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Hong Kong

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by chykeyahkelly, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. chykeyahkelly

    chykeyahkelly New commenter

    I've been offered a position a top international school in Hong Kong.

    I am a relatively experienced teacher and now looking for a new challenge. I'll be making the move alone

    Very interested in receiving some advice and hearing about the experiences of other teachers. What have you like about your move to Hong Kong? What's been challenging?

    If you're thinking about making the move or are then it'd be nice to get in contact and start making connections with other expats!
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hong Kong is an exciting place. I love it! As well as heaps of amazing skyscrapers, it is also possible to "get away from it all" and find some peaceful and beautiful countryside. Yes, there are all the obvious things, like the Peak Tram, the cable cars to the big buddha on Lantau and the eye-bogglingly amazing skyline, seen from the Kowloon waterfront. Foodies love HK and of course it is a great place for travellers, as it is a major hub for lots of airlines.

    Only one little problem: accommodation. How do you fancy paying an extortionate rent for a shared broom cupboard?
  3. gilderbeast2000

    gilderbeast2000 New commenter

    Hong Kong is an amazing city and place to live. Homespace and rent is a problem but as you say you will be moving alone you should be OK. Its the most beautiful city I've been too. Its similar to a European city but still Asian too. As the above poster says its also possible to 'escape' to the country every weekend too as its a short MTR or boat ride to Lantau and the new territories. I am currently teaching in an international school in Bangkok and would consider/ dream of moving to Hong Kong but I have a family and I would be worried about living space and rent.

    I'm just wondering how did you find this position so early in the recruiting season? I'm considering moving on to a new challenge but I'm not sure of the best way to find a new position.

    Good luck!
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Can you please explain the definition of the word "top" to describe the school. Many schools define themselves as top but fail on so many accounts. The older the school the better.

    The ESF schools are slowly having their government funding reduced which means higher school fees and lower packages for teachers.

    One good point to consider is your spouse if ant can work in HK on your visa, so you can benefit on double wage.
    agbak likes this.
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    If ant, february31st? Most apartments in Shenzhen seem to have cockroaches, but I am not sure about ants.
  6. rodno1teach

    rodno1teach New commenter

    HK is so expensive though so you need to have an extremely high salary to live there. I was just looking at City Super supermarket online and their meats are like around 450 HK$ and up. Even a french chicken is 169 HK$

    Have a look https://www.citysuper.com.hk/en/E-Shop/Product-Listing
    click on the circle for different food stuffs. EXPENSIVE!!!!
    agbak likes this.
  7. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    Rodno1teach had a flying visit here so I'm not sure he is best placed to offer a full picture.

    HK is expensive but CitySuper is expensive for HK as are Oliver's and Great which are the other high end supermarkets. Then there are delicatessens and specialist food suppliers. Most supermarket shopping is done in Park'n'shop or one of its many versions (international, Taste etc which allow different price points depending on location). Then there is Wellcome which has "Market Place by Jason's" and a couple of other brands. There are other Japanese supermarkets (eg Yata) and then local chains Vanguard and U-Select which are cheaper again. There are small shops packed to the roof with a narrow selection of imported items that are good value- PrizeMart and 360 Mart.

    Park'n'shop sells Waitrose goods, Wellcome has Sainsbury's and U-Select sells Tesco. There is even an online Morrisons supermarket here now. There is a lot more choice than just CitySuper (which is a great supermarket too, just not for your daily shop).

    HK is a place where you shop around unless you are happy to be ripped off occasionally. Don't be under any illusions though, you need a good salary to live here.
    pascuam49 likes this.
  8. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    got this from Numbeo:

    Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 7.26.26 AM.png
    agbak and ejclibrarian like this.
  9. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    The direct comparison on Numbeo has to be taken only as an indicator. Direct costs do not mean you get the same thing for the money in both places. London is a western city. Hong Kong is an Asian city in which most expats live a western lifestyle which is much more expensive. Local people here live on much less as they shop at wet markets daily, eat in cheap local restaurants and live in tiny flats. It is a lifestyle few expats would accept. Hong Kong is not cheaper than London- I've lived in both. However, I do earn a good bit more in Hong Kong.
  10. rodno1teach

    rodno1teach New commenter

    That Numbeo you really have to take with a pinch of salt since it goes on what people plug into it. For example, restaurant prices are definitely NOT 42.02% lower in HK than in London. Yes I made a flying visit there 6 weeks ago but I can tell you that if you want to eat out at any cafe, restaurant or eatery in Central HK (which is where most people want to go), then you are going to fork out at least the same as any restaurant in Central London. I paid over 300HK$ for pasta with a very basic tasting meat sauce (£30). What a RIP OFF! OK, so the locals eat at wet markets, but westerners don't want to eat chinese food every day as it's too spicy, too untasty and there's no meat in it it's just veg or seafood or noodles with a bit of beef swimming around in it. No westerner wants to eat this day in day out. And if you want quality food like TESO, Marks and Sparks, Waitrose etc,,,,,these are expensive in HK....at least the same as you pay in London anyway. As clovis says, HK is not cheaper than London. In fact I'd say it's more expensive. It is if you want to go out drinking 2 or 3 nights a week anyway since a pint in a bar is about £7.50-£8.00... WHat is it in London? £3.50-£4.00 or something like that? Crunchies, Picnics, and all those chocolate bars are all about £1 so if youre a chocoholic, that can set you back a good £25 a week in chocolate in HK. Don't forget westerners in HK will want to go to Macau to relax at weekends sometimes and take the family and hotels there are extremely expensive once again draining that massive=looking salary that you are offered there. I don't know what tax is there but you will pay some.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hmm. I do not take back my comments about shared broom cupboards, but I do not agree with rodno1teach's comments about eating out in HK. Mrs H and I have found some really super scoffing at reasonable prices. Just stay away from the obviously touristy bits.
  12. rodno1teach

    rodno1teach New commenter

    If you don't agree with someone who has been there and seen the place then I just don't know. Your reasonable prices won't be anywhere in Central HK believe me. I doubt it is in Kowloon where you and Mrs H have scoffed reasonably either. You eat where nobody goes obviously. Tell me a place in the Prince's building or a building linked to it then and next time I will go there and see if it is reasonable. I know it isn't though. Or maybe you eat those in those sort of Starbucks cafe places where you can get a sausage roll and a drink for less than £10.
  13. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    quick question, you didn't like the food in Korea, you didn't like the food in Hong Kong, i taking a wild leap into the dark here, but i'm guessing you don't like the food in China...... why are you working abroad? wouldn't it be easier to stay in the UK where you can get all the terrible food you want?
  14. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    Prince's Building is opposite the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, has a Cartier, Chanel, Vacheron Constantin... it really doesn't get much more high end. I wouldn't choose to eat there, apart from maybe a sandwich in Oliver's deli. You can get a meal for less than you paid. Also, Cantonese food is actually one of the least spicy Chinese cuisines. They tend to avoid chilli or Sichuan pepper.

    I'm with you on it being expensive here but there is value if you look for it- eg lunch deals in town.
  15. rodno1teach

    rodno1teach New commenter

    I loved the food in HK. I would work in HK in a jiffy if I got free accommodation there and 40k gbp a year Net. Great food in HK. Great shopping and supermarkets. Great sandwiches. Alas, not in Korea and not in China. Nah, china outside of big cities isn't much fun to eat in. Supermarkets in china are not a nice place to be. HK though, absolutely fantastic. It's just toooooooo expensive for most people I am afraid.
  16. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    You can spend £7.50 - £8.00 a pint in London if you go to the places that sell pints for that much or more. My guess is that most people here don't frequent those places often or at all when in London. My other guess is that none of us would pass "face control". It's also very easy to spend less than £3.50 - £4.00 a pint in Hong Kong (actually it's quite easy in London too but at the possible cost of even the most unpretentious of us being seen as hipsters by the regulars).

    My two cents:

    Cent 1: Hong Kong is way more affordable than London for a teacher on a decent international school contract in HK versus a teacher working at a well paying private school in London - with the emphasis on way but I don't want to capitalise it as I'm not in the mood for shouting.
    Cent 2: London is cheaper than everywhere else for many things - but this is strangely never raised as an issue when comparing it with exotic locales where we are big fish with serious amounts of swagger, kudos and respect.
    Cent 3: Hong Kong has a serious housing problem (in terms of availability, price and size) that makes the streets of London look like they are paved with gold.
    Cent 4: Numbeo is a very good guide and on balance (especially with the higher salaries and favourable tax rates) Hong Kong is a very good bet. Accommodation is a sizeable negative though if you are not just you.
    Cent 5: Why compare everywhere to London anyway?
  17. agbak

    agbak New commenter

    I think the whole point of moving abroad is to enjoy the culture of one's new abode and put aside the British culture for once.
    Hanging onto the British culture and not adapting to a new way of life is like fitting the whole of the UK into one's suitcase and living in a different country!
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  18. rodno1teach

    rodno1teach New commenter

    I wasn't comparing it to London, clovis was. I couldn't care less about London. A decent international school contract in HK is $75 000 or so HK$ per month plus free accommodation. ANYONE can live on that kind of money!! Whatever! I have been to HK and as I yet again state, if you want to eat and drink anywhere decent in HK like Central, Kowloon etc...then you are going to PAY through the nose for anything decent if eating out. I have no idea about cooking at home in HK though or supermarkets except the one I posted (city super) which is expensive. London is not cheap. Train fares into and out of London on any express train are touching £100 at peak periods.
  19. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    The comparison with London came from dumbells66 via Numbeo. I think it worth comparing Hong Kong to a range of places rather than just London. Both are ridiculously expensive places to live.

    Can you send the details of the schools that offers this? Sounds great.
  20. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    We are all once again in a p***ing contest with 'he who must not be named', his/her mouth is simply tied to his own ear and he/she will not accept any other opinions as being valid despite the fact that most of us on here have a lot more experience than him/her.

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