Information for Visiting Students

Welcome to Aga Khan University!

You will be living and studying in a new environment and perhaps, for the first time, you will be on your own. In order to settle down comfortably it will be necessary for us to acclimatise you with our environment as your own values may be questioned here and our expectations may be different from your own.

For any unanswered queries, or questions or if you wish to talk with someone to help you develop the coping skills necessary to handle the new experience please contact the International Office/Elective Office, Office of the Registrar at: +92 21 3486 4537, 3486 5456, 3486 5449

Before Arrival

About Karachi

Karachi is the largest and most popular city of Pakistan. It presents an interesting and colourful combination of the old and the new. The narrow twisting lanes and alleys of the old city combine with life alongside wide metal highways and roads and modern elegant buildings.

Karachi has temperate climate throughout the year. The summers are hot and sunny whereas the winters are moderately cold.

Student need to carry light tropical clothing in summer and light woolen in winter. It is important to dress in accordance with the expectation of the public by displaying simplicity in general attire.  Females are advised to dress in shalwar kameez and dupatta which is the national dress code in Pakistan.

Whilst moving in Karachi one should take care to follow a few guidelines:

  • When travelling, walking or shopping use well lit streets rather than darker side streets. Do not travel alone in an area that is remote and unfamiliar to you.

  • Keep doors locked.

  • Please take care of your belongings as they are your responsibility.

Visa Requirements

Visiting students are required to have an appropriate visa from the Pakistani High Commission in their home country. The visa should be for a minimum period of three months. The purpose of visa should be 'Visit Aga Khan University.' This visa can be obtained by showing the letter of acceptance along with other personal documents to the Visa Officer.

Upon arrival in Karachi you need to get yourself registered with the local Police Immigration Office to get the entry permit (if applicable). The International Office at AKU will provide the necessary assistance. At least six passport size photographs will be required for immigration formalities. There is a nominal charge.


  • Students are required to cover the following immunisations before coming for electives at AKU.

  • Booster, Tetanus and Diphtheria

  • Booster OPU

  • Mantoux testing followed by BCG if required

  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella

  • Hepatitis B vaccination


The Pakistani Rupee is the local currency. It is advisable to carry some local currency as it may be needed for immediate use upon arrival. Students are advised to carry travellers' cheques for safety.


Arrangements can be made by requesting at least one week in advance for pickup from airport to hostels at AKU. There is a nominal charge. If you do not wish to avail AKU facility, taxis are easily available at the Karachi International Airport. For safety, we recommend the use of 'Metro Cab'.

For private visits within Karachi you can always find public transport and private taxis from the University's main entrance. You are advised to obtain necessary information before venturing into the city.

Living in Hostels

The University has separate hostels for men and women on-campus and off-campus. It provides non air- conditioned simply furnished single rooms with common washroom and laundry facilities. The rent of a single room for the year 2015-16 is Rs. 15,700/- (subject to change). The food at the University cafeteria may cost up to Rs 400 per day.

A communal kitchenette is available for students who wish to cook their own food. Students will have to bring their own utensils, plates and cutlery.  Linen is provided once a week. Students are required to clean their own rooms and take care of its fixtures and fittings. At the time of your departure, breakage or loss in the room will have to be made good by the student.

All students are required to abide by the rules and regulations of the hostels, which are made available upon arrival. Since the rooms are limited in number it is not always possible to get accommodation in the hostel.

After Arrival


In order to make local and international calls you need to contact hostel reception. Payment must be made in Pakistani Rupees to the receptionist. Student can also purchase phone card which is available with the hostel receptionist.


There is a branch of Soneri Bank on the University Campus. Students can open accounts in local currency. The banking hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday. We advise students not to keep large sum of money with them.

ID Card

An identification card will be issued to the student by the Elective Office, Office of the Registrar which must be used on campus.

Internet access

At AKU's Audio Visual Learning Resource Centre, students can access Internet.

Health Facilities

Aga Khan University Hospital is a state-of-the-art hospital providing primary and tertiary health care. Students who are ill need to attend the Community Health Centre and see the Student Health Physician for advice. In case of emergencies you need to contact the Hospital Emergency Room.

All expenses are borne by the student themselves. It is advisable to be covered by health insurance.

Sports and Rehabilitation Centre

For recreational purpose the University has a Sports and Rehabilitation Centre on campus. It is designed to meet a comprehensive range of sporting, recreational and rehabilitation needs. The facilities include a health and fitness gymnasium equipped with the latest Life-Fitness Cardio equipment and extensive range of machine and free weights and qualified staff available to design personalised training programmes; a gymnasium which is used for indoor basketball, badminton, volley ball, net ball etc​.; and aerobic studio offering a diverse range of classes; squash courts; Olympic size swimming pool, football and cricket grounds.

Students may avail these facilities by registering and acquiring a membership of the Sports Centre. For further information and details you may contact extension 1660 /1665.

Before Departure

Upon completing of your elective period, the following process must be followed:

  • For overseas students: Before your departure from Karachi you need to get exit permit from the local Police Immigration Office (if applicable).The International Office at AKU will provide you the necessary assistance. There is a nominal charge.

  • ​Return your ID card.