Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Incoming Students
- Except for the MBA programmes, all undergraduate and graduate programmes follow a two-semester calendar that runs from September to December for the 1st (Fall) Semester, and from mid-January to May for the 2nd (Spring) Semester. Exchange students are free to depart Hong Kong after finishing the final exams.
- Yes. The number of credits assigned to a course is indicative of the contact time with a teacher and/or the study time associated with that course on a weekly basis over a period of one semester. In general, a single credit represents attendance once a week throughout the semester at a lecture or recitation lasting 50 minutes. Students are classified as full-time when registering for a minimum of 12 credits per semester (students must maintain 12 credits to satisfy the Hong Kong Immigration student visa requirements). A student should follow a study plan comprising courses of not normally more than 18 units per semester.
- Applications for transfer of credits will be subject to the approval of the students' home institutions.
- Exchange students are free to choose and enroll in any courses list, provided you do not foresee any problem in medium of teaching and have also met the prerequisite requirements, if any, of the courses). Exchange students should confer with your home institution academic adviser to seek approval for selected courses for the purpose of credit transfer. The list of courses offered to exchange students is available here. The updated list of course offerings will usually be available in April to May.
Generally, prerequisites are not rigidly applied, but the backgrounds of exchange students are examined to ensure suitability for the requested courses.
Exchange students should check carefully with their home institutions about credit transfer of courses.
Generally, there is no laboratory fee but students are required to pay for the materials fees if students are enrolled in the Visual Arts courses. An estimate of US$250.00 per semester for books is also suggested.
Housing & Meals
Please refer to Accommodation.
The Undergraduate Halls are co-educational. Room assignments are gender specific.
There is no meal plan, mandatory or optional, available at HKBU. There are currently several dining facilities on campus, ranging from quick/simple meals to full multi-course provision of both Chinese and Western styles. The cost per meal falls approximately within the range of US$4-15, depending on which meal of the day and its fullness. There are also several commercially operated restaurants/cafeterias within easy walking distance of the campus offering a wide range of prices.
Smoking, drinking, possession or use of or involvement with illegal drugs will not be tolerated anywhere on campus. Offenders will be reported to local authorities for prosecution.
The electrical voltage in Hong Kong is 220-240 Volts AC, 50Hz. Please make sure your electric appliances are 220-240V adaptable. Otherwise you may get an adaptor which is inexpensive and can be easily bought in Hong Kong.
Fees & Expenses
This depends on how you dine, how much shopping you do, and the entertainment engaged in. The following monthly expenses (excluding tuition and room fees) might serve as a general guideline:
|Housing (Undergraduate Halls)||HK$1,500|
|Air Conditioning* (Undergratuate Halls)||HK$500|
*Air conditioning expense is not included in the accommodation fee; the estimate is calculated on a 24-hour usage for a whole month and on a 50:50 share arrangement.
- Money (in cash or traveller's cheques) brought should be enough to cover about a month or so of living expenses. Additional funds, as needed, can be transferred by personal home bank cheques (a delay of 4-6 weeks until the cheque has cleared), electronic bank-to-bank transfer (higher charges but faster), or by credit card withdrawals. Personal cheques are not recommended due to the delay in the availability of the funds. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) are convenient and are widely accepted by shops and restaurants in Hong Kong.
- You can withdraw funds from home bank accounts via ATM facilities on campus and throughout the city. Be reminded that there is usually a daily/weekly/monthly cash withdrawal limit in most cases. It is convenient and easy to open a bank account in Hong Kong. There are two banks on campus: Hang Seng Bank and the Bank of East Asia. You should note that the transfer of money from your home country to Hong Kong (or vice versa) may incur a service charge.
Health & Insurance
- General practitioners and dental services are available on campus at the Health Services Centre. Referrals to specialist treatments can be made if required.
- HKBU also operates a Chinese medicine clinic on campus.
- You should have adequate insurance with international coverage.
- You should first check with their home institutions and/or insurance agents about insurance coverage. Certainly, coverage in force from your home institution/agent that covers you in international circumstances should be retained, and even be acquired, if need be on a short-term basis, before coming. If necessary, the International Office can assist you in purchasing medical coverage for the duration of your stay in Hong Kong.
- HKBU student insurance coverage does not apply to personal travel in and outside from Hong Kong for non-HKBU related activities/travel. You will want to be sure that you have adequate insurance when traveling outside Hong Kong for personal travels.
Campus Activities & Facilities
- HKBU is centrally located on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. The University has four campuses: the Ho Sin Hang Campus, the Shaw Campus, the Baptist University Road Campus and the Kai Tak Campus. The Ho Sin Hang Campus, the Shaw Campus and the Baptist University Road Campus are closely adjacent and within easy walking distance to one another.
- All four campuses are only 10-15 minutes' walk from underground railway (MTR), and are well serviced by public transport from virtually every area of Hong Kong.
Traveling to and from the campus and around Hong Kong is very easy by means of public transport, which is both convenient and inexpensive: underground railway (MTR), buses, mini-buses, taxis and ferries.
Yes, you are encouraged to participate in sports activities. Both the Wai Hang Sports Centre of the University and the Joint Sports Centre are multi-purpose sports complexes which provide modern sports facilities to all students. Sports activities are arranged through the sports centres and the Department of Physical Education.
- The International Office organizes the East-West Encounters Programme in which HKBU local students are grouped together with exchange and international students in an effort to promote cross-cultural encounters and to enhance language learning. Activities include an International Festival, Spirng Festival, bi-weekly gatherings at the Global Cafe, monthly outings and a farewell party at the end of the semester.
- The Office of Student Affairs organizes a wide range of co-curricular and extra-curricular programmes for students in order to enrich their educational experiences, such as a new local student orientation, the Leadership Development Programme (LDP), education programmes, University forums, etc.
- In addition, a number of activities and programmes are organized by the Undergraduate Halls providing both local, exchange and international students cross-cultural experiences.
- A number of student organizations and interest groups are opened to all students. In addition, the Chaplain's Office organizes Christian programmes, activities, and ministries including the Christian Student Union, the Christian Choir, worship services, Bible studies, cell groups, and outreach services, etc.
Immigration & Customs Issues
In order to apply for a visa, you need to provide your passport number and photocopy of your passport. Hence, you should obtain a passport as soon as possible if you do not have one. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your intended date of departure from Hong Kong.
Exchange students must obtain a student visa in order to study in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Immigration Department issues a student visa to any applicant who pursues a full-time programme at a university. Students should not enter Hong Kong with a tourist visa and then apply for conversion to a student visa. The Immigration Department may not approve such cases.
Students should apply for their student visas through HKBU - this is faster and more efficient. The visa application forms can be downloaded here. The completed forms with the required documents should be forwarded to the International Office for processing.
Same as above. After receiving the student visa, students who are residents of Mainland China should apply for an Exit-Entry Permit for travelling to and from Hong Kong; and the relevant exit endorsement from the Public Security Bureau Office where students' household registrations are kept.
Except for some countries, overseas students normally do not require a re-entry visa to resume their studies in Hong Kong provided that they return to Hong Kong within the limit of stay imposed with the student visa and that there is no change in circumstances since the last departure. In any case, you should first check with the Hong Kong Immigration Department before you leave Hong Kong.
- Permission given to you for education in Hong Kong is subject to the condition that you shall only study in the University as is approved. You cannot take up employment or engage in any business or undertake any work internships (unless the internship is required as an integrated part of your academic study at HKBU).
- Anyone who intends to stay in Hong Kong for a period exceeding 180 days (6 months) MUST apply for a Hong Kong Identity Card (HKID) from the Hong Kong Immigration Department within 30 days of arrival. Hence, students studying for two or more semesters will need to apply for a HKID card. The International Office will provide assistance in this regard.
- Hong Kong law requires that official personal identification be carried at all times. Persons who fail to comply with this requirement risk being fined by the law court if caught. The HKID card is a convenient means of complying with this law. While in Hong Kong, either while visiting or prior to obtaining a temporary identification card, foreign nationals should carry their passports at all times.
Traveling outside Hong Kong
- You should arrive Hong Kong on HKBU's expected arrival date so you will be able to participate in all orientation programmes, complete all necessary registration matters, and familiarize yourself with the new environment.
- Before departure, students must complete all programme requirements, examinations, assignments and clearance procedures.
- The preferred arrival and departure dates for exchange students are, respectively, in the last week of August and late December for the 1st (Fall) Semester, and the second week of January and late May for the 2nd (Spring) Semester. Final examinations are completed before Christmas in the 1st (Fall) Semester and before the end of May in the 2nd (Spring) Semester.
- For the exact dates of orientation programmes and examinations, please refer to the Academic Calendar.
You can decide on your own travel itinerary. However, in planning for trips outside Hong Kong, you must make sure that your studies and attendance at classes will not be affected. Please refer to the Student Handbook (Academic Issues and Regulations at HKBU) for the class attendance requirements.
Yes, you must obtain a tourist visa prior to departure. For more information, please refer to the Student Handbook (Traveling to China).
Further information can be obtained from the local offices of the Hong Kong China Travel Services or the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC in Hong Kong.
About Hong Kong
- Hong Kong is a city of diversity marked by a vigorous blend of East and West. The population is more than 7 million. The majority of the population in Hong Kong is ethnically Chinese, while there is also a large expatriate community. Chinese and English are the official languages in Hong Kong. English is frequently used in government and business dealings. Cantonese is the dialect mostly used for daily conversation. With Hong Kong's close relationship with the Mainland China, the use of Mandarin (Putonghua) is on the rise.
- Hong Kong is located in a mountainous coastal region of South China. It is divided into four major areas: Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, New Territories, and the outlying islands (about 235). Although certain urban areas within Hong Kong are among the most densely populated in the world, about 40% of the land in Hong Kong is protected and reserved as country parks.
- As for HKBU, its mission is to provide quality higher education in a Christian environment, combining broad-based liberal education with academic and professional vigor. HKBU has some 6,800 students studying in full-time undergraduate study programmes and approximately 3,800 students in Masters/MPhil/PhD programmes.
The climate of Hong Kong is sub-tropical. May to October is hot and humid usually with occasional heavy rainfall. Sometimes Hong Kong is hit by a tropical typhoon. From November to December, the temperature drops and the weather becomes less humid. January to March can be very cool with some fog and light rain with the average temperatures ranging about 15°C (59°F). Winter clothing is needed. April to May is unpredictable with temperature ranging from cool to pleasant.