Voila! Finally you arrived the host country, which may be a completely new country to you. While you are excited, bear in mind that there are a lot of things that you should pay attention to. It will definitely help you to create a smooth and fruitful study abroad experiences.
Check-in and Orientation
Some host institutions will organize orientation events or report-in sessions where the exchange coordinator can have all inbound exchange students “checked-in.” You should make every attempt to attend the orientation events, whether the host institution classifies them as mandatory or not. Orientation events are the occasion when important academic and non-academic information is disseminated. This is an excellent opportunity for you to get to know the host institution and the country, and to meet your peers and the staff.
It is worthwhile for you to report your arrival in person at the exchange office and meet the exchange coordinator there. The host institution goes to a lot of trouble to prepare for the arrival of exchange students, so making the effort to meet them will be much appreciated and is indeed a courtesy as ambassadors of Hong Kong and HKUST.
While you are taking in the new culture and academic environment, do take time and effort to build some networks and enjoy in the host’s hospitality.
Register for consular and travel assistance
Hong Kong residents should register their contact details and itinerary with the Hong Kong Immigration Department before you travel outside Hong Kong. The information you provide will allow the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the Hong Kong Immigration Department to contact and assist you in case of an emergency. You will also be able to receive SMS updates on travel alerts and other relevant information. For more information, please visit the website of the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
For other nationalities, you are advised to contact the consulate or embassy and inquire about any citizen registration services. Some consulates or embassies maintain a presence through email lists or social media to disseminate information on matters that concern their citizens. Such matters may include consular assistance in case of evacuation in situations such as natural disasters. It is important for you to register yourself on their communication channels.
Keep in touch with HKUST
While you are abroad, make sure you check HKUST ITSC email account regularly as this is the most commonly used channel for HKUST to contact you. Please also remember to update your contact information once you have settled abroad. It’s important to let HKUST know where you are and how to contact you in cases of emergency.
Keep your friends/family informed on your travel plans
It is advisable to keep connected with your family during the exchange period, especially when you will be travelling to other regions/countries.