Exchange Preparation

Instruction to Exchange Preparation 

Procedure to follow after you have received a formal acceptance letter from your host university:

1. Submitting a paper or an electronic copy of the acceptance letter to Miss Zoe Mak at AG428

We will forward your acceptance letter to IAO for the issuing of a Certification Letter, which is needed for your visa application.

2. Applying for student visa

Ensure your travel document is valid for at least 6 months after the end of your exchange period. Renew it immediately if necessary.

Check out the procedures and documents required from the Consulate General and proceed with your visa application immediately upon receipt of your acceptance letter. 
Non-local students are advised to apply for their visas in Hong Kong instead of the Embassy / Consulate in their home country. This is to ensure immediate support from PolyU in case the Consulate requests any supplementary documents to justify the application.

If the Consulate requires a certificate of student status, approach the Country Coordinator of the IAO at PolyU for assistance.

Students should get their financial proof ready by the time they apply for a visa. Students have a high possibility of being rejected by the Consulate if they are unable to demonstrate they have sufficient funds in their bank account. The financial proof has to be in English. It is not a monthly statement but a bank document with evidence of a balance equivalent to the minimum amount required by the host country. It is best to present a bank document with the student’s name as the account holder.

You should also ensure that your student visa will be able to cover your entire exchange period.
Students should be fully aware of the fact that they will be withdrawn from the exchange programme if they fail to obtain a valid visa. Students are unlikely to be offered a second chance for exchange in other semesters.

3. Arranging your flight

Make your flight reservation as soon as your travel dates are confirmed but beware that payment should only be made AFTER you have obtained your student visa.

When you decide your departure date to the host University, you should refer to its Academic Calendar and look for the start and end dates of the academic semester. Ensure your departure date will not clash with the exam period at PolyU. Arrive prior to the start of the semester, if necessary, to attend induction activities or pre-semester language subjects.

4. Selecting subjects for pre-approval by Student Exchange Officer

Students are responsible for selecting relevant subjects for pre-approval by Dr. Anne Schluter/Dr. Gerald Stell (Student Exchange Officers). When consulting Dr. Anne Schluter/Dr. Gerald Stell about your subject selection, bring with you the subject syllabuses. Students need to observe the number of content and proficiency subjects as stipulated in Q11 of FAQs on the departmental student exchange website at . Please allow yourself sufficient time to make out the plan.

5. Submitting all required documents to Miss Zoe Mak at AG428 

  • Form AS41a
  • A copy of all the pre-selected subjects syllabuses
  • IAO Exchange Scholarship & Hardship Fund Endorsement Form
  • A copy of the Acceptance Letter from the host university
  • A copy of Passport and Visa (For Departmental Exchange Student Only)
  • A copy of flight itinerary and airfare receipt (For Departmental Exchange Student Only)

Students who wish to obtain Student Exchange Officer’s signature on exchange-related documents, please submit the forms to Miss Zoe Mak at AG428. Students do NOT need to contact the Student Exchange Officer or BAESP Programme leader individually for approval.

The General Office staff will release the departmental subsidy to eligible exchange students (subject to approval) only after their timely submission of the admission letter, student visa, air ticket and approved Form AS41a.

6. Seeking endorsement if there is any change in subject selection

After you have arrived at the host university, if there is any change in the pre-approved subjects, you MUST immediately consult Dr. Anne Schluter/Dr. Gerald Stell for advice by email. Include, in your email, the list of subjects originally approved followed by the subjects add/dropped after you arrival at the host institution, including the syllabus for the added subjects. Any subsequent change in subject selection MUST be approved by Dr. Anne Schluter/Dr. Gerald Stell. It is important to keep a copy of the approval email because presentation of the approval for subject change during exchange will be required upon return to Hong Kong. It is students’ responsibility to choose subjects and to seek subject approval from the Student Exchange Officers before and during exchange. The Department reserves the right not to recognise any subjects that have not been approved by the Student Exchange Officers.

7. Applying for credit transfer

After you return to Hong Kong and receive the Official Transcript issued by your host university, you are required to submit Form AS41c (Application for Credit Transfer/Exemption) with a copy of Official Transcript issued by the host university, updated subject syllabuses as handed in to students during exchange, and the approval email from Dr. Anne Schluter/Dr. Gerald Stell for subject changes (if any) to Miss Zoe Mak at AG428.

8. Submitting Credit Transfer Approval letter to IAO 

An approval letter by the Department will be issued to you via email if your credit transfer application is successful. Upon IAO confirms your successful credit transfer application with the Department, you will be informed of collecting your Exchange Certificate issued by IAO.  If students fail to gain approved credit transfer, IAO will demand return of their exchange sponsorship.


Last updated in Oct 2018