Exchange Preparation

Successful candidates will receive an exchange nomination from the department. After accepting the nomination, you need to attend a briefing(around October, for Semester 2 exchange) organized by the International Affairs Office (IAO). At this briefing you will receive information about applying to your exchange host universityand other follow-up procedures. 

Below are procedures to follow after you have received a formal acceptance letter from your host university:

1. Applying for a student visa

Ensure your travel documents are 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, please 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Students should be fully aware of the fact that they will be withdrawn from the exchange programme if they fail to obtain a valid visa.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.

2. Arranging your accommodation and flight

Understand accommodation options offered by your host university. Apply as early as possible but do not pay for the accommodation until you have received the enrolment letter.

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

When you decide on 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.

3. Applying for exchange funding

You will become familiar with the exchange funding that is applicable to you at the IAO briefing. You can apply for the funding by completing the online Application for Exchange Funding and Pre-departure Form received from IAO.

4. Becoming familiar with insurance coverage

PolyU has arranged a Group Travel Insurance for staff and students on official activities outside of Hong Kong, international student exchange inclusive. Certain countries / host university may require exchange students to purchase health insurance for the duration of exchange. Carefully check the health insurance requirements of your host university and country as they may vary. PolyU Group Travel Insurance may not fulfil their requirements and you may need to arrange an alternative form of health insurance. Please refer to the IAO website for more information.

5. Selecting subjects for pre-approval and consulting one of the Student Exchange Officers

Students are responsible for selecting relevant subjects for pre-approval by Dr. Anne Schluter or Dr. Gerald Stell (ENGL Student Exchange Officers). When consulting Dr. Anne Schluter/Dr. Gerald Stell about your subject selection, bring with you the subject syllabuses. Also, be sure to come to the meeting with information about the number of credit hours that the host university considers to be a full course load for exchange students. This information can be provided in the form of printed official correspondence with the host university or a printed page from the host university’s international office that shows this information.

Students need to observe the number of content and proficiency subjects as stipulated in Q7 of FAQs on the departmental student exchange website. Students should note the policy of credit transfer. Please allow yourself sufficienttime to look for classes and discuss them with the student exchange officers. It is a good idea to begin this discussion with the student exchange officers in mid-October.

6. Submitting all required documents to Miss Christy Chan at AG428 before departure

  • Form AS41a
  • A copy of all the pre-selected subjects’ syllabi
  • A copy of the official information about the number of credits the host university considers to be a full course load for its exchange students.
  • A copy of the Acceptance Letter from the host university (For Departmental Exchange Student Only)
  • A copy of the student’s passport and visa (For Departmental Exchange Student Only)
  • A copy of the student’s flight itinerary and airfare receipt (For Departmental Exchange Student Only)
  • A copy of Insurance receipt (For Departmental Exchange Student Only)

Students who wish to obtain one of the Student Exchange Officers’ signatures on exchange-related documents, please submit the forms to Miss Christy Chan at AG428. Students do NOT need to contact the Student Exchange Officer or BAESP Programme leader individually for approval.


7. 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 you are considering adding/dropping after you arrival at the host institution, including the syllabi for each of the added subjects. Any subsequent change in subject selection MUST be approved by Dr. Anne Schluter/Dr. Gerald Stell; otherwise, you run the risk of not having your credits transferred upon your return. 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. Be sure to allow sufficient time for any subject approval that is sought while on exchange. The Department reserves the right not to recognise any subjects that have not been approved by the Student Exchange Officers.

8. Applying for credit transfer after returning to Hong Kong

After you return to Hong Kong and receive the Official Transcript issued by your host university, you are required to submit online Form AS41c (Application for Credit Transfer) and upload the following documents as soon as possible:

  • A copy of the Official Transcript issued by the host university
  • Updated subject syllabi as handed out to students during exchange 
  • The approval email from Dr. Anne Schluter/ Dr. Gerald Stell for subject changes (if any)

An email notification will be issued to you via PolyU email if your credit transfer application is successful. IAO will confirm with department your credit transfer status at the end of the following semester 1. If students fail to gain approved credit transfer, IAO will demand return of their exchange sponsorship.

In addition, please be aware that it is necessary for students to pass all of their courses while on exchange. Failure in any single course will result in the deduction of the number of credits to be transferred upon return. This rule applies equally to students who are enrolled in minors and those who are single-discipline ENGL students.