This newsletter is to help you prepare for your upcoming stay at CUHK and Hong Kong.
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IASP e-newsletter
Fall 2019 issue one


Join the Facebook group - "CUHK IASP 2019-20 | Fall Term" to get connected with everyone in the programme and exchange information in a timely manner.



Direction to CUHK campus
The most direct way to reach the CUHK campus from the Hong Kong International Airport is by taxi.

Taxi: 45 mins / HK$350 (approximate). A bit expensive, but the fastest and most direct option. Details of your assigned hostel for the orientation (between 26 and 30 August 2019) will be announced in mid-August.

Expected Arrival Information
To better keep track of your arrival date and time in Hong Kong, you should complete and submit the online arrival information form.


The Buddy Programme organized by the Office of Academic Links aims to provide an intercultural experiential learning environment for both CUHK and the new international students.

If you wish to find a local friend to practise Cantonese or Putonghua, learn about Chinese culture, and earn extra insider information about student life in Hong Kong and CUHK, act now!  Sign up here before 10 August 2019.

Note: Other units at CUHK also arrange their own buddy programmes for international students.  You are welcome to join as many programmes as you wish.

At the Start of the Exchange
An unfamiliar environment, the prospect of new friendships, the pressure of study, the change of weather can make you feel overwhelmed and stressed in the beginning of or throughout the entire exchange. It is common that students may experience some or even all of these issues. Do not feel bad when something goes against your expectation. Being open-minded is the learning process to help you to understand about the cultural values indifferent from yours. It is also the way to help discovering yourself. It is important to know where to seek assistance as well! At CUHK, student advisors at the Office of Academic Links (i-Centre), tutors at the student accommodation as well as counsellors at the Wellness and Counselling Centre are ready to support you whenever necessary. Apart from building a good network at CUHK, it is also a good idea to maintain contact with friends and family back home. Send them occasional messages, updates or make regular calls to keep each other posted.



CUHK’s Yale-China Chinese Language Centre will offer a one-hour Survival Cantonese Class for new students during the orientation week.  It is designed for students who wish to pick up some Cantonese phrases that can be used in everyday situations, such as greetings, shopping, and traveling.  Seats are limited. Please submit the online application form before 16 August 2019.


Suggested arrival dates: 26 or 27 August
(NOTE: Orientation Hostel / Postgraduate Hall (Block 2 or 3) will only be available for check-in from 26 August)
Orientation: 28 - 31 August
Classes begin: 2 September
Classes end: 30 November
Examination period: 4 – 20 December
(NOTE: On-campus hostels are available until the last day of examination period.  The check-out dates vary between hostels and information will be announced during the academic term.  You should not leave before your last day of examination. At CUHK, the final examination for most undergraduate courses are arranged centrally.  A draft final examination schedule will be available in late October. Request for re-scheduling of examination date/time or exemption from examination(s) for personal reasons or engagement (e.g. making an overseas trip, taking driving test, etc.) will NOT be considered.)

University Almanac 2019-20:
Course Registration Dates, Inauguration Ceremony, Congregation and Holidays:
List of dates with class suspension arrangement:


Hong Kong is situated on the southeastern coast of China and spread out over 1,100 square kilometers.  It is composed of Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territorries, as well as 262 outlying islands.  The famous Victoria Harbour lies between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula.  CUHK is located in the New Territories and conveniently linked other districts via the metro system in Hong Kong – Mass Transit Railway (MTR).  MTR provides the most convenient method of commuting CUHK to downtown Kowloon and to the border of mainland China.


The Octopus Card is a stored value smart card widely used in Hong Kong, i.e. public transport, shops and supermarkets, most of the canteens at CUHK, etc.  If you are aged 25 or below, you can apply for a Personalised Octopus Card with student status, which gives you privilege to enjoy concessionary fares on the MTR network (except for the Airport Express).  Application form for the academic year 2019-20 can be obtained from any MTR station.

MTR Train Trip Planner



Vast majority of indoor areas of workplaces and public places, such as restaurants, offices, schools, hospitals, markets, karaoke and bars are designated as no smoking areas in Hong Kong.
CUHK is also committed to providing a safe and healthy environment to all students, staff and visitors. The entire university campus, including both indoor and outdoor areas, is designated as no smoking area. For more information on smoke-free campus, please visit:


All non-local students admitted to CUHK must apply for a student visa through the Office of Academic Links before coming to Hong Kong.  Soon after receiving complete documentation from you, we will forward it to the Hong Kong Immigration Department.  The normal processing time is about 5 to 7 weeks.  Once you have received the student visa, you should affix it onto a blank page in your passport or travel document (for students from mainland China).  You must show it to the immigration officer upon your arrival in Hong Kong so as to activate student status in Hong Kong.  A "JOURNEY COMPLETED" stamp will be placed on your visa label. A landing slip, which indicates the student status due date will be given to you before leaving the immigration hall, should be attached to your passport.


If you plan to travel to mainland China during your study period in Hong Kong, you are strongly recommended to apply for a China tourist visa in your home country (except for holders of Singapore, Brunei and Japan passports who have visa-free access to China for 15 days).  This is different from the Hong Kong student visa.  It is possible to apply for a China tourist visa in Hong Kong but it is unlikely that multiple entry visas will be issued in Hong Kong for first-time applicants.


An orientation for newly admitted IASP students will be held from 28 - 31 August (suggested arrival dates: 26 or 27 August). All students will join the welcoming dinner on 30 August and the Hong Kong City Tour on 7 September. The orientation covers information on the curriculum, student life at CUHK, Chinese culture, Hong Kong society, and services provided by various units at CUHK and the Office of Academic Links. It is also an excellent occasion to know other international students. A schedule is available here.

During the orientation period, IASP students will stay at various orientation hostels. Detailed information of your assigned hostel for the orientation will be announced in mid-August.

For students who will live off-campus, please contact Ms. Heidi O at on whether you will stay on-campus during the orientation period.

Chinese cuisine will be served at the welcoming dinner on 30 August 2019.  If you are on vegetarian or other special diet, please inform us via email: and we will try to arrange suitable dishes for you.



The University Health Service at CUHK provides primary health care facilities and clinical services to all students. Basic medication is free. You should also arrange at your own cost, accidental and medical insurance during the period in Hong Kong. If you plan on travelling around Asia, the insurance policy should cover these regions as well.

You may also consider undertaking a medical check up and getting necessary vaccination prior to your trip. Monitoring your health condition at all times should be your top priority. You should also bring along medical report and doctor's letter for any prescription medication. The Wellness and Counselling Centre at CUHK provides counselling services to full-time students. They also coornidate support services for students with special learning needs. If you require any support from these units, please inform your advisors at OAL as soon as possible.


You will find the CUHK Mobile app handy as it tells you the time of the next shuttle and locates classrooms within seconds.  It is compatible with both iPhone and Android mobile devices.  You may download it from the iPhone App Store or Google Play Store by searching CUHK Mobile.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Student Advisor at OAL:

For students from the Americas – Mr. Alex Chau
For students from Asia and Oceania – Ms. Cora Chan
For students from Europe and South Africa – Ms. Nicky Pang

Office of Academic Links (i-Centre)
1/F, Yasumoto International Academic Park
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3943 7597 | Fax: (852) 2603 5402
Email: | Website:

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