Schools in Hong Kong for Expats

Hong Kong, with its lively cityscape and international influence, attracts expats from across the globe, including Australia. With a diverse array of international schools, this city offers excellent educational opportunities for Aussie expat children. This article provides an in-depth look at the school options for Australian families in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is home to a multitude of international schools, many of which are reputable, offering a wide range of curriculums, including British, American, and the International Baccalaureate. There’s also the Australian International School Hong Kong (AISHK), providing an Australian curriculum, making it an ideal choice for Aussie expats.

Australian International School Hong Kong (AISHK)

AISHK is the only school in Hong Kong offering the Australian curriculum for Reception to Year 12 students. This school is designed to provide an environment that feels both familiar and comfortable for Australian families. The curriculum is updated continuously to ensure alignment with educational trends in Australia, and it prepares students for the Higher School Certificate (HSC), allowing them to apply for universities worldwide.

In addition to the standard curriculum, AISHK offers a broad array of extracurricular activities. These activities range from sports like rugby and netball, to clubs focused on music, drama, and more. This balance between academics and extracurriculars provides students with a well-rounded education.

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English Schools Foundation (ESF)

While the Australian curriculum is a comforting and familiar option, it’s not the only one to consider. The English Schools Foundation (ESF) operates 22 international schools across Hong Kong, with English being the primary language of instruction.

ESF schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, recognized worldwide, and a great alternative for Aussie expats. These schools are renowned for their quality education and strong community feel. They have a diverse student body, and many Australian families have found them to be an excellent fit.

Independent Schools

In addition to AISHK and ESF, there are also numerous independent international schools in Hong Kong. Schools like the Canadian International School, the German Swiss International School, and the French International School might not follow the Australian curriculum, but they maintain a high standard of education. These schools offer globally recognized curriculums like the IB, American, or European ones.

If you’re open to your children experiencing different educational systems, these schools offer a unique opportunity. Furthermore, being in a multicultural environment can equip your children with a global perspective, a quality beneficial in today’s increasingly interconnected world.

Considerations When Choosing a School

Selecting the right school for your children is a significant decision, and numerous factors should be taken into account:

  • Curriculum: Think about the type of curriculum you want for your children. If you plan on returning to Australia, the Australian curriculum at AISHK could make that transition smoother. On the other hand, an IB curriculum might be more appropriate if you want to keep future location options open.
  • Location: Hong Kong is a bustling city with heavy traffic. Consider the school’s location relative to your home or work to make the daily commute manageable.
  • Class Size: Smaller classes can mean more individual attention, which is vital, especially for younger children.
  • Culture: Schools have different cultures. Some might be more academically focused, while others prioritise a balance between academics and extracurriculars.
  • Cost: School fees in Hong Kong can be high, so consider what you’re willing and able to pay.

Wrapping Up

Hong Kong offers a wide range of excellent schools for Aussie expats. Whether you prefer an Australian curriculum or are open to international alternatives, there are several suitable options to choose from. 

Remember to consider factors such as curriculum, location, class size, culture, and cost to make the best decision for your family. Research and plan carefully to ensure your children receive the education they deserve, paving their way for a bright future.

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Frequently asked questions

Yes, English is compulsory in all schools in Hong Kong. This is because English is the official language of instruction in Hong Kong and is seen as an essential skill for students in the globalised economy.

In addition to English, students in Hong Kong schools also learn Chinese, which is the native language of the majority of the population. Many schools also offer instruction in other languages, such as French, Japanese, and Spanish.

Hong Kong is a popular destination for expats, and for good reason. The city offers a high standard of living, a vibrant economy, and a diverse range of cultures.

Hong Kong is also a relatively safe city with a good public transportation system. This makes it easy for expats to get around and explore the city.

Of course, there are also some challenges to living in Hong Kong. The cost of living can be high, and the city can be quite crowded. However, for many expats, the benefits of living in Hong Kong outweigh the challenges.

International school tuition in Hong Kong varies depending on the school, but it is generally much higher than tuition at local schools. For example, the tuition fees at the International School of Hong Kong (ISHK) start at \$33,000 per year for kindergarten and go up to \$45,000 per year for Grade 12.

Other popular international schools in Hong Kong include the American International School of Hong Kong (AISHK), the South Island School (SIS), and the German Swiss International School (GSIS). Tuition fees at these schools range from \$25,000 to \$40,000 per year.

It is important to note that international school tuition in Hong Kong does not include the cost of books, uniforms, and other school-related expenses. These additional costs can add up, so it is important to factor them in when budgeting for your child’s education.

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