Frequently Asked Questions
1.
Do I need to apply for a student visa?
Anyone without the right of abode in Hong Kong must obtain a student visa to study in Hong Kong. The most efficient way to apply to the Hong Kong Immigration Department for the visa is via HKUST. HKUST will send a visa application form to each student with the admission package. After receiving the completed application form from the student, HKUST will process the application on the student’s behalf.
 
2.
The student visa is said to be good for a single journey. Can I leave Hong Kong on vacation during my studies at HKUST?
Yes. As long as the purpose of re-entry (except for Mainland China/Taiwan passport holders) into Hong Kong remains unchanged (that is, to study at HKUST), your student visa will remain valid. This means students do not need to re-apply for a student visa after traveling outside Hong Kong. It is important to note that a Hong Kong student visa does not entitle you to enter Mainland China (that is, parts of the People's Republic of China outside Hong Kong). To enter Mainland China, you must apply for the appropriate Mainland China visitor visa, which is NOT issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. If you are also planning to travel to other countries, you may need to apply for a tourist visa, either in your home country or in Hong Kong. Therefore, you are strongly advised to check with the consulates concerned in your home country/Hong Kong before your departure for Hong Kong.
 
3.
When should I arrive on campus?
Students are advised to arrive one or two days before the orientation sessions, which are usually scheduled two to three days before the start of each term. The orientation sessions are held for all incoming engineering exchange students to familiarize them with the University and help them get to know other exchange students in the School. Dates of the orientation sessions are usually provided in the admission package.
 
4.
Where can I find the courses available at HKUST?
A comprehensive list of HKUST’s approved courses can be found here. Not all courses are offered every term. The courses offered and class timetables are usually confirmed the week before course registration begins. Students are recommended to read the course offer information provided for previous semesters for reference before confirmed courses and class offer schedules for the forthcoming term are announced.
 
5.
When and how do I register for courses?
All students, including exchange students, register for courses through HKUST’s web-based course registration system, which is accessed via the University intranet. HKUST will send each student his/her HKUST student ID number to set up the network account in order to access the HKUST intranet before the start of course registration. Course registration usually takes place in late July or early August for the following Fall Term and in early January for the following Spring Term. HKUST will email the exact dates for course registration to all exchange students around a month before registration starts.  Owing to the significant time difference between your home country and Hong Kong, you may refer to this link to find out the corresponding date and time so that you will not miss the time for course registration.
 
6.
How many courses should I take?
Most courses at HKUST carry three credits, with three instructional hours per week. The minimum study load for UG exchange is 12 credits per term, whereas 15 credits is the normal load. UG exchange students are not allowed to take more than 18 credits in one term.
 
7.
How can I ensure that credits earned for courses taken at HKUST can be transferred to my home institution?
Credit transfers are approved by students’ home institutions. Students must consult their home institutions on this matter.
 
8.
As an engineering student, can I take courses from the other Schools at HKUST?
While students admitted to the School of Engineering are expected to be focused on engineering courses, i.e., courses within BIEN, CENG, CIVL, COMP, ELEC, ENEG, IEDA, MECH, and ENGG, enrolment in non-engineering courses will also be allowed (at a lower priority) as long as there are places available and students can fulfill the course prerequisites and any other enrolment conditions prescribed for the course. Students should note that courses at postgraduate level offered by the School of Business and Management are closed to all students from other Schools. Therefore, students admitted to the School of Engineering should not plan on taking business courses at postgraduate level. In addition, some courses are available exclusively to students in special programs. Students not enrolled in these programs (regular degree-seeking students and exchange students inclusive) cannot take these courses. Such programs are specified in the Guide for Applicants and the admission package sent to exchange students.
 
9.
Do I have to consider the final exam timetable when I select courses?
Each term consists of 13 weeks, followed by a final examination period. The examination timetable and regulations related to examinations are usually announced halfway through the term. The University Registrar, who is responsible for compiling the final exam timetable, will make sure no student is scheduled to sit more than one exam at the same time. However, as there are three different exam timeslots per day, students may need to sit more than one exam on the same day.
 
10.
Can I take a Chinese Language course for everyday communication?
HKUST offers Putonghua (Mandarin) or Cantonese courses during each regular term for students from a non-Chinese background i.e. LANG 1120 and LANG 1130. Exchange students are welcome to enrol in these credit-bearing courses. Enrolment is free as the courses form part of HKUST’s academic programs. Alternatively, exchange students can enroll in one of the non-credit bearing Putonghua (Mandarin) or Cantonese courses on a fee-paying basis. Courses are usually offered each term with fees. These courses are meant to help learners adapt to life in Hong Kong. They do NOT offer credits and will not appear on your official HKUST transcript.
 
11.
How do I apply for housing at HKUST? Am I guaranteed a place in a dorm?
Students should apply for University housing when completing our online application for the exchange program. Information on University accommodation can be found here. As housing in Hong Kong can be extremely expensive, exchange students are highly recommended to apply for University housing.
 
12.
Can I have a local student as a roommate?
No. HKUST will assign a roommate to each exchange student to better facilitate a diversified living environment.
 
13.
Will I have an e-mail account at HKUST?
The University provides all students with a free email account. This account is also the students' HKUST network account, through which students can register for courses online before they arrive in Hong Kong, and check their course enrolment status and personal particulars maintained by HKUST. Exchange students will be notified of setting up their own account prior to course registration. The account will expire after exchange students complete their studies at HKUST. Therefore, students are strongly advised not to use their HKUST email account for important communications that are likely to continue after the exchange period.
 
14.
Can I use the sports facilities on campus?
A student identity card will be issued to all exchange students upon registration. This card gives the holder access to all student facilities on campus.