FAQs for Student Exchange Programme 

Q1. Who can apply for departmental exchange programme? What are the selection criteria? 

Year Two BAESP students with a Sem 1 of Year 2 GPA above 2.9 are qualified to apply. The selection will be based on the accumulated GPA of Year One and Year Two, extra-curricular activities, and performance at a selection interview.


Q2. Which semester should students go for overseas exchange? 

BAESP students are recommended to go on exchange in Semester 2 of Year 3 so that they would not miss the core subject ENGL3002 Research Methods for Language Studies, which is only open in Semester 1.

Since BAESP students under the 4-year curriculum have to finish the compulsory Level-4 BAESP subjects and the Capstone Project in Year 4 (Final Year), they are NOT allowed to go on exchange in their Final Year.


Q3. Can I apply for both institutional and departmental student exchange programmes?

You can apply for both. However, when you receive an offer from the IAO, your application for the departmental student exchange programme will not be processed.


Q4. Can I apply for summer exchange programmes?

Yes, you can. The main requirement is that the summer exchange programme runs for at least six weeks to be eligible for credit transfer. Subject suitability shall be discussed with Exchange Officer.


Q5. Which exchange institution should I choose?

Check the subjects offered to exchange students at each institution.

For the institutional exchange programme, you should choose an institution which has a Department of English or Linguistics, for instance, so that you can have enough credits transferred. 

For the departmental exchange programme, you can choose from our partner institutions. The list is available here


Q6. Are there any language requirements when I apply for exchange?

Students who wish to study in Spain or Japan must take one Spanish or Japanese subject in Sem 1 Year 3 and obtain at least a Pass. The offer will be withdrawn if a candidate fails the subject.

A student whose first language is not Korean and wants to take regular courses taught in Korean at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies are required to provide evidence of Korean language proficiency: a. Over the 3rd grade of TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) or 350 of KLPT; b. Over the 3rd level certificate of HUFS Center for Korean Language & Culture; c. Official transcript proving you have earned at least 15 total credits from Korean Language related courses. Please refer to http://international.hufs.ac.kr/ more details.

The level of English language proficiency required by the University of Southampton is an IELTS test score of 6.5 or above with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component in the Academic Module. The test is only valid for two years from the date of issue. The University of Southampton will not normally insist upon an applicant providing an IELTS if (s)he has recently taken one of the following qualifications to at least the standard indicated. 

Hong Kong (HKALE) A Level – Use of English


Hong Kong (HKCEE) English Language


Hong Kong (HKDSE) English


It is students’ responsibility to check the most up-to-date English language requirements from the University of Southampton’s website at www.southampton.ac.uk/studentadmin/admissions/admissionspolicies/language/


Q7. What are the application procedures?

Please check the ‘Outbound Exchange’ section of the IAO website (www.polyu.edu.hk/iao/polyu-application-how.php) and the website of the English Department (http://www.engl.polyu.edu.hk/studentexchange/application.html) for information about the application procedures.

You have to seek endorsement from the Student Exchange Officer of the Department of English before submitting your application to IAO for the institutional exchange programme.


Q8. When is the application deadline?

The application for institutional exchange usually closes in October or November each year; the application for departmental exchange closes between February and March each year. Details regarding application deadlines will be sent to students through PolyU email accounts.


Q9. Can I get credit transfer for subjects taken on exchange? How many credits can I transfer back to PolyU? How many subjects should I take at the host university?

Please refer to the Policy of Credit Transfer for Exchange Students here.


Q10. Can non-ENGL students validate subjects taken at an overseas institution for subjects in the Department of English? 

Non-ENGL students can validate a maximum of 9 credits for either free electives or a minor programme in the Department of English. A block credit transfer system may be adopted for credit validation towards a minor in ENGL, while observing the limit of up to 9 credits. To be entitled for a block credit transfer, a minimum of two-thirds of the chosen subjects should be content subjects. For example, out of three subjects, two should be content subjects (see Q11 below about ‘content’ subjects).

Credit validation may also be granted on a subject-to-subject basis; that is, students can validate up to 3 subjects (up to 9 credits) with reference to the ENGL curriculum, for non-compulsory, non-Level-4 subjects. 

Please note that the medium of instruction of your chosen subjects must be English. Students need to contact the ENGL Student Exchange Officer to seek advice on the selection of subjects and to obtain subject endorsement before departure. It is entirely students’ responsibility to choose relevant subjects and keep the content/proficiency subject ratio in balance. The student will have to obtain at least a pass in the subjects taken overseas for credit validation.

If non-ENGL students have already sought approval for the subject(s) for credit transfer in their home department, the Department of English cannot double count subjects. Students need to decide from which department, their home department or Department of English, they are going to validate credits for the subjects taken at the host university.

Non-ENGL students should seek advice from their Departmental Exchange Officer for other subjects relevant to their major pathway before going on exchange, observing each department’s own policy.


Q11. What is a content subject? Which subjects should I choose at the host university? 

Content subjects refer to those introducing particular theoretical knowledge. They are different from proficiency subjects, which aim to improve language skills (speaking, listening, reading and/or writing). ‘English Semantics’, for example, is a content subject while ‘Intermediate Spanish’ is a proficiency subject.


Q12. Will subjects taken during exchange affect my GPA at PolyU?

Grades/marks obtained at the host university will not be counted towards your PolyU GPA. However, at least a pass in the subjects taken overseas is necessary in order to be granted credit transfer. All the subjects must have been formally assessed.


Q13. Is there any funding available for exchange students?

All exchange students, going on either the institutional or departmental exchange programme, can apply to IAO for the PolyU International Student Exchange Sponsorship. In addition, students who have financial difficulties in participating in an exchange programme (excluding summer semester) can apply for extra financial assistance from the IAO’s Hardship Fund. The amount of Sponsorship and Hardship Fund for students varies according to their exchange destinations. Please refer to www.polyu.edu.hk/iao/polyu-international-student-exchange.php for details.

BAESP exchange students at the departmental level will normally receive a subsidy from the Department of English (subject to approval). Students need not apply for this subsidy. The departmental subsidy will be granted to the exchange students individually after they have submitted to the ENGL General Office a copy of the admission letter, air ticket, and the completed pre-approval subject selection form. Students will receive the subsidy during their exchange.

Eligible BAESP students may apply for financial support from Department of English only once during their undergraduate period of study to support an international event (student exchange or overseas WIE programme). Students who have been granted a departmental subsidy for their overseas WIE programme will not be eligible for an exchange subsidy by the Department.

Students can also apply for the Grant and Loan Scheme from the Hong Kong Government. The funding schemes are independently administered to assist students financially for different purposes. Please refer to SAO’s website https://www.polyu.edu.hk/sao/fa/gfa/ for more details.


Q14. Where can I find the relevant information if I would like to go to China for exchange?

Please visit CMAO’s website at www.polyu.edu.hk/poc/04_outbound.html



Last updated in Oct 2018