Whether this is your first time to live overseas or not, there is much to plan and prepare before departing for the host country. The pages in this section provide an outline of the major items to help you with pre-departure planning.

Pre-departure briefing for Exchange Students

Pre-departure briefings are organized for students going on exchange. Please check with your School/IPO on the schedule.


It is your responsibility to make your own accommodation arrangements. Find out about the housing application procedures and deadlines as advised by the host institution. In most cases, applications sent after the deadlines will not be considered.

Packing List


    • Good walking shoes
    • Flip-flops (for showers in residence)
    • Rain jacket/poncho
    • Warm jacket
    • Bathing suit
    • Hat (for the sun and/or cold)

    • Prescription medicine (carry copy of prescriptions)
    • Sunscreen
    • Deodorant
    • First aid kit
    • Pain relievers such as Panadol or Aspirin
    • Tissues
    • Tampons/sanitary pads
    • Razors/blades
    • Extra eyeglasses
    • Extra contact lenses and cleaning solution
    • Tweezers, nail files
    • Towel/washcloth

    • An inexpensive reliable watch
    • Camera, battery charger and extra storage card
    • Flashlight
    • Address book
    • Books, guides, maps, train schedules
    • Day pack/small compressible knapsack
    • Stuff bags/plastic storage bags
    • Laundry soap and line
    • Umbrella
    • Luggage padlock and tags
    • Small padlocks—for backpacks, locking luggage to overhead train racks and securing a locker in a youth hostel
    • Battery-operated alarm clock
    • Batteries
    • Adapter and voltage converter/appropriate plugs

    • Money belt or neck wallet
    • Cash, travelers’ checks, credit cards, calling card, etc.

    • Passport and visa(s), and photocopies
    • Vaccination record
    • Official letter from the host institution confirming your admission
    • A copy of HKUST grade report or official transcript
    • Medical/travel insurance certificate and coverage details
    • Tickets and rail passes
    • International Student Identity Card http://www.isic.hk/apply_01_01.asp
    • HKUST Student ID Card
    • Photocopies of credit and ATM cards (front and back of cards)

Check-in & Orientations

Some host institutions will organize orientation events or report-in sessions where the exchange coordinator can have all inbound exchange students “checked-in.” You should make every attempt to attend the orientation events, whether the host institution classifies them as mandatory or not. Orientation events are the occasion when important academic and non-academic information is disseminated. This is an excellent opportunity for you to get to know the host institution and the country, and to meet your peers and the staff.


It is worthwhile for you to report your arrival in person at the exchange office and meet the exchange coordinator there. The host institution goes to a lot of trouble to prepare for the arrival of exchange students, so making the effort to meet them will be much appreciated and is indeed a courtesy as ambassadors of Hong Kong and HKUST.

While you are taking in the new culture and academic environment, do take time and effort to build some networks and enjoy in the host’s hospitality.

News & Events

News & Events