Hong Kong is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city home to seven million people, with a unique global perspective and a rich history of fusion and cultural diversity. English is an official language, making it an attractive destination for English speakers, but there are also many opportunities for Mandarin learners to practise their language skills.
The Hong Kong Government is actively promoting Hong Kong as a study destination, offering attractive scholarships and favourable policies for overseas students. Hong Kong’s ability to offer programs taught in English, good opportunities for Chinese learning as well as its close ties to emerging China are significant attractions.
Look through the online resources below to find out more about studying in Hong Kong:
Timing of study sessions
The academic year has two semesters - early September to late December, and mid-January to May. An orientation session for first-year students is usually held in late August.
There are two main types of postgraduate programs – research postgraduate and coursework postgraduate programs. Applications for postgraduate programs usually go to the Graduate Office.
Application deadlines for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs vary widely and can be as early as November the year before or as late as May. You should confirm the deadlines for your chosen institution well in advance to make sure you don’t miss out.
Studying in English
Many programs in Hong Kong are conducted in English.
Work and internships
Working & internships
Since 2008 non-local students on study visas and entry permits are able to do internships and some part-time employment while studying.
Students of full-time locally-accredited programs at degree level or above, who are studying for at least one academic year, can take up a study-related internship, part time job on campus or a summer job while studying.
Eligible students will be issued a ‘No Objection Letter’ (NOL) individually upon approval of entry or extension of stay, which will indicate the type(s) and conditions of employment the student may take up.
Fees & costs
For public institutions, the tuition fees for international students taking an undergraduate degree vary between HK$75,000 and HK$120,000 per year (i.e. around AUD$9,375 to $15,000)
For postgraduate studies, the costs varies according to type (course work/research), duration, discipline, mode of attendance (part-time/full-time), and level of studies etc.
All students, local and overseas, are eligible for the travel concession card for travelling on domestic transportation provided by the MTR Corporation.
Scholarships and support
See Money matters for general information about scholarships and support.
Visas and insurance
Once a student is accepted to study in Hong Kong, they require a student visa or entry permit. All non-local students require a student visa whether part of an exchange program or full-time degree-seeking studies.
Institutions provide detailed visa information upon admission, and individual universities will help non-local students apply for their visas, or complete the process for them. Student will need a local sponsor, which can be arranged through the host university, as well as a number of supporting documents. It can take up to six weeks to process a visa or entry permit. More information about visa application can be found at the Immigration Department.
Healthcare and insurance
Institutions have their own clinics and provide comprehensive primary health care to registered students at a clinic on the main campus. Medical consultations are generally free of charge or at a nominal cost. Certain medications, preventive services and other items are charged at cost. A notional charge is also levied for dental treatment and physiotherapy treatment at clinics.
Non-local students without a HKID card are required to pay full fees for services and hospitalisation in government hospitals. You are only eligible to apply for a HKID card if you are going to spend more than 180 days (i.e. one term) in Hong Kong. As it takes time to obtain the HKID card, students are strongly advised to have their own medical insurance.
Students should arrange, at their own cost, accident and sickness insurance for the duration of their studies in Hong Kong. The coverage should include provisions for emergency evacuation/rescuer's expenses and repatriation. If students plan to travel outside Hong Kong, they should make sure that their insurance policy covers those destinations as well.
Accommodation and transport
University provided residence halls or hostels are between HK$5,000 (about AU$625) to HK$20,200 (around AU$2,525) per semester. A similar amount would need to be paid per month if living off-campus. Also, an estimated HK$30,000 - 60,000 (AU$3,750 - 7,500) per year for additional costs, including food, leisure, transportation, and personal items is required.
All students, local and overseas, are eligible for the travel concession card for travelling on domestic transportations provided by the MTR Corporation.