Semester-long Student Exchange
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Eligibility and Selection Criteria
1. What are the requirements for the student exchange?
To be eligible for exchange studies, you must
- be a full-time undergraduate student of a UGC-funded bachelor's degree;
- have a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.5 or above in the last semester/term of study;
- complete at least one year of study for students from nominative 4-year undergraduate programmes and have major declared before they apply for Student Exchange Programme;
- complete at least one year of study at CityU before participating in exchange programmes for Advanced Standing students;
- fulfill the minimum English language requirement set for the Student Exchange Programme unless you choose programmes that are conducted in Chinese language at partner institutions in Mainland China or Taiwan;
- meet the English language requirements, if any, set by their host institutions.
2. I understand that I have to fulfill the English language requirement. What is that all about?
Students who wish to participate in exchange programmes using English as the medium of instruction and assessment must meet one of the following requirements at the time of application, Students should also satisfy English language requirement set by the host university, if any, and are strongly advised to take TOEFL or IELTS exam which are internationally recognized and widely accepted by the partner institutions.
- A minimum TOEFL score of 213 (computer-based test), 550 (paper-based test) or 79 (internet-based test); or
- A minimum IELTS overall band score of 6.5; or
- Grade C or above in one of the following subjects:
- HKALE Use of English / English Literature
- GCEAL English Literature (or grade B GCSE English Language)
- Senate approved English courses
- Level 4 of HKDSE English Language; or
- Any other equivalent English proficiency result, including a minimum of 1650 on SATI or International Baccalaureate Diploma with overall minimum scores of 28.
3. Can I apply for student exchange if I haven't met the English language requirement before the application deadline?
Yes, if you apply for a programme conducted in Chinese in the mainland or Taiwan. For all other exchange programme, students MUST fulfill the English requirement to be shortlisted for interview (institutional-level and college-level), or for getting a place in the exchange programme (departmental-level).
4. Is academic result a major selection criterion? What I mean is that does a student with a CGPA of 4.1 stand a higher chance than that with a CGPA of 2.9?
Not necessarily. Candidates are selected on academic merit and overall suitability. Students who are able to produce a valid IELTS (min. overall band 6.5) or TOEFL (min. iBT test score 79) or equivalent English language proficiency result that is internationally recognized and widely accepted by the partner institutions will have an advantage in the selection process. The Application Statement submitted as part of the application may be used for assessment, when necessary.
Study Plan Consideration and FYP
5. Can I go on exchange during my final year of study?
Please discuss your study plan with your Assistant Programme Leader for any foreseeable delay in your study progress. Also, it is not advisable for students to go on exchange in Semester B of your final year in view of the possible late receipt of transcript for credit transfer arrangement, which may cause delay in your graduation year.
6. How can I manage to complete my final year project if I go exchange in my final year of study? Is delay in graduation a must?
Students successfully got a place in the exchange programme can seek approval from the department on completing your second semester of final year project in summer term.
Eligibility and Things To Note:
- Special approval will only be considered on cases where students are going to complete/ have completed other curriculum requirements to graduate in that summer term.
- Approval of application must be sought before the start of student project. (Exception: Students who are confirmed student exchange places in second round are required to submit application once their exchange places in Semester B are confirmed. Approval process of those cases has to be completed by the Semester A before they depart for exchange.)
- Students are required to provide supporting documents including 1/ admission letter of the host institution for exchange, 2/ online grade display, and 3/ a study plan of the remaining semesters.
- Only students who can demonstrate a study plan showing his/her possible graduation in summer term if second part of FYP is allowed to be carried out are eligible to apply.
Please click here for the application form.
Which country, when to join and for how long?
7. Which countries can I go?
There are indeed a lot of options. Please refer to the following for different levels of exchange programme:
- Institutional-level Exchange Programme
- College-level Exchange Programme
- Departmental-level Exchange Programme
8. How long is the exchange
It depends. Normally, it lasts for one semester. The Government's funding support will be provided for one semester only. However, there are also precedent cases that students went on exchange for one full academic year.
9. Can I get credit transfer for courses that I take in an overseas university?
It depends very much on the level and relevancy of the courses you take in that university. To be sure, you should identify and discuss in detail with the Assistant Programme Leader before course registration. Please visit the Academic Regulations and Records Office’s Website for the details of applications for credit transfer. The duly completed credit transfer form should be passed to your major programme assistants for direct handling. No application fee is required.
Finance and Accommodation
10. Do I need to pay tuition to the partner institution?
No. Exchange students only need to pay tuition and all study-related costs to their home institution.
11. How much do I need to pay?
It depends on your destination. The university is providing Student Exchange Fund to support CityU students who are Hong Kong permanent residents studying in full-time, government-funded bachelor's degree programmes offered by CityU. Eligible students may receive a maximum of HK$12,000 up to 24,000 for one semester. Some other kinds of awards and scholarships are also available to non-local/ local students on competitive- and need-basis. More details can be referred here.
12. Although there are subsidies by the University, what if I finally find myself not being able to afford the exchange? Is there any loan available to successful applicants? If yes, how to apply?
Yes, there is a CityU Temporary Student Loan for Outbound Exchange Students or Overseas Internship/Activities administered by the Student Development Services. Please click here for details.
13. Is it easy to find accommodation?
Some overseas universities do not provide accommodations for exchange students. You should approach the International Office/ Study Abroad Office of your host institution for assistance.
14. I am a student from the Mainland. Can I join the student exchange programme?
As long as you meet the basic requirements for the student exchange programme, you may apply for exchange studies. However, you are not eligible for the Student Exchange Fund from University. Notwithstanding, you are eligible for the Special Fund for Non-local Outbound Exchange Students. Please refer to GEO website Financial Support Section for details.