University of Hong Kong

Overview

Established in 1911 during the British Colonial era, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) is the oldest tertiary institution in Hong Kong.  Today it is a world-renown public research university located in the Mid-Levels of Hong Kong Island.  Both QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings have ranked HKU as one of the top 50 universities in the world, and oftentimes as one of the top 5 in Asia.  At the undergraduate level, there are over 16,000 students, with close to 4,000 international students.  Each year HKU accepts over 1,300 exchange students from around the world. This program is university-wide, meaning any undergraduate Pitt student regardless of major may participate. 

Fact sheet
Learning Objectives

As an active and engaged participant on this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • the ability to succeed independently in a foreign education environment.
  • non-US based perspectives on your field of study and/or future career path.
  • a global network of peer in similar fields of study and connections with faculty in Hong Kong.
Partner Information

 

International Affairs Office

G/F, Fong Shu Chuen Amenities Center

The University of Hong Kong

Pokfulam, Hong Kong

exchange@hku.hk

Location Description

Hong Kong is located in southeastern China, with a population of approximation of 7 million. Due to its British colonnial history, it has an international population with half a million international residents, making it truly multi-cultural and cosmopolitan. Considered a shopping and dining paradise, Hong Kong has a unique food culture and is filled with modern shopping centers and fascinating street bazaars.

Housing Description

HKU offers options for university-affiliated or private accomodations. Although Pitt students are not guaranteed slots within university-affiliated housing, HKU will provide instructions on when and how to apply for university-affiliated housing and provide recommendations on how to find private options. See HKU's page for more information on housing. 

Academic Description

 

At HKU, nearly all courses are taught in English, with the exception of Chinese language and Chinese literature courses. 

 

Credits taken at HKU are equivalent to credits received at Pitt according to a 2:1 ratio. For example, 6 credits at HKU will transfer as 3 Pitt credits. Additionally, for the purpose of full-time status here at Pitt, students should be prepared to take what is equivalent to at least 12 Pitt credit hours. All credits taken at HKU require approval by both your academic advisor(s) and study abroad program manager.  

 

Courses taken at HKU will be treated as transfer credits and will be marked as pass/fail (S/NC) on a Pitt student's transcript. In other words, transfer credits will not affect your Pitt GPA. Actual grades earned will appear on the transcript from HKU. 

 

As a part of the cultural experience, HKU offers Chinese language courses specifically designed for visiting students. These may be considered for credit or not for credit. Verify with the study abroad program manager regarding their transferability.  
For more detailed information, please see HKU's website.  

Students who have attended this program in the past have taken classes in the areas of:
Chinese
History
Psychology
Business
English Film and Media Studies
Marketing
Philosophy
Sociology
Statistics
Finance
Gender Sexuality & Women's Studies
English Literature
Grading

Like Pitt, HKU’s grading scale follows the practice of assigning letter grades, such as A, B, C, D and F. For more information about the grading scale at HKU, see their explanation.
For Pitt transfer credit in order to earn a grade of “S,” (satisfactory) at Pitt, you must make an equivalent to a grade of “C” or higher. An equivalent to a “C-” or lower will result in a grade of “NC” (no credit) at Pitt.

HKU will provide hardcopy transcripts to the University of Pittsburgh’s Study Abroad Office. Make sure that you follow their instructions on how to ensure that an official copy of your grades are received. Hardcopies should be sent the following address: 3959 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA. Electronic copies should be sent to the designated exchange program manager under “SAO Staff.”  

 

Exchange university transcripts typically do not arrive from the exchange university until 3 to 4 months after the end of exchange period. Therefore, Pitt students should be mindful of how this may affect their ability to graduate, especially when exchanging during one's senior year. Another consideration is how this may affect your financial aid package, as the S/NC grades are not posted until transcripts are received. 

 

Pitt students may utilize the following online resource to understand the grading scale within this host country.
 

Program Fees
Pitt students participating on an exchange program will pay regular Pitt tuition and fees, according to their in-state or out-of-state residency status. In addition to the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, this also includes all Mandatory Fees, such as the Student Activity Fee, Wellness Fee, Computing and Network Services Fee, and the Security, Safety, and Transportation Fee.  
 
Pitt Students on financial aid and/or tuition scholarships will need to consult the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid or respective entity providing the funds to confirm coverage for study abroad. 
 
 

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition* $9,314 $16,328
Mandatory Fees $545 $545
Study Abroad Fee $400 $400
Total Billed by Pitt* $10,259 $17,273
 
*The tuition rate listed is defaulted to reflect the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. For Pitt students of another Pitt school or campus, the tuition rate will reflect the home school or campus. See posted rates on the Institutional Research page.
 
How Much To Budget

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Travel Expenses: Airfare, Passport, Visa, Resident Permit  $2,000
Room & Board $4,700
Personal Expenses $1,950
 
The Estimated Costs reflect information provided by HKU and are reported to OAFA to calculate financial aid packages.The listed costs are defaulted to one semester. Multiply the costs by two for two semesters. 
 
Personal expenses vary with individual students. Review the HKU's website for more information, and visit our budgeting page for more information. 

Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. However, you may need to purchase additional insurance if the exchange university you will attend requires purchase of a specific health insurance coverage per their regulations. It is your responsibility to ensure you know the cost of that insurance prior to committing to the program.

Program Dates

Pitt students enroll at HKU for either a full semester (fall or spring) or a full academic year (two full semesters). HKU's academic calendars may differ from Pitt's normal fall (August through December) and spring (January through April) semesters, so Pitt students should check the academic calendar at the exchange university. Like Pitt, HKU’s academic calendar follows a Fall-Spring progression, meaning Fall is the first semester followed by the Spring semester as the second. The dates listed above are estimated and therefore subject to change according to the host university’s schedule.

Jessica Sun

Hailing from the great state of Texas, I am the exchange program manager at the Study Abroad Office at Pitt.  I am so excited to be a part of your exchange experience, be it here at Pitt or over at another institution overseas.  I studied abroad in Tuscany, Italy, while I was in school and absolutely loved all the experiences that came with exploring fresh pasta, Renaissance art and new experiences.  I certainly hope that you will love your exchange experience just as much wherever you choose.  Outside of the office, I am all about cities, food, art history and tea.  Good eating and traveling!  Let me know if you should have any questions at jessicasun@pitt.edu or at +1 412-383-7165.  

 

Application Instructions

Pitt sends a limited number of students per semester to HKU. In addition to applying to the Pitt Study Abroad application above, be sure to review HKU's website regarding their application requirements for incoming exchange students. A formal nomination from Pitt Study Abroad is required for Pitt students to be recognized as an exchange student at HKU. Therefore, Pitt students must complete all necessary Pitt Study Abroad steps in addition to HKU's requirements. In other words, acceptance by Pitt Study Abroad does not guarantee acceptance by the exchange university.  
 
The exchange university may require the following to be submitted through an online application. Requirements may include but are not limited to the following:  

  • Application Form 
  • Copy of Valid Passport 
  • Official Pitt Transcript 
  • Official Pitt Verification of Enrollment 
  • Statement of Intent or Purpose 
  • Resume or CV 
  • Official Language Evaluation 
  • Up to 2 instructor letters of recommendations 
  • Up to 2 passport photos 

 

Additional Information

Language Requirements: Non-native English speakers will be required to show evidence of English proficiency either through the IELTS or the TOELF. Please check with HKU regarding these requirements.  

Insurance Requirements

Students studying abroad through Pitt Study Abroad are automatically provided health insurance coverage during the official program dates. 

Visa Requirements

In order to study as a student in specific countries, a visa is required. A visa is formal endorsement by the host country to grant permission for an individual to enter, live or stay in that country for a specific purpose and period. In addition to a visa, some host countries may require a residency permit upon arrival. 

 

For those without a Hong Kong Permanet ID card, students must obtain a student visa to study in Hong Kong. For an overview regarding the visa process, please review HKU's website. HKU will provide general direction after formal admission on for how to apply for either the visa and/or residency permit. Pitt students should also research the visa and/or permit process. In general visa and/or permit application requirements include but are not limited to the following requirements:  

  • Visa application 
  • Valid Passport 
  • Verification of acceptance from sponsoring university (exchange university) 
  • Financial Documents, such as bank statements, tax documents or pay statements.   
  • Passport photos 
  • Application fee 
  • Medical/physical examination (likely to require a doctor's appointment so plan accordingly)