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Just move here. Need help getting my kids to school

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5

    Just move here. Need help getting my kids to school

    Hi,
    I am new at this forum. I just moved to hk from USA. My kids are 5 1/2 and 7 will turn 8 in sept. They are us citizen, and I am hong kong citizen. I am wondering what is their options? They were in spainish n english dual immersion program. They speak, read and write fluent Spanish and English. They can only speak cantonese but doesn't know how to read or write. I heard it is very hard to get into any school here. My dad has a serious medical condition so we decided to come back just last month, so I didn't have time to do any research for the school system. I just don't know how and where to start. We are living in shatin. I am in a panic mode right now. Any help will be appreciated!

    Lee


  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Midlevels
    Posts
    73

    Hi

    First things first: are you looking for a private international school or are you considering going to the local (Cantonese) schools? If the latter, you'll probably be able to find something even at this date. If you are looking for an international school, you're a bit behind in the process as many schools have already started accepting students and have very very long wait lists.

    HKIS in Repulse Bay will give preference to them as they are coming from a US-school system, so you'll be higher on the wait list than say someone just applying locally. You can also try contacting ESF but I would suspect your ESF school in your area is probably already quite booked. You might also consider some DSS (Direct Subsidy Scheme Schools).

    But first things first--local or international?


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    432

    have you tried Anifield? the primary school opens this August and they may have space.

    Anfield School

    DSS schools are a good idea as well.

    Good luck!


  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5
    I don't know if they are even able to get into local because they are US citizen and they are not Hong Kong resident. They came as a visitor which I think I need to change their status? I need to call the immigration dept and find out. Unless somebody had the same or similar situation??
    Last edited by Uskids; 28-05-2012 at 01:02 AM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Happy Valley
    Posts
    123

    Without a valid visa, no proper school (local nor international) will take the kids in. You will need to sort out visa situation immediately.

    Following that, you need to decide on budget which can be anywhere from zero to close to 20,000 per month. If you can let us know what that is, we could make some recommendations.


  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Midlevels
    Posts
    73

    What Howard said. One of the first things the schools ask for is a copy of their passport and visa. You'll need to sort that bit out ASAP before you can start even applying. You can ask over on Geoexpat.com for some advice on visas as some of the folks there have had a bit of experience with those.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5

    OK. I will find out how to change their visa. In the meantime, my budget is $1K-$5K for both kids. We are spoiled back in the state which doesn't need to pay anything in public school.


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Happy Valley
    Posts
    123

    Is that US or HKD? Is that budget per month or per year?


  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Midlevels
    Posts
    73

    $1,000-$2,000 USD per month is what many private international schools charge per month. ESF is about $1,000 USD a month I think. I'm not sure what DSS schools charge. If they are already speaking Cantonese then pursuing a local school option might be something worth considering, though you may have to help tutor them on reading/writing a bit.

    As crazy as this might sound, every year there are a number of expat families that temporarily split up because of the schools issue. One parent keeps the kids in the "home country" so they can continue their schooling while the other one works in Hong Kong until a place (or the means) to attend school here develops. I'm not sure about your current situation, but if you had to do something like this you certainly wouldn't be alone.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    5

    Wow, school is quiet expensive here. I am thinking maybe $1K-$5K HK Dollar for each kid. I would love to have the whole family stay together. I think my younger daughter could go to public and repeat Kinder for her to learn Chinese. But not sure if my older one can do the same thing since she will need to go to 3rd grade and with no Chinese read and write background only speaking. I am not sure how she will do it even have her to repeat 2nd grade. I really want them to know how to read and write in Chinese.


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