HKUST Inbound Virtual Study Abroad
[2021/22 Fall Term]

This program allows students from HKUST's exchange partners to take 1-2 HKUST online courses while remaining a full-time student at their home universities.


This program is open to undergraduate students from HKUST’s participating exchange partners. Students must be nominated by their home universities, and are expected to remain full-time undergraduate students at their home universities. This is not an exchange program, and does not count towards exchange balances. Because it is not an exchange program, students should not plan to take a full course load at HKUST. Students should chose 1-2 courses from our course list that best complement their course plan at home. Credit transfer will be in accordance to the policy at the student’s home university.

Exchange partners interested in participating are welcome to contact HKUST Office of Global Learning at


Please click here for the course list in Fall 2021. 

These are regular HKUST undergraduate courses. All courses are synchronous, online interactive classes unless otherwise specified. Attendance will be marked. All students are required to attend classes and assessments according to the time and format set by the instructors.

NO special arrangements will be made for virtual study abroad students. Students should consider time zone differences before enrolling into a course.

Application Procedure

Interested students from participating exchange partners can apply by following the steps below.

  • Step 1: Seek nomination from home institution
    Seek the nomination by your home institution. Please check with your home institution for the application procedure, eligibility requirements and timeline. Normally, you should submit an application to your home institution, who would then forward their nominations to HKUST.

  • Step 2: Complete HKUST application
    If HKUST accepts the nomination, we will send login information to you to proceed to complete the HKUST application. Detailed instructions on the HKUST application can be downloaded here.
    After you submitted the application, HKUST will review it, and may contact you if more information is required. If everything is in order, you will receive an email regarding the virtual course arrangement.

Important Dates

Fall 2021

1 September to 18 December 2021 (including exam period)
16 August 2021
21 August 2021
13 September 2021

Course Add/Drop

Virtual study abroad students are allowed to submit their course enrollment plan once only with maximum two undergraduate courses. Based on the course enrollment plan, students will be pre-enrolled into the course(s) given:

  1. You are eligible to enroll the course,
  2. All course prerequisites are met,
  3. There are seats remaining, AND
  4. There are completely no time conflict in your class schedule.

The course enrollment result will be announced one week before the term starts. If students wish to drop a course, ‘drop’ request should be submitted to before the drop deadline aforementioned. Drop requests received after the drop deadline will be recorded as a “Withdrawal without Penalty (W)” grade on your HKUST transcript.

Due to limited number of course quota, priority will be given to partners who are hosting HKUST students to participate in their virtual courses. 

Coursework and Exam

Virtual study abroad students are not required to be physically present at HKUST to complete the coursework and examination requirements. Online exams and alternative assessments will be arranged.

For courses that require exams, the exam times might be standardized for all enrolled students to ensure equity although they could be located in different time zones. As such, students need to be prepared that the exam times may not be what you are accustomed to normally at your home institution.


HKUST will issue transcripts detailing the courses taken and the grades obtained. The transcripts will be mailed to your home institution.

HKUST uses a 4.3 grading scale, with letter grades, with Grade D being a marginal pass. Please visit here for details.

Credit transfers are approved by students’ home institutions. You should check with your home institution on its policy regarding the transfer of grades and credits.


Office of Global Learning

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