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Thinking of coming back home but scared...

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by msmillreef, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. msmillreef

    msmillreef New commenter

    Hi all,
    I have a great job, fantastic money and a supportive management BUT, the whole Hong Kong political situation and Covid-19 have made me so worried about my future here in Hong Kong. My daughter needs to return to the UK to complete her post-grad and wants me to go with her. I'm worried but not sure if I should give up what I have. Husband has said it's up to me and he'll follow. What to do?, What to do?????
    (by the way, it says I'm a new commenter but I've been here since flippin 2011)!!!
  2. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    I have colleagues who lived through the Gulf War, the continuing Middle-East blockade and now Covid. Stay where you are. Covid-19 is everywhere.

    From personal experience. For our first born, my husband and I did think to help our eldest to settle and move back to London for a year or two. But we decided against it and stayed working overseas. Why?

    1. He was old enough and it's time for him to live his life.
    2. We still needed to think about our retirement.
    3. We were happy with our job and the £££ was able to make things easier for our uni bound children.

    Your daughter is doing a post-grad. So she's older than the usual first year undergrad. You can always visit every holidays which my husband and I did in the first year.

    It's a tough decision. Best of luck with whatever you do.
    msmillreef likes this.
  3. calejapes

    calejapes New commenter

    Just moved back to Hong Kong from the UK. So glad I did, definitely no better there at the moment.

    Your mileage may vary, but the job situation was bleak. So, if you are going to pull the trigger and move back I would definitely sort out a job first.
  4. install

    install Star commenter

    Hello @msmillreef

    Having a great job you love with supportive management is very rare these days. It seems to me you are really thinking of giving it all up to be with your daughter.

    Has she looked into completing her postgrad by distance? It seems a bit silly to come all the way over only to find that may be the way that her course goes.

    Also in these uncertain times I think you should count your blessings and hold on to what you have. I realise there is lots going on in Hong Kong too but I’d be tempted to stick it out with a back up in place just in case.

    It’s a tough decision but don’t jump out of the frying pan into the fire.
    Mainwaring, stopwatch and msmillreef like this.
  5. calejapes

    calejapes New commenter

    Install makes a really good point there about your daughter's course. I just finished my MSc and the department told us they were either teaching online for the first semester next year or, in some cases, delaying the start date until January.

    I don't know your situation, but I can honestly say that I'd never leave a secure HK job right now. Maybe in a year or two.
    agathamorse and install like this.
  6. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    Sounds fantastic. Sounds to me like you'll be fine if you stay, and end up regretting it if you leave.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.
    Bentley51 and agathamorse like this.
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    "new" depends on how many posts you've made, not how long you've been here :)
  8. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    Hong Kong has been a very unsettling place to be, the riots, political turmoil and Covid-19 have really hurt. I know many people are seriously considering options; if you've lived here any length of time it is hard to see the changes. You are not alone in feeling a bit lost. Home seems very far away and Hong Kong feels very confining without easy access to the rest of the world; the two-week home quarantine on arrival pretty much precludes any travel. I think everyone I work with has stayed here all summer.

    Hong Kong's disease control restrictions are very rigorous. If tested positive, being sent to quarantine is worse than prison, stuck in a small unit (government flat you are lucky) and not allowed out for two weeks even for exercise. I don't think there can be many places that lock up whole households in government facilities.

    I cannot help you make up your mind as my husband and I are working through the same issues. Actually having a job is a major plus given what is going on in the world right now and a huge thing to give up. The world is a mess, Hong Kong is just a bit more of a mess than most (but actually pretty safe as far as COVID-19 is concerned).
    msmillreef likes this.
  9. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I am making prudent moves to leave Shanghai after a number of years. This involves selling property in China and buying a house in England. The main reason is we may not get to make the decision when to leave due to a number of factors. If the number of expats drops there is no need for the large number of well paid teachers jobs in the city.

    I would definitely have a UK repatriation plan ready incase 80000 US citizens decided to leave HK. Jump before you are pushed is the best option.
    install and msmillreef like this.
  10. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    Stick it out and reap what benefits you can, whilst you can. Your daughter can enjoy her study on her own for a while and it might be the push she needs for independence but you can be there to support financially and emotionally when you can and where needed.
    If something changes and for whatever reason you have to leave then your school can support you in that process where possible. Or they can pay the compo if it their decision.
    install and msmillreef like this.
  11. 4019775

    4019775 Occasional commenter

    If I was you I would only come home for a job in a decent private school.

    The UK state sector is awful. It really would be a massive shock to the system to go from the sort of kids you will teach in HK to the UK state sector. It would, in my opinion, be miserable.
  12. msmillreef

    msmillreef New commenter

    Thank you all so much for your time and advice.
    install likes this.
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    Thankyou @msmillreef

    Good luck!
    msmillreef likes this.
  14. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    Good luck, I really feel for you. I don't think there is a right answer, you just have to do what you feel is best. We are definitely planning an exit from HK but not sure if it will be immediate (which will be a huge financial hit losing gratuity etc), at the end of this academic year or in a few years time.

    You are not alone- speak to colleagues and friends.
    msmillreef and StrangePanda like this.
  15. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Many of my colleagues here in Shanghai are discussing our "escape plan's", especially those with children. The way I look at it we have this year to shovel what ever **** is thrown at us and then we can see what our future will be.

    I suppose I am lucky as if I have to return to England tomorrow I will have a house and not have to work for 15 years.

    Everybody working abroad should have a repatriation plan and a bug out bag ready. If the expat kids don't materialize in the classroom by 1st September we are all heading for plan B or C.
    msmillreef likes this.
  16. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    I can only echo this. We are also in HK and having similar discussions- it's so hard to know what to do. I am also in a position where I really like my school/the way it is run, but other factors also come into play. PM if you feel like a chat.
    msmillreef likes this.
  17. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    Does it have to be only UK or Hong Kong?

    I can understand unease over being in HK. COVID-19 is everywhere, but a bigger concern would be the political situation, and really the only opinion on that that counts is your own.

    Again, regarding your daughter, only you know your relationship and how much she would need - and likely vice versa!

    That's where, for coming years, maybe a middle ground of Europe could work. Likely to be more politically stable and predictable and hopefully COVID under control.

    Good luck, it's not easy.
    msmillreef likes this.
  18. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    You're between a rock and a hard place. UK at the moment (imho) is full of people who are Covid blind and refuse to accept there's an issue -they don't comply to the ' guidance' -the UK doesn't have any laws or rules that can be enforced. Would this be a suitable environment to return to ? I grew up in Brunei and Singapore, my partner's from HK so I totally see why there's an attraction.
    I did a stint of 17 years in Spain, came back to UK and spent two years re-adjusting myself to the food, habits, and attitudes -I even had to pick up English idioms which I'd not come across before. I was a foreigner in UK basically and I hated the place !
    Ultimately though, you're going to do what's best for your daughter.
    A return to the Far East is always on the cards later down the line, if all settles.
    msmillreef and install like this.
  19. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I'd DEFINITELY second this. I can imagine that your problems would increase considerably were you to go UK state. You definitely won't have a great job, great money and fantastic management there
    agathamorse and msmillreef like this.
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    If you are worried about COVID-19, then maybe you should not stay in Hong Kong and I certainly would not want to return to the UK. Bulgaria is the obvious place to go, of course, as we have only had about 360 Coronavirus deaths so far.

    On the other hand, Mrs. Hippo and I really enjoyed our five years in China and sometimes we wonder why we ever left. If you are teaching at a good school in HK and living in something that is a little bigger than a shared broom cupboard, then my advice would be to stay put.
    msmillreef likes this.

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