Home / FAQ

International Summer School
(July Session)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Application

  • What are the selection criteria for applicants to the ISS? Who will have priority?
    ISS strives to include students from diverse backgrounds so we would consider many factors beside your academic results. Our admission priority places undergraduate students from CUHK and our exchange partners first, then undergraduate fee-paying students (those who are not studying in one of our exchange partners). We also consider postgraduate students, but their applications will be placed at a lower priority than undergraduates.


  • What is the difference between exchange and fee-paying?
    If the school you are currently studying in is an exchange partner of CUHK, you can join ISS as an exchange student. Your will pay the tuition for ISS to your home institution. If your school is not a CUHK exchange partner or your school does not nominate you for exchange, you can join ISS as a fee-paying student. You will pay the tuition for ISS directly to CUHK.


  • How do I know if my school is a CUHK exchange partner?
    Please check with the international or exchange office of your home institution. You should apply as an exchange student if you are studying at one of our exchange partners. Before applying as an exchange student, you must ask your home institution to officially nominate you for exchange and submit the Exchange Application Record when you apply.


  • Although I am from a CUHK exchange partner, my school will not nominate me as an exchange student. Can I still apply?
    Yes, you can apply as a fee-paying student and pay the required fees directly to CUHK. If you want to transfer the credits earned at ISS back to your home institution, please check with your international / exchange office to make sure that it is possible to do so before applying to the ISS.


  • Is ISS only for undergraduates?
    ISS is intended for undergraduate students. Applications from postgraduate students may be considered case by case. You may submit an online application for our consideration.


  • I just received a conditional offer from a university, can I apply for ISS?
    Your application will only be considered when you have received a confirmed offer from a recognized university.


  • I have just submitted my application. When will I know if I am admitted?
    Normally it would take about 3 weeks for us to process an application and notify an applicant if the application is successful or not. If you are able to submit all the necessary information and documents correctly when you make your application, the processing time can be shorter. On the contrary, if some of the required information and documents are missing or incorrect in your application, we will need to contact you to acquire those information, which will make the application process longer. For students applying to Chinese language courses, allow extra time for your application to process as it takes another week for the Chinese Language Centre to go through your language background form for your Chinese language proficiency.


  • Are there any scholarships available for the ISS?
    There are no scholarships available from CUHK. You may look into scholarship or financial aid options from your home institution or other international organizations.


  • What are the English proficiency requirements for the ISS? Can I use my TOEIC result as a proof of my English proficiency?
    As all academic courses offered at the ISS are conducted in English, you must possess a recent (within two years) test result of either TOEFL (iBT) or IELTS if your institution’s primary teaching language is not English. Our minimum requirements are 71 for TOEFL (iBT) and 6.0 for IELTS.For students studying at mainland China institutions who have not taken the above tests, a College English Test Band-4 score higher than 550, or a College English Test Band-6 score higher than 520, is required.Test results other than the above mentioned (e.g. TOEIC, national public exams [except China’s College English Test], school exams etc.) would not be considered.

2. Course Selection

  • I am interested to learn Chinese at the ISS. Instead of taking an entire course bundle (CLCP-L1 and CLCC-L1), can I just take one of the courses in the bundle?
    CLCP-L1 and CLCC-L1 are offered as 6-credit bundle courses. If you are interested in taking a 3 credit language course, please select CLCP1113 (Putonghua/Mandarin) & CLCC1113 (Cantonese).


  • I can speak and write Chinese. However, I have no knowledge of Cantonese. Can I take Cantonese courses?
    If you speak Putonghua (Mandarin), the vocabulary and sentence structure that we are going to teach will be familiar to you, except the pronunciation and some expressions in Cantonese. You may take the Cantonese courses if you know that this is the case.


  • What is the maximum course load for ISS?
    You can take up to two courses (6 credits) in the July Session. 


  • What is a prerequisite?
    For certain intermediate-level course(s) available at the ISS, you are expected to have taken an introductory course in the subject area before enrolling to that class. These introductory course(s) are known as prerequisites, which are academic requirements that must be satisfied before or during enrollment in a desired class. You must present proof that you have already taken and passed a prerequisite course stated in the course information page before you can enroll in the courses concerned. 
  • I do not have the exact prerequisite for my interested courses, however I have studied similar courses at my institution. Can I still apply for those courses?
    You can enter the related course code at “Prerequisite” in the “Section 2 – Course Selection” in the application form, then upload the related course syllabus for reference at “Section 6” as other supporting documents. We will consider the request case by case. You are advised to rank all the courses you are interested to take and indicate your preference in your application so that in case you cannot fulfill the prerequisite requirement of your selected course, we can place you in another course that you are interested promptly.


  • I have completed the prerequisite course but my official transcript is not available yet. What should I do?
    Please submit your unofficial transcript or result record as reference. If you are studying the prerequisite course in current semester during application period, we will not be able to consider your request unless the full result of the prerequisite course is available.

3. Academic Matters

  • Can I transfer credits to my home institution?
    Your home institution will determine if this is possible. You are advised to consult your home institution for approval before applying for the ISS.


  • Can I change my classes after registration?
    You are allowed to add or drop classes during the add/drop period, provided places are available. Tuition fees or course deposits will NOT be refunded for dropped courses.


  • I am a CUHK student. Can I attend both the ISS and the University Summer Session (USS) organized by the Registration and Examinations Section?
    Yes, you can attend both summer sessions, provided that your summer or year course load is not exceeded AND there will not be time clash between courses.

4. Student Visa

  • Can I study in Hong Kong?
    To check whether you can study in Hong Kong, please refer to Hong Kong’s immigration guidelines. Please note that Hong Kong’s immigration policy does not allow nationals of some countries to study in the city.


  • Do I need a visa to study in Hong Kong?
    If you do not have a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card (i.e. you are not a permanent resident of Hong Kong and you do not have the right of abode in Hong Kong), you will need to apply for a student visa before coming to study in Hong Kong. This must be done through the Office of Academic Links (OAL), which will act as your local sponsor. The Hong Kong Immigration Department will not accept applications without a sponsor, meaning that you cannot apply for a student visa to Hong Kong by yourself. It usually takes 6 to 8 weeks for the Immigration Department to process a student visa or entry-permit application; therefore, you should submit your visa application to the OAL at least two months before the commencement of the orientation week.


  • How do I go about applying for a student visa?
    You will be able to download an Offer of Admission from your online application account within 3 days after your confirmation of registration and clearance of payment. A set of visa application forms will be included in the pack. Complete and return the forms to the Office of Academic Links (OAL) and the application will be made on your behalf. Be sure to follow the instructions strictly and provide OAL with the necessary documentation to avoid any delay. The Hong Kong Immigration Department usually takes at least 6 to 8 weeks to process a student visa/entry permit application after receiving complete application documents.If you are a citizen of mainland China or Taiwan, there will be additional documents for you to submit when you make your student visa application. Your Offer of Admission, which will be available to you after your application is successful, will contain detailed information on student visa related matters. Make your application to ISS early to allow extra time for us to process your student visa application.


  • I have a Permanent HKID Card but live overseas. Do I need to apply for a student visa?
    If you have a Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card, you do not need to apply for a student visa. Remember to enter your HKID number and upload the copy of your HKID (back & front) in your application.


  • I am currently an IASP student at CUHK. Can I extend my studies and join the ISS?
    Yes, you can extend your study period. However, you must contact your home institution for approval and seek advice from your advisor at the Office of Academic Links in advance. Your student visa may need extension as required.

5. Fees, Payment Schedule and Method


  • When do I need to pay?
    Within three days after we send out the offer.


  • How can I pay my fees?
    We accept Visa and Master card on our application system. We would not accept other payment methods by individual students currently.


  • Can I withdraw from the programme after making the payment?
    You may withdraw from the programme after making the payment. However, all fees paid are non-refundable.


  • I am a CUHK student. Can I receive a full refund of my course deposit(s) if I withdraw from the ISS for the USS?
    Yes, you can receive a full refund of your course deposit(s) if you notify the Office of Academic Links in writing by a designated deadline AND can provide proof of your participation in the USS afterwards.

6. Optional Beijing Tour (July Session only)

  • How much does the trip cost?
    We do not have a price confirmed at the moment, but we estimate that it will be around HK$6,000 per person. The price will be confirmed in June; the more people we have on the trip, the lower the cost will be.


  • What is included in the cost? Will meals be included?
    The cost will include airfare to Beijing, accommodation (4-star hotel equivalent), three meals a day and transportation within China. Your own personal expenses are not included.


  • Do I need a visa to go to Beijing?
    If you are an international student, you will need to apply for a China entry visa. (Students from Singapore, Brunei and Japan can enter China visa free for visits not exceeding 14 days). Please visit the website of the Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong SAR for more information.

7. Others

  • Will accommodation be provided to CUHK students joining the ISS?
    No, CUHK students need to make their own arrangements with their respective colleges.


  • How can I reach CUHK after I arrive Hong Kong International Airport?
    There are several ways to go from the Hong Kong International Airport to CUHK:

    • – Red and Green Taxis can take you to CUHK (don’t take the blue ones). It will take about 45 minutes and cost about HK$350. Please go to the taxi stand for taxis and IGNORE the people who pitch you for taxi or private transfer in the arrival halls. Those services are illegal and not insured.
    • – Bus&Train. Not recommended if you have large or lots of luggage, but this is the cheapest way. Take the A41 bus, get off at Sha Tin Central Bus Terminal, and change to the MTR Shatin Station. Get off at University Station (two stops away), then take the campus shuttle to the hostel. The bus ride is HK$22.3 and the train ride is HK$4.5.
    • – Pick-up Service. You may arrange your own pick-up service through our recommended travel agents, ATS Travel, for limousine services from the Hong Kong International Airport to CUHK. If you would like to use their services, please contact them directly for information and pricing:
      ATS TravelTel: (852) 2457-1238
      Fax: (852) 2450-3290
      Email: atstravel@netvigator.com 
      Website: www.atstravelcomp.com