Find Apartment or Find School First; Relocation Dilemma

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Find Apartment or Find School First; Relocation Dilemma

    Hello, I am thinking of relocating to HK with an eight and 10 year old. I have been reading about how competitive it is to get into HK schools and that the ESF schools require that you leave in a geographic area near the school.

    If the position comes through, I would likely be trying to place my kids in a school for the 2013-2014 school year.

    I have no idea how long the admissions process takes or if I am already late for the next school year, but my main question is whether I should pick a neighborhood and hope for the best as far as school or the opposite

    I wouldn't be able to relocate with kids until the end of current school year.

    Also is a three-bedroom apartment unheard of in HK and what might something like that cost?? Thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2010


    The admissions process for 2013-14 is already well underway. Some schools are no longer accepting applications in fact, and almost all schools will have a wait list, even for those who applied on time.

    As such, your choices are to aim for a less competitive international school, including those in farther locations out in Kowloon or even the New Territories, or try to live somewhat centrally so that your children won't have a horrible commute to whatever school you are lucky enough to find. I suspect the vast majority of ESF schools will be filled, though some with more specific knowledge will come on soon and offer some suggestions.

    I should note that some people keep the kids back in the home country going to school there with one parent, while the other parent is on the ground here setting up and working until such a time as a place opens. Not sure if your situation would allow for that, but that's how desperate things can be.

    Another option would be to push for a school debenture from your employer that would guarantee your children a spot.

    Are you coming from a US school or a UK-based school? If relocating from the US and your kids have been in a US-based curriculum, you will get a slight priority at HKIS, which has a 'late admissions' application period for people relocating from overseas I think.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    HK Island

    Penguinsix is basically right.

    In terms of accomodation, that really depends. Prices really vary based on location. Also there are 1000 sqft 3-bedroom apartments and 2200 sqft 3-bedroom apartments (or even village houses), facilities, no facilities.

    Sites like Hong Kong Property, Apartment for Rent and for Sale - Hong Kong Realty are a good indicator, but overall real estate is about the most expensive in the world, especially on Hong Kong island. However, there are little gems out there, but you'll most likely be more isolated, and further from stores, schools, MTR-stations, etc.