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Hong Kong With Kids

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by mercutio672, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. mercutio672

    mercutio672 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I am currently in Prague and I have an interview in HK next week for the Lycee Francais International. I have a few questions should there be anyone on here who can help:

    1. Is it sensible to move to HK with 2 young children?
    2. Does anyone know the package that the LFI offer? I have a rough idea of other schools in the area and I wondered if it would be in the same ballpark. I have 6 years experience so far, 4 abroad.
    3. Is the pollution unbearable?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Capricorn2412

    Capricorn2412 New commenter

    HK is a fascinating place to live. It wouldnt seem like it but the majority of HK territory is national parks. Loads to do for kids, hikes, beaches, trails, camping and Ocean Park > Disney World. Space is always an issue and expect your apartment to be smaller than you would expect.
    mercutio672 likes this.
  3. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    As it would be put in Top Tips from the Viz. "Practice living in Hong Kong by moving into the cupboard under your stairs"......love Hong Kong but even the 5 star hotel rooms are tiny. Expect a lot of outlay for minimum space if you choose to live there.

    mercutio672 likes this.
  4. Toshiyan

    Toshiyan New commenter

    You will find Hong Kong is an amazing place with a lot of entertainment. I believe it is easy for your children to adapt to the environment. Living is Hong Kong can be fun but the living standard is not as low compared with the salary that u will get. Also renting a house in Hong Kong, especially you want a place near the school, where is in Hong Kong Island, is very expensive. I would say you might not have much to save. I got some information about housing for you and you could use to compare your salary. Renting a 2 br apartment in the area near the school could be about 30k and up.

    Hope that could help.
    mercutio672 likes this.
  5. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Hong Kong is an amazing city for all the family. I don't think there's a better night out in the world. However, friends of mine moved there just over a year ago. While they love the fact they live on the edge of a national park, they have delayed having a 2nd child and are looking for a move away, because of the pollution. And they aren't the first...
    mercutio672 likes this.
  6. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    I don't think there's a better night out in the world.

    You have obviously never been to the 'Dog and Gun' in Tettenhall on a wet Thursday night in November!!
    roamingteacher and dumbbells66 like this.
  7. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    We have found HK to be brilliant for kids. Whilst they are younger, there are beautiful islands, beaches and parks to explore. Older children love it too, as there are lots of places to visit and it's safe: they can move about more independently than they might elsewhere.

    I have no idea about the package offered at the school, but I've only heard positive things about it (but maybe I haven't been listening hard enough?).

    The pollution can be an issue, especially in the winter months. Summer tends to be rainier and windier so it is blown away. It might be wise to invest in air purifiers for your accommodation.
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    On Sunday there was a Marathon in HK and 30 of the runners ended up in hospital. The pollution was bad. Last night in Shenzhen it hit 290 (100 is considered "unhealthy"). Hong Kong is an exciting and interesting city, but maybe your children won't like living in a shared broom cupboard.

    StrangePanda mentions air purifiers, but he (or she) forgot to say that they need a new filter every month or so and that will cost about a hundred quid a time. If your doors and windows do not fit properly (ours don't!), then the air purifiers will not do their job properly.
  9. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    Fair point about filters... I think ours are replaced every 4-6 months, though. The upside of the 'broom cupboard' is that there is less air to filter.

    Joking aside, we don't find that we feel too restricted by lack of space: we live in a three bedroom place. The kitchen is rather small but we cope.
  10. mercutio672

    mercutio672 New commenter

    Thanks all, your comments have been helpful. I have been keeping track of the pollution in the last few days and I know that it has been high. Some of my family live in Beijing and it has been better there. I know that the winter months are worse but are they usually this high or is this an exception? I am glad to hear that HK is good for kids. In terms of apartment size, I will base my decision about the job (if offered it) on whether I can afford enough square footage.
  11. Capricorn2412

    Capricorn2412 New commenter

    It also depends where your school is and how far you are willing to commute or how the public transport works from where you live to the school. Lama Island for example would be a completely different experience to living in the high density apartment blocks closer to the school.
  12. mercutio672

    mercutio672 New commenter

    Thanks nadirnwo. I had come to that conclusion as well. The main campus for the school in question is in an expensive area on HK Island but they are opening a new site in September in Tseung Kwan O which would mean living somewhere less densely populated would be more feasible. Another question for the interview!
  13. Capricorn2412

    Capricorn2412 New commenter

    Oh yes, that area is quite nice going further North East.
  14. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    Re: pollution.
    I'd say that the last few days have been worse than we are used to. Last week, we had all the doors and windows open and our PM monitor was reading numbers as low as 1 or 2.
  15. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    Also, Sai Kung would be a lovely place to live, if you are based in TKO. There are boats, beaches and mountains, feral cows and all the supplies you need.
  16. mercutio672

    mercutio672 New commenter

    My mind has been put at ease somewhat. In the end I don't want to turn up in HK, having had the choice of most places in the world, and find it to be unmanageable. This whole discussion is speculation at this point as I haven't been offered the job yet but I can't help researching the hell out of a place first!
  17. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    It's good to know as much as you can.

    HK definitely isn't perfect but I don't think anywhere is: we do still grumble when it is really polluted. A good number of people will tell you that it is impossible to save money... we are finding the opposite. It's also a great travel hub.
  18. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    I have two children and really fancied HK, but after speaking to friends who work there, 3 things put me off

    Child places at schools (a lot only offer discount or one place)
    Small apartments

    It's s shame as it does offer a lot including a great package, but my kids health and welfare has to come first
  19. mercutio672

    mercutio672 New commenter

    I have the same reservations willow78. I think the school needs to tick a few boxes in order for it to work.
  20. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    Our school offers 100% fees for two children. A decent education for children was one of the main pull factors as we considered a move overseas. Children of teachers should get priority places.

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