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Checklist for Successful Applicants Congratulations on being selected as an exchange student in the JMSC Exchange Programme! This is a valuable opportunity to widen your horizons. As we say in our JMSC motto, “Asian voices, global views.” In studying abroad, there are a number of matters you need to attend to. The Office of International School Exchange (OISE) provides general guidance for all HKU exchange students. Have a quick glance now at the material below! Enrollment at HKU Even though you will be studying overseas for one or two semesters as an exchange student, you are still required to maintain your normal enrolment status at HKU. To maintain your enrolment at HKU, you MUST follow these important steps:
Lodge an application for leave of absence at the Office of the Faculty at which you are enrolled. You may need supporting documents such as an award letter or an admission letter issued by the host university. It is important that you obtain an official letter of approval. You are then requested to submit a copy of the approval letter to the OISE at the 9th floor, Knowles Building.
Apply for credit transfer, if applicable, at the Office of the Faculty at which are you are enrolled. It is advisable to consult the Head of the relevant department for advice. Should your request be supported, obtain an official letter from the appropriate authority for re-registration purposes. It is essential that you keep your Faculty informed of any changes to the courses taken overseas as soon as it happens. When you arrive in the host university, you may find that some of the courses chosen are not offered during your stay, or you may wish to select other courses that you consider more interesting or relevant. Before committing to any changes, you must refer back to the person at HKU who originally approved your programme of study.
Before you leave the host university after the completion of your exchange study, apply for an official statement/transcript of your results for all the units studied. If this cannot be issued before your departure, arrange for it to be sent to you or to the OISE. The OISE will be able to follow up with the host university if you have any problem in obtaining your results.
As soon as you have your official statement/transcript of results, submit it to your Faculty Office and make an application for credits in the same way as if you were seeking credits for other coursework done in HKU.
Register at the Faculty Office before the start of semester as you would normally do at the beginning of each academic year. If you have followed the instructions in point 2 and (b) of point 3, the Faculty Office will by then have an up-to-date record of the credits earned during your exchange abroad and the expected units of courses to be completed in the new academic year.
Before your departure There are a number of practical things you need to do before your departure from Hong Kong:
Obtain a passport, or ensure your current passport will remain valid throughout your exchange period. Please note that many countries do not allow anyone to enter the country if they have less than six months' validity on their passport from their proposed date of departure. Thus, if you intend to be abroad for six/twelve months, you will need at least twelve/eighteen months' validity on your passport.
Check if you need a visa for the country in which you intend to study. It would be helpful to obtain your visa at the same time you book your flight ticket, as you may request your travel agent to take care of the arrangements for you.
If your host university does not offer a compulsory medical plan, it is advisable to take out private medical insurance as you will not be covered by the University whilst you are overseas. You should ensure that you are covered by comprehensive health, accident, personal property and travel insurance for the entire period of your study abroad.
Obtain information from your host university, especially details of
- airport reception (Will anyone meet you at the airport? If not, how will you get to the host
- accommodation (Has this be arranged in advance? Can it be changed? If nothing has been
arranged, where will you stay until you make your own arrangements?)
- orientation programme provided for new students. (This will help you prepare for your travel
Try and catch up with students who have returned from an exchange programme in your host country/ university. They may be able to give you some valuable tips on how to arrive, thrive and survive! The OISE will be able to put you in touch with someone if you do not personally know of anyone who has returned from overseas.
Payment of Tuition Fees Make arrangements to pay your tuition fees when they fall due. Even though you will be overseas, it still has to be paid to confirm your enrolment. It is wise to have someone pay the tuition fees on your behalf when the invoice is issued. The invoice will be sent to your forwarding address. Forwarding Address Make sure the Faculty Office is advised of a forwarding address in Hong Kong that will be valid during your stay abroad. Generally, the most appropriate forwarding address will be your permanent
home address and you should make arrangements for someone to check your mail from the University so that any action that is necessary in your absence can be taken promptly. As soon as you are settled in the host university, get in touch with someone at your forwarding address in Hong Kong so they know how to contact you if anything needs action or clarification. It would be useful if you could let the OISE know your email address so that we can get in touch with you from time to time. Upon your arrival in host country Life in a new country can be fun, but it can also be lonely and frustrating. Homesickness, culture shock, initial problems with studies and the high cost of living can all add up to make things difficult. Please note that the staff of the International Office or Study Abroad Office at your host university can assist in dealing with any problems, so please make use of the services provided by these offices. In case you need to leave the host university immediately during your exchange due to academic, financial or family problems, please seek advice and approval from the International Office at your host university as well as the OISE of HKU before you make your plan. If the host university is running an orientation programme, it is important that you attend as this programme is designed to: introduce you to your new environment; help you to familiarize yourself with the host country's ways of living and customs, manner of speech, climate, academic system, etc.; inform you of the facilities available in the host university and the local community; provide an opportunity to meet fellow international students and possibly other Hong Kong student. Upon your return to Hong Kong Please inform the OISE the date of your return to Hong Kong once it is confirmed. You are required to submit a questionnaire and a report on your exchange activities to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic) through OISE within one month upon your return to Hong Kong. In an attempt to connect people who have participated in the exchange programmes offered by HKU, the OISE will keep a database of students who have undertaken exchange. You will be sent surveys and may be asked to attend information sessions at various publicity events. You will also be invited to become our 'buddies' and assist our incoming international students to adapt to local life. The OISE hopes that you will commit to these opportunities to share your experiences and to encourage prospective exchange students to participate in these programmes. Further information or enquiries Please contact the Office of International Student Exchange, Academic Liaison Section, The Registry. Address: 9th Floor, Knowles Building, HKU E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 28591186 Fax: 28585413
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