The University of Hong Kong is the oldest tertiary education institution in Hong Kong. It was founded in 1911 and has over 21,000 students and 6,000 of them are non-local. The University is proud of its international reputation and faculty are drawn from over 40 countries. All classes are taught in English on this totally smoke-free campus. The University's Main Campus is in the Bonham Road/Pokfulam area of Hong Kong Island.
Hong Kong, as a "Special Administrative Region" of the People's Republic of China, has retained some degree of autonomy and still uses its own currency, the Hong Kong Dollar. With a high level of education and low unemployment, its standard of living is on par with other developed nations. This city of 7 million is well known for its dramatic skyline and deep natural harbor. The efficient mass transit system includes buses, subway, the famous Star Ferries and even an outdoor escalator system. Note that the city of Hong Kong uses simplified Chinese characters.
Smeal students who are citizens of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan ROC, Hong Kong SAR, or Macau must first contact the Smeal Office of International Programs before applying to inquire about eligibility requirements.
Education Abroad Credits
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas of a Pass/Fail basis. To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the Hong Kong: HKU Course Equivalency List.
To find more information about specific courses, use the on-site course catalog that indicates classes taught by a particular Faculty (College). You must take what the host institution considers to be a full-time load. A full course load at HKU is worth 30 HKU credits, where most classes are worth 6 HKU credits and Chinese language and broadening courses are worth 3 HKU credits. Of the 30 HKU credits, students must take at least 50% of their classes in a single Faculty (College), while the remaining courses can be taken from other Faculties. All classes, except for those in the Faculty of Chinese, are taught in English.
Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
Classes taught by the Faculties of Dentistry, Education and Medicine are restricted to exchange students. Very limited classes are available for students to take in the Faculty of Architecture.
Housing and Meals
You will live in campus halls (usually double occupancy) with local and other international students. All hall floors have a shared kitchen, communal bathrooms, air-conditioning and furnished rooms. Some halls provide a compulsory meal plan, while others do not. For those residents whose halls do not provide a meal plan, students can have their meals at the campus catering/food outlets. Students will apply for housing once they have been nominated by Penn State and received the housing application form from HKU.
The total cost for housing will vary depending on the assigned hall. The budget sheets reflect the average estimated costs. In some instances, students are required to pay for additional housing fees including internet access, air-conditionining, and a residence hall association fee. View housing information and fee schedule
Learn more about HKU international student support services and activities by viewing the HKU Incoming Students Guide.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Budget Sheets listed above. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully. Please note that tuition rates above may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships, including the Whole World Scholarship. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please see Funding Study Abroad.
For More Information
For more information about this program and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. Students at University Park can also contact their International Coordinator within their college. If you're not at University Park, students at Commonealth Campuses can contact their Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of this program, schedule an appointment with Elizabeth Shuman, the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.