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Teach in Hong Kong

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by enev93, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. enev93

    enev93 New commenter


    My partner and I are considering moving to Hong Kong next year. We both have 3+ years experience teaching in primary schools in Ireland and have Bachelor in Educations (4 years) from certified teaching colleges here in Ireland.

    We are considering going down the international school route and was just wondering would anyone be able to offer any advice/insights into the likelihood of actually attaining jobs? Is it generally attainable like how a lot of people get employment for jobs in UAE.

    Would anyone be able to recommend any schools to looks for. I have looked into the ESF system.

  2. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Along with Singapore, and Bangkok, HK are probably the most sort after destinations in the world. And remember, its the world you are up against. These places do get hundreds of applications for each position. Its not impossible, but i would suggest to widen your focus and look at a mulitude of destinations as you have limited teaching experience, and no international experience.

    Best of luck
    frogusmaximus and Helen-Back like this.
  3. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    As posted, it a popular destination. The big english outfit (which you specifically named, naughty, naughty) might be your best bet due to the sheer number of positions that they recruit for every year. We have applied a number of times with them (and I was actually offered a job once, which I had to unfortunately decline). Start a conversation if you are interested in some of the feedback I have received from leadership there over the years.

    The odds are a bit against you but the rewards could be great, so by all means go for it.
  4. epicrates

    epicrates New commenter

    Getting a job in Bangkok is much easier than in Hong Kong . Very similar to applying to Switzerland where I have worked - there were almost 1100 applicants for the job I got. Experience initially in the UK followed by some time in less competitive International Schools is highly desirable . Probably a good route now would be to work on the Chinese mainland where there are huge numbers of jobs in variable schools . Then apply to HK after a couple of years.
  5. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    There are far more schools in HK than just the ESF ones, new schools are being built and opened all the time but you wll need to do your due diligence. I would agree with other posters there are good schools in lots of places that are not HK, but it won't be easy.
  6. lifeinthe852

    lifeinthe852 New commenter

    First, congratulations on taking the first exciting step to moving abroad!
    Yes, Hong Kong is competitive, but really is that a good enough reason to not apply?
    There’s lots of different international schools in HK, so well worth having a thorough google - and if you want some more specific info, send me a pm.
    Good luck!
  7. TeacherMan2019

    TeacherMan2019 New commenter

    I'd take you up on that PM offer @binza87 or if @makhnovite or @wrldtrvlr123 were feeling generous I'd love to hear their opinions as well!
  8. krakowiak6

    krakowiak6 Occasional commenter

    Don't forget it's £30 for a meal for one in HK and beer is £8 a pint. Unless you eat noodles and coffee from the 7 11 that is. Also flights from HK tend to be high
  9. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    Not quite our experience of living in HK- I think it depends where you go. Lots of good value flights from HK around Asia and there are a number of competitive airlines between HK and the UK. Just avoid CNY for flights (or buy well in advance!).
  10. krakowiak6

    krakowiak6 Occasional commenter

    Flights from anywhere in Asia at Xmas and CNY and the summer months are extremely high even flying from one Asian city to another. There may be some cheap flights available but it will have probably one stop over of many hours or something. I also found AirBnB extremely costly when I went to Taiwan, half as cheap as a hotel would have cost but still cost me £400 for just 2 weeks (a hotel was at least £800-£1000).
  11. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    I think that 3 yrs experience is fine. After that box is ticked the understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the specific curriculum being offered is far more important. If I am choosing between 2 candidates, one of whom is experienced but lacks enthusiasm/innovation in our curriculum whilst the other has less experience but shows deep understanding of our curriculum, and an innovative approach to implementing it I'll offer the role to the latter (less experienced) candidate over the former. In my experience in HK & BKK there may be many people applying but there are relatively few who are able to demonstrate significant understanding of the curriculum (I'm in IB).
    TeacherMan2019 likes this.
  12. TeacherMan2019

    TeacherMan2019 New commenter

    @ToK-tastic Quick question for you then ToK. (I'd send private conversation, but it appears neither of us has that capability.) If a teaching couple were to take a couple of IB workshops before applying - so they would have the curriculum knowledge, but no actual IB teaching experience - would that be a relevant factor? I've read what I can on the IB curriculum (the DP which applies to me) and it looks very very similar to a lot of the frameworks that we use here in Canada. Inquiry-based, formative assessment, essential questions, etc.
  13. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    Yes, IB workshop experience would demonstrate commitment to the curriculum. Of course there are a whole range of other factors e.g. scarcity of teachers in that subject area, subject assessment role (eg being an Examiner), other subjects offered etc etc).
    TeacherMan2019 likes this.
  14. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    The only prerequisite to teach IB is a "pulse"!
    TeacherMan2019 likes this.
  15. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    Dear OP

    Ask yourself these two questions. When your targeted schools look through their pile of 500 applicants,

    1. Why will yours stand out?
    2. What opportunity will they have to bin it, as the slightest thing will be used to trim down that list . . . experience, nationality, photo, punctuation, letter addressed to the correct person, extra curricular experiences etc

    One of my overseas adventures was in a small school in SE Asia. I kid you not but I was the only applicant. I later spent five years, and am now semi retired, in one of the most sought after locations in the world. I'm sure you'll understand my point.
  16. starsunshine10

    starsunshine10 New commenter


    I considered HK years ago but then visited as part of our backpacking trip. I loved it but remember thinking it wasn’t the right place for me to live and teach. It is really expensive! Have you been there? Any chance of a visit before applying for jobs?
  17. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    A fat and smelly old hippo has sent you one of those silly TES Conversation things, enev93.

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