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Getting Started

Term Time Exchange


During Your Exchange

Once you have left CUHK and arrived at your host institution, you are welcome to contact your regional advisor and stay in touch with OAL. We would love to receive a postcard or an email from you letting us know how things are going!

Verification of Full-time Enrolment

Please send us the Verification Form to confirm your registration at your host institution as soon as possible after you arrive.

Issues you may face

While we hope that your exchange is an enjoyable experience, most people encounter some sort of issues. Don’t be afraid to seek assistance from OAL, the Study Abroad Office at your host institution, CUHK Alumni Associations worldwide or Chinese Embassies and Consulates. Some common problems faced by exchange students include:

Culture Shock

An unfamiliar environment far from home, new friendships and the pressures of study can make you feel overwhelmed and stressed while on your exchange, especially at the beginning. Most institutions offer counselling services, student societies and support networks to assist international students; your host institution’s Study Abroad Office should be able to point you in the right direction. But you can also take measures to cope with culture shock yourself. Be curious about your new surroundings; embracing different people, places and ideas will make it easier to adapt. Don’t take any sudden changes too personally. Try to join in with any orientation activities organised by your host institution. Click here for a brief guide in handling culture shock.

Language Barriers

Although most students are competent in speaking English, many still find it difficult to adjust to an English-speaking environment. It takes time to pick up on the local accent, slang and colloquialisms. Taking English or local language courses at your host institution or joining student activities conducted in English can help. You could also look for a language exchange partner so you can practice the language with a native speaker. If language difficulties are affecting your studies, please approach the relevant teachers as early as possible for advice.

Crime and Personal Safety

Make sure you familiarise yourself with the crime and security situation in your host country and take appropriate precautions. Remember that you must obey the laws of your host country, as well as following any additional guidelines from your host institution. Wherever you’re studying, remember to maintain regular contact with your family; dress modestly, avoiding clothes or jewellery that might attract excessive attention; avoid going out alone at night; don’t accept food and drinks from strangers; and avoid large crowds and demonstrations.

Illnesses and Injuries

Health problems are a possibility when you are in your host country. Make sure you have adequate medical insurance, and familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions of your insurance contract, including the claim procedures. If you need help finding a doctor or hospital, contact the Study Abroad Office at your host institution.

Lost Items and Robberies

Students occasionally lose possessions when they are away, or have them stolen. Stay calm and report the loss to the local police immediately, and make sure that you get a police report or statement in English for your own reference and for insurance claims. You can check where the CUHK Group Travel Insurance policy covers property loss here.

Before Leaving your Host Institution

Before bidding farewell to your host country, remember to complete your host institution’s clearance procedures. Return everything you’ve borrowed from libraries and elsewhere. Settle all outstanding bills. Check how to get hold of your transcripts; most institutions send them to the OAL or the CUHK Registry automatically, but some require students to order copies or collect them before they leave. Checkout from your room, following any checkout procedures such as cleaning your room to avoid disputes afterwards; return the keys on time; and remember to get any deposit back. If necessary, cancel any local bank accounts and de-register from the institution.

Application and Policy Manual

More information about the OAL exchange programmes, please refer to the Application and Policy Manual (2023-24).