HKUWW Exchange Programme

General Information

How does student exchange work at HKU?

A partner institution accepts a student from HKU for a period of study based on a partnership agreement. The accepted HKU students continue to pay tuition fees to HKU during the exchange period. The student may then apply for a credit transfer for the courses completed at the partner institution, subject to their curriculum requirements and the approval of the faculty concerned.

How can I apply for exchange?

You can choose one of the following two options:


(1) HKUWW Undergraduate Student Exchange Programme

The HKUWW Undergraduate Student Exchange Programme will be open for application in late September. All undergraduate students from all faculties are welcome to join this programme.




(2) Faculty level/departmental level Exchange Programme


Some faculties or departments may have their own partners for exchange programmes. The application period for faculty level exchange programmes varies among faculties. If you wish to participate in the programmes, you may approach your own faculty to seek further information.

Alternatively, if you are not nominated for an exchange programme or you are interested in institutions that are not our existing partners, you may consider joining their visiting or study abroad programmes. Please note that paying tuition fees to the host institution is required. You will also have to go through the whole application process on your own. Seeking your faculty’s approval for a credit transfer is also required. Please contact your faculty academic advisor for further information if you have such a plan.

Can I apply for both HKUWW Exchange Programme and Faculty Level Exchange Programme?

Different faculties will have different policies, so please ask your faculty about its policy before application.

Should I apply for exchange through IAO or my faculty?

Please note that there are different types of exchange agreements with partner institutions. Some agreements are exclusively assigned to specific faculties only.  Different institutions may also have their own restrictions on programmes offered to exchange students. For instance, some institutions do not allow exchange students to take courses from certain faculties. Please research (link to search engine) and read the fact sheets for the relevant information.

How can I transfer credits from the host institution? Do I need to defer my study in HKU if I go on exchange?

Please apply to your faculty for approval of credit transfer and leave of absence after you have formally been admitted by the host institution and selected your courses. During the application stage, you may refer to the course database regarding course approval from previous years. Planning ahead and communicating with your faculty is key.

What courses can I take at the host university?

Many partner institutions will list course or programme restrictions for exchange students. Please check very carefully before you fill in your choices.

Where will I live while I am studying at the host institution?

Many partner institutions provide housing for exchange students. Some do not, but provide assistance to find accommodation. Be prepared that you may need to arrange your own accommodation.

Can I apply for exchange places given up by students in the Main Round?

In previous years there have been at least two rounds of late round applications. However, late round application(s) will only be available if we have remaining exchange places to offer. Please check our website for the most up-to-date information.

HKUWW or Faculty/Department-level Exchange Programmes

What are the procedures?

Here is a brief rundown of the procedures:


  1. Apply for exchange programme through related office (IAO/faculty/department).
  2. Submit required supporting documents.
  3. Attend interviews (if any).
  4. Receive placement result from related office.
  5. Get nominated by the host institution.
  6. Complete the exchange application process.
  7. Submit required supporting documents to the host institution.
  8. Receive admission/acceptance letter from the host institution.
  9. Apply for entry visa (if required).
  10. Time to fly!
Which exchange period can I choose?

You may choose the exchange period according to the available semesters offered per host institution. Please make sure the period you choose does not clash with any of your semesters at HKU. Due to the popularity of the programmes, only one semester exchange is available for US and Canada institutions. The quota for full-year study is limited, so please explain in the Personal Statement why you should be considered. If you choose a study abroad destination in Asia or Europe, you will have a better chance for full-year study.

Can I extend semester of my exchange period at a later stage?

There is no regular extension of exchange study. However, you may consider applying to the host institution by changing your status from Exchange Student to Visiting Student. You will then be responsible for the full tuition fee.

Can I change my exchange period at a later stage?

You are not allowed to change the period once you have accepted the offer.

Can I go to exchange during for my final year last semester?

If you go on exchange during your final year last semester, there is a chance that you will not be able to graduate on time. As different host institutions have different semester dates, there may be insufficient time to process the credit transfer back to HKU, which in turn will defer your graduation. Please be cautious about this risk; planning ahead is important.

What will happen if I do not get into my first preference?

You will be considered for your other preferences. There are many factors affecting the placement result, particularly the availability of places and competition among applicants. Tip! Be flexible when choosing your exchange preferences.

Can I apply if my current CGPA is not high enough?

In previous years, the chance of getting into the programme was relatively higher with CGPA 3.0. However, please note that the competition is very fierce. During exchange placements, your CGPA in Semester 1 during the year of application to HKUWW will be taken into consideration.  For MBBS applicants, your academic ranking will be taken into consideration.

I am a Year 1 student and I don’t have my CGPA now. Can I apply for HKUWW?

Yes, you can. We will refer to your CGPA after the results of Semester 1 in the year of your application to HKUWW have been announced.

Is it a must to apply with TOEFL / IELTS results?

TOEFL / IELTS score is necessary for application. If students are not able to provide the related result, they may have a disadvantage during the exchange placement.

Please note that we do not accept any supporting documents after the application deadline.

Special Arrangement: For IELTS, should I apply for IELTS (Academic) or IELTS (UKIV Academic), if I wish to apply for UK institut

If you are required to apply for Tier 4 student visa, only IELTS (UKIV Academic) will be accepted. Please be reminded to apply for the specific test rather than the regular one.

If you are not required to apply for Tier 4 student visa in order to study in UK, both IELTS (UKIV Academic) and regular tests can be accepted for exchange application. 

Please obtain update for the related policy regularly as it may change from time to time.