Preparing to Go Abroad

Pre-departure Preparation

A Pre-departure Orientation Programme is provided to help outbound exchange students prepare for their adventure away from Hong Kong. Briefing sessions on topics such as visa and insurance requirements, meetings with foreign consular officers, and sharing by returned and inbound exchange students are designed to help students:

  1. Understand and cope with the difficulties frequently encountered during exchange
  2. Learn more about their host university, city and country
  3. Tap experience from inbound and returned exchange students
  4. Learn about the adjustment and coping cycle while away from home
  5. Improve intercultural communication
  6. Acquire information about Hong Kong to share
  7. Improve self-understanding
  8. Enhance learning

In addition to participating in the Pre-departure Orientation Programme, students can also get better prepared by "knowing more":

1. About their Host University, Country & City

Knowing the host university, country and city is an effective way to prepare for exchange study. Students are advised to talk to former or current inbound and outbound exchange students to find out more about the background and current development of the university, city and country where they will be for a semester. This will ease concerns before the journey and help make the exchange experience a fulfilling one.

2. About Themselves, CityU & Hong Kong

Knowing oneself, one's Alma Mater and one's home town helps to minimize adjustment and frustrations and strengthen an exchange student's role as an ambassador for CityU and Hong Kong. Mentally preparing to cope with cultural shock, loneliness and language barriers will make it easier to be away from home.

Tips for Outbound Exchange Students

  1. Travel, Accommodation & Insurance
  2. Visa Application
  3. Money
  4. Credit Transfer
  5. Adjustment & Integration
  6. Be a Global Citizen

1. Travel, Accommodation & Insurance

  • Apply as soon as possible for student hostel accommodation at your host university, or contact the university's housing office for assistance in locating off-campus residence if on-campus accommodation is not available.
  • Plan your travel schedule to ensure that you arrive ahead of time to prepare for your classes and take part in any orientation programme.
  • Before your outbound journey begins, purchase an insurance plan that provides medical, accident and other benefits. Your host university may have a compulsory health insurance plan for exchange students. Check with the university and make sure you enrol for any such plan as required.

2. Visa Application

Consult the consulate general concerned for information on visa requirements in the place where you are going. If you need a student visa, allow sufficient time to apply. Make sure your passport will be valid for at least six months after the end of exchange study period.

3. Money

You will need to plan your budget carefully as you must pay all of your expenses, including visa, insurance, travel, accommodation, books, food and other daily expenses.

As an exchange student, you will not need to pay tuition to your host university. However, you are required to pay CityU tuition and study-related fees during your exchange semester. It is important to arrange for your CityU tuition and fees to be paid on your behalf while you are on exchange.

4. Credit Transfer

Before your exchange study, you should consult your academic advisor or programme leader at CityU about the courses that you would like to take while on exchange. Approved credits (but not the grades) will be transferred back to your academic record at CityU.

5. Adjustment & Integration

It is normal to feel homesick on your arrival abroad, particularly if it's the first time you will be away on your own for so long. To ease your adjustment and integration:

  • Take some time to get familiar with the people and neighbourhood around you
  • Try to make friends, both local and non-local
  • Get out of your comfort zone by being prepared to try new things
  • Be sensitive to the local taboos and culture
  • Be realistic and keep an open mind
  • Keep yourself engaged

6. Be a Global Citizen

During your exchange study, you will have ample opportunity to meet people from all around the world. By learning and exchanging ideas with your new friends, you can experience different cultures. This is not only a way to improve yourself, but also the global village - Our World!