Start to plan your exchange during your first year at CUHK. That might sound early, but the process takes longer than you think: about nine months from the time you start planning to the time you leave Hong Kong for your exchange. Bear in mind that a lot of exchange programmes require you to achieve certain academic standards; some also require knowledge of a foreign language. Here are a few things you should think about when planning:
Ideally you should go during your second or third year at CUHK (or your fourth if applicable). Most students choose to go after their second year. Exchange programmes last either a term, a summer or an academic year. CUHK full-time students can go on exchange for a cumulative maximum of one academic year (Term 1, Term 2 and summer).
CUHK offers more than 230 student exchange programmes; they include university-wide, college, faculty and department options. University-wide programmes are administered by OAL and available to all CUHK students. Undergraduate students can also go on exchange during the summer through the Summer Exchange Programme. Please click here for details.
Final Year Students
You are a final year student if your remaining study period at CUHK is less than or equal to one year. If you fall into this category, you may or may not qualify to apply for exchange. For details, please click here.
Full-time registered undergraduate and postgraduate students can apply, but must meet certain requirements. These vary from programme to programme, but typical ones include a valid TOEFL or IELTS score report with a particular minimum score, depending on the programme; a good academic record at CUHK – typically a cumulative GPA of at least 2.70, although some exchange programmes set the bar higher; a good disciplinary record and standing at CUHK; basic knowledge of the place where you intend to study; maturity and responsibility in social conduct, along with physical and emotional health; and readiness to represent CUHK.
Remember to check if the exchange programme you're interested in has any foreign-language requirements. Most university-wide programmes do not require you to know a language besides English; the exceptions are some programmes in Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Spain and Switzerland. We strongly advised you to take a TOEFL or IELTS test as early as possible. Once you are selected to go on exchange, you will be asked for proof of English proficiency along with your application. If you can't provide it, you risk being rejected. The earlier you take a test, the better chance you have of being accepted.
Most of our partner universities provide on-campus accommodation to exchange students. You will need to pay either a CUHK hostel fee or rent to the host university (depending on the programme structure). Some programmes provide only off-campus accommodation, but your host university will usually help you find it.
You are not limited during your exchange to courses from your major subject, but you will have to meet the course requirements in order to get onto a course in the first place. You are encouraged to enrich your knowledge of varied subjects during the exchange, but make sure you consult the relevant academic departments before taking a course to make sure you can transfer the credits back to CUHK.
You should contact the Registration and Examinations Section at CUHK for instructions on transferring credits. Before you come back to Hong Kong from your exchange, you should ask the host university for an official transcript to be sent directly to OAL in a sealed envelope.
Course Load Requirements
For undergraduate students in the new curriculum, the minimum requirement is 9 units and passing at least 6 of them per term or the equivalent, except for summer exchanges. If you are in the old curriculum, the minimum requirement is 12 units and passing at least 9 of them per term or the equivalent, except for summer exchanges. Failure to do so could make it hard for you to graduate or to receive full repayment of any financial support under the CUHK Student Exchange Financial Aid and Scholarship Scheme (FASS). If you are a postgraduate student, you should enrol in enough courses to meet the minimum course load requirement of your full-time postgraduate programme at CUHK.
For enquiries about whether you need to defer your graduation date if you go on exchange, or whether you can graduate right after the exchange, please contact the Registration and Examinations Section.
The fees for a typical exchange programme include the following:
- CUHK tuition
- CUHK and College Student Union fees (for undergraduate students only)
- Accommodation (CUHK, host university or private rental depending on the programme structure)
- Health and travel insurance
- Meal plan
- Student visa
- Books and stationery
- Personal expenses
- Cultural activities
- For some destinations, warm clothing
For regular term-time exchanges, you will need to pay the CUHK tuition fee and student union membership fees before you leave for your exchange. Other fees are payable either before or during the exchange, depending on the programme and the nature of the fee. For Summer exchanges, please click here for details.
CUHK Student Ambassadors Scheme
CUHK Student Ambassadors are a diverse group of CUHK students who have attended one of the exchange programmes administered by the Office of Academic Links. If you're having trouble deciding where to go or looking for tips on living in a particular country, our ambassadors are ready to help. Please contact them if you have any questions. You can find their information here.
Exchange Without Limits
Students with special needs are encouraged to talk to Student Advisors at the i-Centre (1/F, Yasumoto International Academic Park) for assistance in identifying suitable exchange opportunities you may apply to.
Exchange Without Limits