Certificate in Chinese Language courses for foreign students

The Chinese Language Centre

Known for the teaching excellence of its staff and the exceptionally high standards of performance of its students, the Chinese Language Centre offers a wide range of highly popular courses, including a two-year Certificate Course in Chinese Language, Putonghua courses for professionals, Cantonese courses for Mainland and foreign students, as well as Chinese language and cultural courses for international students. By taking advantage of Hong Kong’s position as the cultural cross-roads between the East and the West, the Centre strives to be a world-class hub for the teaching of Chinese as a foreign language and an international institute for research and collaboration in the promotion of Chinese heritage and cross-cultural exchange.

Certificate in Chinese Language Courses
(Applications are invited for direct entry to Year 2 only)

The Certificate Course in Chinese Language may be taken in the Putonghua stream or the Cantonese stream. Its curriculum extends over two years comprised of three terms each year, l5 hours per week, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., Monday through Friday. The course also incorporates a variety of cultural visits such as local style restaurants, markets or museums, bringing students to the target language venues and neighborhoods in the city, guide them utilizing the language in a real-world context.

The courses are intended for those whose mother tongue is not Chinese. They are taught by experienced teachers, who are native speakers of Chinese.

Academic Terms 2021 – 2022

Term 1: September 1 – December 3, 2021
Term 2: January 3 – April 1, 2022
Term 3: April 11 – July 8, 2022*

*Examinations: July 4 – 8, 2022

The curriculum

Both Putonghua stream and Cantonese stream consist of the following curriculum, providing balanced training in listening, speaking, reading and writing in Chinese.

Year One

1. Listening Comprehension I
In this course, drills on sounds and tones as well as simple situational dialogues will help students examine the problems that foreign learners commonly have in understanding the language and expand their range of expressions.
2. Spoken Practice
This course aims at enhancing the student’s ability to cope with conversations in everyday situations. The main activities include accurate pronunciation and tones, the practice of sentence patterns and drills of the Romanization system. Students will be trained to use pin-yin in Putonghua stream, and the Jyutping system for Cantonese stream.
3. Reading and writing I
Students learn basic sentence patterns and grammar in modern standard Chinese. About 1,000 commonly-used Chinese characters are introduced. Students are taught how to use Chinese dictionaries and online applications for learning Chinese characters. Composition will be offered in the third term. It helps students develop their ability to write simple paragraphs before moving on to 200-character essays.

Year Two

1. Listening Comprehension II
This course helps students understand different situational conversations, weather reports, news, advertisements and announcements from media, radio and television.
2. Topical Discussions
This course gives students further practice in sentence patterns and natural expressions, storytelling, and enhances their communication skills. Students engage in discussions on special topics ranging from social issues to beliefs and practices in Chinese culture.
3. Reading and Writing II
This course helps students enrich their vocabulary through an intensive study of modern written texts and to master sentence structure and grammar of Chinese. It also provides training in writing well-structured essays and creative pieces as well as writing on practical subjects.
4. Newspaper Readings
This course equips students with the basic skills for reading newspaper articles and enhances their reading comprehension. Specialized terms for various news topics are introduced.


The First Examination is held at the end of the first year and the certificate Examination is held at the end of the curriculum. Both Examinations consist of written papers and oral tests.

Application – FAQ

Can I apply for 2021 intake now?
Application for admission in September 2021 (FOR YEAR 2 ONLY) will remain open until 12:00 noon, June 30, 2021 (Hong Kong Time).

*Late applications for Year 2 will also be accepted for consideration. Please send your inquiry to Ms Amy Ho at amyho.clc@hku.hk.

Where can I obtain an application form?
Application Forms can be downloaded HERE.

What documents should I submit to support my application?
The completed form should be returned to the Office in person or by mail together with
1) the original certified true copy of your HKID card/passport;
2) the original certified true copy of the academic transcripts and examination results*; (*if you aged below 25, an officially certified copy of the document is required)
3) the proof of payment of the application fee HK$300.

Are photocopies of certificates and transcripts acceptable to the University?
The University will ONLY ACCEPT originals or copies of the documents that have been duly declared as true copies before a notary public.

Can I apply for admission as a visiting student?
An applicant who does not satisfy the University entrance requirements may be admitted as a Visiting Student. Visiting Student is not eligible for the award of the Certificate. Fees are the same as those for the regular students.

How much is the tuition fee?
HK$29,400 for each Term.

How do I respond to an offer of admission?
Congratulations on receiving an offer of admissions to HKU!
Follow the instructions on your offer to pay the first installment of the composition fee and remember to save the receipt of payment.

I am a non-local applicant. Can I apply for a student accommodation?
Admission to the University does not provide any guarantee of finding accommodation which remains the responsibility of each student. Information and advice of off-campus accommodation are available at http://cedars.hku.hk .

How should I apply for a student visa?
In general, unless a person has the right of abode or right to land in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), he/she requires a visa/entry permit to study in the HKSAR. Applications should be submitted to the Hong Kong Immigration Department via the Chinese Embassy in your country of residence.
Application form can be downloaded from :http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/forms/hk-visas/study.html.

Please note that at least 2 months should be allowed for visa processing. It is the responsibility of individual applicants to make appropriate visa arrangements before they come to Hong Kong. For further details on visa application matters, please visit the website of the Hong Kong Immigration Department at : http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/study.html or the Admissions and Academic Liaison Section (AALS) of the University of Hong Kong at https://studentvisa.hku.hk/.

Whom should I nominate as a visa sponsor?
The Hong Kong Immigration requires a visa applicant to submit an application for nominating a local sponsor for sponsoring entry for study in Hong Kong. Students coming to HKU should nominate the Admissions and Academic Liaison Section (AALS) as your visa sponsor by completing and returning to AALS an application form for visa sponsorship with all the required documents and payment. Please visit https://studentvisa.hku.hk/ for details.

Am I allowed to work in HK with a student visa?
According to the HKSAR Immigration Ordinance, a student visa holder is not allowed to take up any employment, whether paid or unpaid, in Hong Kong.

Will Hong Kong Immigration Department approve my application?
All applications are processed and determined by the Immigration Department. Approval of applications is entirely discretionary and is subject to changes in government policies. For queries on unsuccessful application, please contact the HK Immigration Department.

Contact us

Chinese Language Centre, School of Chinese
Room 801, 8/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus
The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road
Tel: (852) 3917 8938 / 3917 2048
Fax: (852) 2548 5732
Email: amyho.clc@hku.hk

Student Voices

Leaflet (2019 – 20)