International Summer School
(July Session and August Session)
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Application & Admission
- What are the selection criteria for applicants to the ISS? Who will have priority?
In addition to academic results, other factors will be considered. Admission priority is given to undergraduate students from CUHK and its exchange partners, followed by undergraduate fee-paying students. 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 institution you are currently studying at is an exchange partner of CUHK, you can join ISS as an exchange student. You will pay tuition to your home institution. If your institution is not a CUHK exchange partner or your institution does not nominate you for exchange, you can join ISS as a fee-paying student. You will pay the CUHK ISS tuition.
- How do I know if my school is a CUHK exchange partner?
Please check with the international or exchange office of your home institution. Before applying as an exchange student, you must seek approval and nomination from your home institution and submit the Exchange Application Record when you apply.
- Although I am from a CUHK exchange partner, my institution will not nominate me as an exchange student. Can I still apply?
In most cases, yes, you can apply as a fee-paying student and pay CUHK ISS tuition and associated fees directly to CUHK. If you want to transfer the credits earned from ISS to your home institution, you will need to check with your international / exchange office to make sure that it is possible to do so before applying for the ISS.
- 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.
- Is ISS only for undergraduates?
ISS is intended for undergraduate students. Applications from postgraduate students may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- I just received a conditional offer from an institution, can I apply for ISS?
Your application will only be considered when you have received a confirmed offer from a recognized university.
- I am a high school student at the time of application, but will be enrolled in an accredited university from this September. Can I apply for the program this year?
It will usually start in February of next year.Yes, if you are graduating high school and have been accepted by the university at the time of application.
- I just submitted my application. When will I know if I am admitted?
Normally it takes about 3 weeks to process an application and notify the applicant of the result. If you submitted all the necessary information and documents correctly at the time of application, the processing time may be shortened. 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 verify the information, which will prolong the processing time. For students applying to Chinese language courses, extra time is needed 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.
- When will the next round application start?
It will usually start in February of next year.
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) or CLCC1113 (Cantonese).
- I can speak and write Chinese. However, I have no knowledge of Cantonese. Can I take Cantonese courses?
If you speak Putonghua, 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 or August 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 in the class. These introductory course(s) are known as prerequisites, which are academic requirements that must be fulfilled before enrollment in a particular course. 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 course(s) 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” on the application form, then upload the related course syllabus for reference at “Section 6” as other supporting documents. We will consider the request on a case-by-case basis. 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 fulfil the prerequisite requirement of your selected course, we can place you in another course that you are interested.
- 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.
- I want to learn Cantonese. Can I take the Cantonese courses in August?
No. They are open in July Session only. Only Putonghua courses are open for both July and August session.
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 courses after registration?
You are allowed to add or drop courses during the add/drop period, provided there are still vacancies. Tuition fees or course deposits will NOT be refunded for dropped courses.
- Do I have a certificate after the session ended?
Yes, you will have a transcript to be sent to your home institution or your mailing address. You can apply for additional copies of transcripts or certifying letter indicating the medium of instruction for teaching and assessment, the duration of programme and the course(s) you have completed. An email regarding transcript/certifying letter application will be sent after within a week the programme ended. Please check your email box around the end of your session.
- 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 has not exceeded AND there will not be time clashes between courses.
4. Student Visa
- I am from mainland China, what identity document do I need for the visa?
For students from Mainland China who intends to enter Hong Kong via Mainland China, a passport is not necessary. If you already have a “Exit-Entry Permit for Travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau”, you can use that as identity document when making the application, or if not, you can use your Identity card. In the visa process, you will need to get entry endorsement on their EEP.
- 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
- Which fees on the fees table are optional?
All fees are compulsory.
- When do I need to pay?
Within three days after we send out the offer.
- How can I pay my fees?
We accept online Visa and Master credit card payments. Other forms of payment are not accepted.
- 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 on 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.
- Will accommodation be provided to students?
Yes, on-campus housing is guaranteed but optional. (For non-CUHK students. For CUHK students, please refer to the answer below.)
- (For CUHK students only) 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. Most Hong Kong taxi drivers understand some English; otherwise show them the following text: 香港中文大學.
- – 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. There are four exits at University Station: three lead to the CUHK campus and the other to the public bus terminus and taxi stand. Click here for the CUHK campus map. The university shuttle bus stops are located between the two exits to CUHK. There are different shuttle bus routes stopping at various locations within the campus. Click here for the bus schedules.