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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Year
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No previous study
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College, SEAS, Wharton
Other Eligibility Requirements: 1 Area Studies Course in Language or Culture (Recommended) Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Application Deadline: Fall/Year: February 15, Spring: September 15
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BHK LogoChinese University of Hong Kong

Founded in 1963, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is a comprehensive research university and a regional leader with a global reputation. Unifying the strongest elements of Chinese culture and world-class education traditions, CUHK’s academic community consisting of eight Faculties and the Graduate School delivers robust and substantive training to the students while the unique college system brings together teachers, students and alumni in a closely-knit community.

For additional information, visit the Chinese University of Hong Kong website
The City of Hong Kong

The vibrant city of Hong Kong is a territory located on China’s south coast, bordering Guangdong in the north and the South China Sea in the east, west, and south. Along with Macau, Hong Kong is one of two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong was a dependent territory of the United Kingdom from 1842 until the transfer of its sovereignty to the People’s Republic of China in 1997.  The population is 7.15 million, of which people of Chinese descent comprise the vast majority (foreign nationals comprise 8%).  The official languages are English and Chinese.

Did you know…?

Hong Kong may be famous for its towering skyscrapers but 40 percent of the territory is actually country park and nature reserve.



The program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong is for College, Engineering, and Wharton students.

There are a limited number of placements available for Penn students at The Chinese University of Hong Kong every semester.  All candidates should identify a second choice program.  Priority will be given to juniors and first semester seniors.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0

Language Prerequisite: No previous study required.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of 1 Area Studies Course by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure is recommended, but not required.   


Language of Instruction



Students have the same freedom in course selection as undergraduate CUHK students. They can select from a wide variety of English-taught courses which are offered during their exchange semester as long as they meet the prerequisite requirements and there are vacancies available. Most courses at CUHK are 3-units each. A full course load at the Chinese University of Hong Kong consists of four to five classes per semester.  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

Most 3-unit courses are composed of 3 hours of lecture or 2 hours of lecture and 1 hour of tutorial per week. Assessment may include any one or a combination of the
following: attendance, class work, written work, laboratory work, field work, research papers, tests, examinations, and any other assessment.

CUHK Academic Calendar
CUHK Course Catalog for Incoming Exchange Students
Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy.  For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

Criteria for assessment may include any one or any combination of the following: attendance, class work, written work, laboratory work, field work, research papers, tests, examinations, and any other criteria.

Special Features

BHK Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by the Chinese University of Hong Kong prior to the start of each semester.  More information on CUHK’s orientation activities can be found here.

Orientation provides exchange students with the best possible start for living and studying at CUHK. It covers both practical advice and social events. Students receive information on the curriculum, student life at the University, Chinese culture, Hong Kong society, and support services provided by the Office of Academic links.

Language Courses

The Yale-China Chinese Language Centre (CLC) offers Cantonese and Putonghua (Mandarin) courses at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels. Exchange students can take a maximum of 6 units of Chinese Language courses (2 courses). Grades for CLC courses will be recorded on the CUHK transcript. Penn students should coordinate with the relevant on campus department at Penn to ensure credit will be received for language courses taken abroad.

Buddy Program

BHK Special FeaturesStudents have the option to participate in a Buddy Program, designed to promote cultural understanding. Students will be matched with CUHK students who have returned from studying abroad. They know Hong Kong well and are happy to act as ambassadors for Hong Kong and CUHK and introduce students to Hong Kong’s culture and life. More information can be found here.

Student Associations

Penn students studying at CUHK have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. More information can be found here.


BHK CampusParticipants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

In order to experience CUHK life to the fullest, exchange students are highly encouraged to live in on-campus dormitories in double or triple student halls with predominantly international students, or triple-occupancy rooms in college managed hostels with local roommates. Sharing a room with a local student will help students settle in at CUHK and immerse into the Chinese culture. On-campus accommodation is guaranteed for all students who complete the housing selection process at the time of application to CUHK. Students must commit to either on-campus or off-campus housing at the time of CUHK application submission.

Students who opt out of on-campus housing must indicate this preference at the time of application to CUHK. Students will not be permitted to move out of on-campus housing after they have indicated a desire to live in on-campus housing at the time of their application to CUHK. Furthermore, moving out of on-campus housing after the semester abroad has commenced is strictly prohibited.

CUHK does not provide international students with resources to find off-campus housing. Short-term housing can be difficult to find in Hong Kong as it is not common for apartments to have short-term leases. Housing can also be extremely costly in Hong Kong, in particular in the downtown area. CUHK is approximately a 35-40 minute metro ride from the downtown Hong Kong area, which may prove cumbersome and costly for commuting expenses daily. If you are unable to secure off-campus housing, you will not be able to move into CUHK on-campus housing if you previously committed to off-campus housing.

Information regarding CUHK accommodations can be found here.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets

Academic Year

Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad: Supports undergraduate study abroad focusing on geographical areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to US national security. (Excludes study in US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.) These US government grants entail a service obligation. 

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Hong Kong, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.