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.

HKUST Registration and Fees

You will continue to be a full-time registered student at HKUST during your exchange study. Therefore, before you depart you are required to settle your tuition and fees with HKUST. If you do not complete these steps, you will not be considered a registered HKUST student during the period of your exchange, and will not be eligible to participate in the exchange program. Students participating in year-long exchange programs may not be in Hong Kong when the 2nd tuition fee installment is due. You should ensure that a representative acting on your behalf will receive any materials from the University, and will settle the 2nd tuition fee installments.

Money and Finances Abroad

You will need to consider how much money you will need while overseas. We recommend you to take your money overseas using a combination of methods, such as travelers’ checks, debit card, credit card, electronic transfer and cash. It is never advisable to carry large amounts of cash.


Most students access home funds through automated teller machines (ATMs). This is possible if your ATM cards are on the PLUS, CIRRUS or UNIONPAY networks. Before you depart, you should check with your bank to ensure that your PIN is valid abroad and to clarify what charges will be applied. The majority of ATMs in non-English speaking countries automatically change to English settings after reading your card. While you are abroad, it is advisable to have a parent or guardian at home monitoring your accounts. They will be able to check if your account is accessed illegally and take appropriate action in a timely manner.

Cash in foreign currency

It is advisable to take a minimum of US$200 in the currency of the country to which you are traveling to cover your first few days abroad.

Credit cards

Credit cards, such as VISA, MasterCard, American Express and UnionPay are honored abroad, although they may not be as widely accepted as in Hong Kong. VISA is generally the most commonly used throughout the world. The acceptance of American Express, MasterCard and UnionPay may be limited in some regions. It is useful to record your credit card numbers or keep a photocopy of them somewhere safe in case of loss or theft.

Travelers’ checks

Travelers’ checks in US dollars are the most widely accepted form of checks. They are a safe way to carry back-up cash for use in emergency if your ATM card is lost or you become unable to access your home funds. Keep a record of the travelers’ check numbers (or photocopy the checks) in case of loss or theft. Some places will change traveler’s checks free of service charge for students, so it is worth asking before making the transaction.

Out of money

While we advise thorough financial planning in advance of your trip, you may run out of money. So, it is important to have an emergency financial plan before you go abroad.

If you run into urgent financial problems, what will you do? Do you have an extra credit card that you can use? Can you call your parents or guardians? Please discuss your financial plan with the people involved before your trip.

Credit card problems when abroad

+852 2831 9933
+852 2860 0333
+852 2290 8888
+852 2836 0838
+852 2748 4848
+852 2282 1533
+852 2544 2222

International assistance for major credit card issuers:

Hong Kong phone numbers for credit cards issued by banks in Hong Kong


American Express








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