By FUNG Wing Sum, Sammi (BA English for Professional Communication, Year 3)

As we get closer to the end of the semester, it is already high time for students who will go on an exchange programme in Sem B to get themselves well-prepared. Scratching your head with no idea where to start? Here comes your pre-exchange checklist.

  1. Know More about the Country and your Host University
  2. How much do you know of the background information, culture and latest development of the country? In which city of the country is your host university located? How are you going to get there? Instead of purely searching for information from the internet, another good way for you to get first-hand information is meeting inbound and returned exchange students. This will definitely ease your nerves before the exchange journey.

  3. Know More about Visa Application
  4. There are different immigration and visa requirements for different host countries. Please make sure your passport is valid within the period of your study in the host country and allow sufficient time to apply for the student visa. Information is always available at the Consulate Generals in Hong Kong.

  5. Know More about Travel, Accommodation and Insurance Arrangements
  6. The orientation programme of the host university is your golden chance to meet new friends from around the world. Plan your travel schedule and try to arrive ahead of time so that you can take part in the orientation programme and leave some time for you to prepare for the new semester.

    The majority of partner universities have on-campus student accommodation. Please apply for student hostels in time. If your host university cannot offer you on-campus student accommodation, contact the responsible student housing department of the partner University for further assistance.

    Some partner institutions may offer their own health insurance plans for exchange students on a compulsory basis. If not, before departure, purchase an insurance plan that will provide medical, accident and other coverage once your journey begins.

  7. Know More about yourself, CityU and Hong Kong

  8. Knowing more about yourself, your university and your home town will help you build up self-confidence and hence minimise frustrations when you adjust to an entirely new culture and living environment. You will find it easier to cope with culture shock, loneliness and the language barrier while away from home.

  9. Know You are Never Alone
  10. To help you prepare for your exchange studies, a series of Pre-departure Orientation Programmes is provided for you by the Mainland and External Affairs Office (MEAO). It offers learning skills surveys and interflow meetings with returned and inbound exchange students, to improve your intercultural communication skills and enhance your learning experience.

Don’t worry, prepare yourself for the best and MEAO and other departments will take care of the rest.