Outbound - Resources - Prepare for departure - Money and Finances

Prepare for Departure

Whether this is your first time to live overseas or not, there is much to plan and prepare before departing for the host country. This section provides an outline of the major items to help you with pre-departure planning.

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Money and Finances

You will need to consider how much money you will need while overseas. We recommend you to take your money overseas using a combination of methods, such as travelers’ checks, debit card, credit card, electronic transfer and cash. It is never advisable to carry large amounts of cash. 

While we advise thorough financial planning in advance of your trip, you may run out of money. So, it is important to have an emergency financial plan before you go abroad.


Plan your budget

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Most students access home funds through automated teller machines (ATMs). Before your departure, make sure you have activated overseas withdrawal function, and check with the bank if there will be charges applied. Know your ATM networks from the back of the bank card, such as PLUS, CIRRUS, UNIONPAY etc). While you are abroad, it is advisable to have a parent or guardian at home monitoring your accounts. They will be able to check if your account is accessed illegally and take appropriate action in a timely manner.

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It is advisable to take a minimum of US$200 in the currency of the country to which you are traveling to cover your first few days abroad.

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VISA is generally the most commonly used throughout the world. The acceptance of American Express, MasterCard and UnionPay may be limited in some regions. For some destinations, a wireless credit card with contactless feature is much preferred. In case of theft, you should report card lost immediately.

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Travelers’ checks in US dollars are the most widely accepted form of checks. They are a safe way to carry back-up cash for use in emergency if your ATM card is lost or you become unable to access your home funds. Keep a record of the travelers’ check numbers (or photocopy the checks) in case of loss or theft.

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Out of Money

It is important to have an emergency financial plan before you go abroad. If you run into urgent financial problems, what will you do? Do you have an extra credit card that you can use? Do you know the credit card service centre hotline if your credit card has any issues? Can you call your parents or guardians? Please discuss your financial plan with the people involved before your trip.



You will continue to be a full-time registered student at HKUST during your exchange study. Therefore, before you depart you are required to settle your tuition and fees with HKUST. If you do not complete these steps, you will not be considered a registered HKUST student during the period of your exchange, and will not be eligible to participate in the exchange program. Students participating in year-long exchange programs may not be in Hong Kong when the 2nd tuition fee installment is due. You should ensure that a representative acting on your behalf will receive any materials from the University, and will settle the 2nd tuition fee installments.