Pre-departure Notes

Financial matters

Information of subsidy schemes available for students attending exchange activities to Mainland China can be found on

Travel Documents

Valid Home Return Permit (回鄉證) is required for HK citizens to travel to the Mainland. For non-HK citizens, Exit-Entry Permit or passport with valid visa is required. Students are responsible for preparing their own travelling documents.


HKU will provide basic overseas travel insurance for students who were successfully nominated by China Affairs Office. However, students are strongly recommended to make extra travel insurance arrangement according to individual needs, especially for those who wish to advance or extend their stay in the destination(s). For the university coverage, please refer to the policy for undergraduates and postgraduates provided by Finance and Enterprise Office for reference (SIS menu -> Financial Services -> FEO info & hotlines -> Finance and Enterprises Office -> Insurance info for students). Mainland Affairs Office will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss, damage, expense, and claim of any description that occurred during the students’ participation in the Programme.

The University of Hong Kong Global Assistance Programme (Intl.SOS)

The University of Hong Kong is partnering with International SOS (Intl.SOS) to provide worldwide emergency support to all HKU students and staff. The International SOS offers local expertise, preventative advice and emergency assistance through Intl.SOS network of assistance centres, clinics and health and logistics providers throughout the world. Members may take advantage of this powerful resource by calling an International SOS assistance centre, which has physicians, multilingual coordinators, operations managers, logistics support personnel and medical and security professionals on hand to speak with you. Please read the details and download the HKU membership card at

Academic Matters

Please consult your faculty regarding the credit transfer application or related issues. The Faculty has the final authority to decide the number of courses and credits taken at the host university to be transferred back to HKU towards your degree.

Emotional Preparation

  • Establish your own lifestyle with increased personal independence and responsibility
  • Appreciate the opportunities to exercise your judgment with problem independently
  • Make sense of a new culture through listening and observations and adapt to different attitudes, values, lifestyles, and ways of thinking
  • Understand the academic expectations and different learning culture in your host university
  • Have sensitivity when being asked about your first impression of your host university/country. It is appropriate to give neutral comments because you are new to your host university and unfamiliar with her traditions and culture
  • Develop new friendships and social networks
  • If you find yourself confused or disoriented in the initial period, try to remember that this is a natural stage to go through. The key to managing new experiences is to be as prepared as possible, and expect unfamiliarity​

Safety Issues

  • Avoid going out after midnight or in a known high-crime area
  • Carry whistle or other personal safety device in case you are in danger
  • Monitor alcohol consumption and aware of the legal age to buy alcohol
  • Wear your backpack on your front in crowded areas
  • Do not accept rides from strangers
  • Do not carry large sums of cash
  • Keep emergency numbers in a handy place and report any suspicious incidents to the campus security department (but remember not to misuse the phone calling)
  • Just in case if you are now facing the natural disaster:
    • Do not place heavy or hard objects on high shelves if there is any earthquake. Get under a sturdy table and stay away from concrete objects that could fall over
    • Do not use elevators
    • Follow the directions of the personnel in charge if you are in a large public area
    • Place a bag over your head for protection from falling objects if you are on the street, or even you can put on a helmet or a cushion to protect your head

Health Issues

Pre-travel consultation

  • You should discuss with your family doctor before travel if you have any medical problem
  • Medications that you need to take regularly should be carried as hand baggage
  • Make a record of medicines that you are using
  • Check with your travel agent, doctor or your host university for the types of vaccines required. These may include vaccination against hepatitis A and B, yellow fever (required under the International Health Regulations if you visit certain countries in Africa and South America), typhoid fever, etc.
  • If vaccination is required, inform the health professional about any allergy you may have before receiving the vaccine
  • Prepare a travel medical kit containing a thermometer, masks, desindectants such as alochol swabs and mdeications as
  • Consider obtaining travler's health insurance because medical care can be costly or not readily available overseas, and sometimes repatriation is needed
Diarrhoea (腹瀉)
  • Drink plenty of fluid and eat a diet of non-greasy, easily digestible food
Avoiding Mosquito-Borne Diseases
  • Mosquito can transmit several lethal diseases such as Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Japanese Encephalitis and Malaria
  • Avoid being outdoors during mosquito feeding times (between duck and dawn for Malaria, daytime for Dengue Fever)
  • Stay in air-conditioned rooms or those protected by screens
  • Apply insect repellent to exposed skin. Choose one containing DEET (N, Ndienthyl-3-benzamide). Repeated application may be required. Concentration of “DEET” should not exceed 35% for adult (all undergraduates are assumed to be an adult)
Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Beware of the dangers of casual sex while you are abroad (or even go to mainland as well)
  • A single exposure is sufficient to transimt HIV virus (which cause AIDS) or other sexually transmitted diseases if your sexual partner happens to be a carrier
  • Using condoms correctly provides some protection from getting the sexually transmitted disease but the golden rule is to refrain from promiscuity and never have sex with strangers
  • When hiring vehicles, you should check carefully the insurance coverage, a well as the state of the tyres, safety belts, lights, brakes, etc.
  • Be careful in high-risk activities like sky driving, shooting rapids, high altitude trekking, diving, etc.
After the trip
  • If you have fever, rash, to name just a few, that you had been to an area with a recent outbreak of infectious diseases or had been in contact with some sick people or had travelled to rural or developing areas, remember to tell your doctor where you have been
For further information, please visit UHS website at Additional information of health tips for travelers ** Before travel, for the person who (1) feels unwell or has a fever and (2) has been in close contact with suspected or confirmed Avian Flu/Middle East Respiratory Syndrome patients in the last 10/14 days, is advised NOT to travel and should seek medical advice

Useful information of Website

Service provided by HKSAR Government’s “Assistance to Hong Kong Residents in the Mainland"

You are advised to familiarize yourself with the services provided by the ‘Assistance to Hong Kong Residents in the Mainland’

Trouble shooting: Sources of Support

As for any crisis threatening your personal safety, you should:

  • Contact the local emergency authorities for assistance
  • Speak with the contact person of your host university
  • Ring up the HK Immigration Department 24-hour hotline: (852) 1868
  • Inform your parents /relatives/friends in Hong Kong