefing Session is to provide soon-to-be study abroad students the most important information and reminders before they take off. Students may refer to the important information for preparation:






Credit Transfer

Before departure, students should seek pre-approval of courses for credit transfer according to the Faculty’s regulations and requirements. Please consult the Head of Department or Departmental Course Selection Adviser on the credit transfer application. 

Students are advised to do comprehensive research to identify the most suitable courses especially the required courses. To achieve this, you could map and do comparisons on the course offerings between HKU and the host institution. During the process, we ask students to be as flexible as possible because the arrangement of each institution may vary.

To facilitate the credit transfer, you are recommended to save the course materials during the study abroad programme. In this way, the Faculty could refer to the materials carefully and decide which courses are transferrable. The actual transfer of credits happens after you have returned to HKU. The Faculty has the final authority to decide the number of courses and credits taken at the host university to be transferred back to HKU towards your degree.


Please note that the pre-approval of courses and credit transfer arrangement of each Faculty may vary so please refer to the following pages for more information.


Website Page Course Equivalency List
Faculty of Architecture Application  
Faculty of Arts Application Course Details (For reference only)
Faculty of Business and Economics Application Course Details (For reference only)
Faculty of Dentistry    
Faculty of Education    
Faculty of Engineering Application Course Details (For reference only)
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine    
Faculty of Law Application Course Details (For reference only)
Faculty of Science Application Course Details (For reference only)
Faculty of Social Sciences Application Course Details (For reference only)


Leave of Absence

Students are required to apply the leave of absence for the exchange semester (Fall and/or Spring). Please complete the "Leave of Absence" application before departure. In the application, you have to explain clearly which programme you participate in and attach relevant supporting documents.



Not every host institution offers on-campus accommodation. Be prepared to live off-campus or even work on your own housing arrangements. Nevertheless, all host institutions will provide assistance for you to find proper accommodation.


Financial Commitment and Arrangement

You are strongly recommended to observe the conditions and refund policy of the flights, accommodation, and quarantine arrangement to have better preparation. You are reminded to keep all related documents such as receipts and transaction records so that you could use them as supporting documents where refund is necessary.


Extra and unexpected costs may arise upon your arrival at the host country and especially in the first month of your stay. It is important to have the most realistic idea of the amount of money you need and prepare for different circumstances. Please conduct comprehensive research and have the best idea of all expected and potential expenses items.


Try to get a rough estimate of living costs from the International Office of your host university. You are suggested to get tips from other exchange returnees as well.


Quarantine Arrangement

Read the information of COVID-19 measures carefully and follow measures and quarantine requirements advised by the host country and host university. Requirements of the host country and host university may change from time to time. Please make sure you can fulfil all the requirements.


Visa Requirement

Most countries require international students to apply for a valid student visa if they are planning to stay there for more than 180 days. Please check the requirements in detail with your host university or with the relevant consulates in Hong Kong. Please bear in mind that failure to comply with the entry visa requirements may result in delays or even deportation.


You are reminded to refer to the instructions and website of the host university carefully. You are also reminded to follow the updates closely of the Immigration Department and Consulate General of the host country since there may be constant changes.



For some study abroad programmes, the host university will require you to provide proof of good health. In this case, you will need to have a medical check-up. If you have received a medical check-up form from your host university, please make an appointment with our University Health Service (UHS) department for a check-up as soon as possible.


In order to protect yourself from infectious diseases endemic in the countries you will study or visit, you may have to get inoculations and vaccinations before going abroad. If you need vaccination, let the doctor know if you have any allergies before receiving it. The other way to protect yourself is to investigate the public hygiene of your host country, make sure the drinking water is safe to drink and the food is clean and cooked before you have your meals while abroad.





You should make sure that you are covered by comprehensive health, accident, personal property and travel insurances for your entire study abroad period, especially if you are planning to travel for personal purposes during the study period. Please refer to the following types of insurance for your planning:



Travel Insurance

Group Travel Insurance is provided by HKU Finance and Enterprises Office (FEO) for all HKU undergraduate students going on study abroad programmes organised/recognised by HKU. The total number of travelling days per study abroad trip must NOT exceed 180 days. Students can approach FEO to obtain a Certificate of Travel Insurance by email Additional insurance is required if the number of days of the trip is longer than 180 days.


Please refer to FEO Website / HKU Portal (SIS Menu > Financial Services > FEO Info and Hotlines > Finance and Enterprises Office > Insurance Information for Students) for the latest insurance information. 


Medical Insurance

In view of COVID-19, you may wish to arrange additional medical insurance as necessary protection. Make sure you have met the health requirements of your host country and host university before your departure. Check your medical insurance coverage with the International Office of your host university. If the coverage is inadequate, or if your host university does not offer a compulsory medical plan, it is advisable to get private medical insurance.


Most travel insurances also include medical coverage for sickness. However, please make sure you know what items and services are covered and the limits. Most of the coverage is also strictly on a reimbursement basis.


Additional Insurance Plan

Additional Insurance Plan is recommended if students want to have more protection. Please note that the policy is not applicable to any person residing outside Hong Kong for more than 180 days in a year. Major dangerous sports such as scuba-diving or mountaineering, illness, pregnancy/childbirth, HIV/AIDS and war is not covered under the policy.




Please send your enquiry to



While You are Abroad 


HKU Mentorship Programme

The objective of HKU Mentorship Programme is to create supportive relationships between mentors and mentees; to assist mentees on exchange to adapt in a new environment; to guide a mentee’s personal development; and to help mentor stay connected with HKU and Hong Kong. For more information, please refer to the website HKU Mentorship Programme.


HKU Global Travel Emergency Assistance Programme (GTEA)

HKU has partnered with Inter Partner Assistance Hong Kong Ltd. (IPA) to provide worldwide travel emergency assistance services for HKU students and participating in exchange, overseas internships, service learning, competitions, academic activities etc. For more information, please visit the website Crisis and Emergency Outside Hong Kong.


Official Transcript - Host Institution

Before you return, please check with your host institution to apply for the official transcript. The official transcript is to be submitted to your Faculty at HKU for credit transfer application. You may wish to apply for an extra copy for future use, such as postgraduate study application.




Return from Abroad


Submission of Exchange Report and Study Abroad Evaluation

Upon completion of the study abroad programme, you are required to submit exchange report and study abroad post-evaluation. Details will be sent to returning students in due course. Your comments will help improve the exchange programme and benefit future HKU students in preparing for their study abroad programmes. IAO reserves the right to publish or reprint the submitted texts and photos (full or extracts), either online or in print format.