Hong Kong city

University of Hong Kong

One of the premier universities in the world, the University of Hong Kong is ranked 25th globally.

It's also no surprise that Hong Kong is also ranked as the #1 student city in the world as there is an endless list of things to do - attend the flag raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square, take the best harbor pictures on the Star Ferry Crossing (or from the Peak Tram!) or visit Hong Kong Disneyland!

The University of Hong Kong is home to almost 28,000 students and is the oldest university in Hong Kong with its origins stretching over 100 years. It's also ranked #5 out of all Asian universities!

Key information




Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status



2024-2025 applications

Fall 2024 and Winter 2025

Priority deadline: January 10, 2024

University-specific additional requirements

Applicants do not need a reference, with the exception of Law students - see the Eligibility section below.

2025-2026 applications

Open November 1, 2024

Student experience

"These past months have been such a whirlwind of adventure, challenges, and just plain good times. I've learned a lot, met some cool folk, suffered some losses but made incredible gains. It's difficult to be saying a final goodbye to Asia, the continent that hosted me and my various misadventures over the past seven months; the countries I've visited and the kindness of the people that I've met has been a humbling experience."

Program details

University-wide Areas of Study:

Arts: Art History/Fine Art/Global Creative Studies/Media Studies, Communications, Comparative Literature, Development Studies (Social Administration), East Asian Studies, Economics (extremely limited), English, Geography, Global Creative Industries, History, Journalism, Linguistics, Media Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political Science & Public Administration, Psychology, Religious Studies (Buddhism), Sociology, and Urban Studies (under Geography)
Cultural Studies: African Studies, American Studies, Modern China Studies, European Studies, Hong Kong Studies, Japanese Studies, Korean Studies. 
Languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Thai.

Science: Actuarial Science, Biochemistry, Biological science, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Ecology, Food & Nutritional Science, Geology, Math, Marine Biology, Molecular Biology, Physics, Plant Science, and Statistics

Engineering: Biomedical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Environmental, Industrial/Manufacturing systems, and Mechanical

Social Work and Law is also available. 

Haskayne students, please refer to the Haskayne page.

Course Information:

Courses can be between 3-6 HK credits and a full course load is 30 credits per semester, though students may take a minimum of 24 credits and a maximum of 36. For course information please scroll down to academic information and choose "available courses by Faculty". Please note that students must choose more than 50% of their classes from one faculty. 

All courses are taught in English with the exception of classes in the Department of Chinese (course codes CHIN).

Student Tips: "The classes at HKU were a lot more creative in comparison to UCalgary, many external resources were utilized in order to explain theories or concepts. This meant field trips, tutorial meetings and many, many prestigious guest speakers."

The academic year is divided into two terms.

  • First Term runs from early September to late December
  • Second Term runs from early January to late May.

The non-exchange summer program is four weeks long from mid-June to Mid July. Two weeks are in Hong Kong and two weeks are in Shanghai. 

  1. Costs

    Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. 

    HKU includes a cost of living estimate in their HKU preparatory guide. Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc in your budget planning.

    Hong Kong cost comparison vs. Calgary: Click Here (note: student housing is much cheaper than standard rent in HK)

  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange? 
    Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers several awards, including the Global Access Fund (based on a funding-first model where students apply prior to committing to a global learning program) and the Global Learning Award (students apply after being accepted to a global learnng program). Students may only receive these awards once. Please see the funding page, linked below, for more information.

    China International Study Travel Award: $5000 offered annually to continuing undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Calgary. See funding page for more details. 

    HKCBA Award 3 prizes awarded annually. Apply directly to HKCBA ($1500/$1000/$500)See funding page for more details. Deadline: January 31, 2024

There are currently 13 halls of residence at HKU. All halls have common rooms and recreational facilities as well as quiet places for study. Accommodation is not guaranteed, but students who are not placed in university accommodation are eligible for the "Outside Accommodation Bursary Scheme."

Student Tip: Make sure to pack a small blanket or sweater for winter months, as heating/cooling can make things a bit chillier than expected, even if the climate is relatively temperate. 

Law Student Tip: "I elected to rent an Airbnb for the first month and then by the first week of September a spot in residence had opened up for me. I would encourage future students who are waitlisted for residence to take a similar approach and not commit to any housing off-campus long term, this is because there is a good chance that a spot in residence will open up eventually. Additionally, not committing to long-term off-campus housing will give students the opportunity to find longer-term off-campus accommodation in person in Hong Kong which is much easier to do and more reliable than trying to find a place online. I would also recommend that future students try to arrive in Hong Kong about a week before to explore the city and get settled before school starts."

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. 

Economics & Business students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B). 
Law students students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 (A-). 

For applicants from the UCalgary Faculty of Law, an academic reference letter is required. Please click here to view the reference letter guidelines & submission instructions. It must be submitted at the time of your application to UCalgary.

Haskayne Students:

Haskayne students at UCalgary can ONLY apply for this partner through Haskayne, and must meet the Haskayne requirements for exchange.

What supports or services are available at HKU?

The University of Hong Kong offers one of the best options in Hong Kong for students with mobility challenges, with a wheelchair-friendly campus and the CEDARS' SEN support office, it has a strong mandate for supporting students with accessibility needs. 

Students seeking accommodations can receive support from CEDARS' SEN support office.

What's special about Hong Kong and the University?

As the leading university in Hong Kong, HKU is ranked #26 in the world according to QS World Rankings 2018. 
HKU also prides itself on its smoke-free campus, being the first university in the world to join the #HeForShe UN initiative (promising to triple the number of female deans within the next 2 years so that 1 in 5 deans at HKU will be women), and for its prestige - only 1 in 12 student applications are accepted each year (thankfully this doesn't apply to exchange students!). 

All university campuses in Hong Kong prohibit smoking on campuses in accordance with Hong Kong law. 

Hong Kong is one of the world's most recognizable global metropolitan areas and provides a contrast between East and Western culture that is reflected in its rich culinary scene. The city holds records for having the most skyscrapers in the world, the world's longest life expectancy (at 86.7 years on average), the tallest outdoor bronze Buddha, the world's only exclusively double-decker tram system, and the largest permanent light & sound show - "A Symphony of Lights", to name a few. It's also ranked as the #1 student city to live in, in the world!

What resources are available for new students?

Student Tips: "Many food vendors and student clubs were widely available, they were much better and much more diverse than the ones at UofC."

"HKU is a beautiful campus built into a mountain. It has two components, the main campus is a bit older and the centennial campus was built recently. The law school is located in the centennial campus and is an excellent facility. The law library and the Chui Wah Learning Commons are great study spaces. The school is easily accessed by public transit. During my semester, the university was overhauling the food establishments on campus. I anticipate that once these are completed there will be pretty good affordable food options on campus for students. The neighbourhoods of Kennedy Town and Sai Ying Pun are close by and offer lots of good food as well. Western food; however, is generally much more expensive than local cuisine. There are several recreation facilities near the school. The Flora Ho sports centre has the basics of what you would need for a good workout; however, it is a small space and can be really busy at peak times.
Hong Kong is a great place for an exchange. It is one of the most densely populated places in the world. This density produces an exciting and unique city that never sleeps but it can also be overwhelming at times. A great way to get some relief from this density is to explore the great hiking and beaches all around the city. Certain things in Hong Kong, especially housing can be very expensive. However, public transit is amazing and affordable with a student “Octopus Card”. Hong Kong is also a world class food city. While many places are expensive, you can find great local cuisine which is very affordable.
The fall semester is a great time to visit Hong Kong. Most days were very sunny and warm without being overly hot. The exception to this was the end of August/beginning of September which were really hot, humid and rainy. Hong Kong might experience typhoons during this time. The city manages these storms very well, so just be sure to pay attention to the news and listen to the directions of the school in the event of a typhoon. While we were there, Typhoon Mangkhut had hit the city. However, the city manages these storms well and you are safe so long as you remain indoors until the storm passes."

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment. In these videos, you will learn much of the basics about Global Learning, which may answer your initial questions.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how this program might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions, please reach out to our office! We offer drop-in advising for general inquiries, and if you have questions about this specific program or any others, you can book an appointment with the responsible advisor.

Please use the link below to find the most up-to-date information about our current advising options.

View the Global Learning Advising page

The exchange advisor for this program is: Flavien Niederst

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular global learning program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.