Shifting to HK in May 2014 - need help on admission

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Unhappy Shifting to HK in May 2014 - need help on admission

    Hi I would be shifting to HK in April 2014 and have two kids (6yrs and 2 yrs)...wanted to understand
    1.)how does the admission process work...can I apply while sitting in India or do I need to be physically present
    2.) Whats the difference between a DSS school and an International school ....
    3.) IS it really difficult for kids to cope up in case they they get into a local school and chinese needs to be learnt...

    I know I have put in many questions but I am a worried mom looking out for answers...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    School admissions in primary school is a big problem in HK. Most of people usually Indian’s try for English School Foundation (ESF) group of school. These schools have cachement area, you need to provide tentative place where you plan to stay. You can apply online. Application fee is around 2000HKD, however waiting period is upto 3 years. School fee is HKD 70,000/- annually. ESF gives option of nomination rights(equivalent to donation money - the rates given on their website) that means you get priority on wait list. If you can afford that or if company is sponsoring that (many companies do) then use that. Alternatively, you should try to park your children on some other school till you turn comes into ESF school.
    There are several International schools, however most of the Good ones are full. Many demand Debentures (interest free deposit, which is generally returned when child leaves the school) which is large amount. If company sponsors debentures, then go for such schools. German Swiss International is good in this category, there are many others aswell.

    If Company is not sponsoring Debentures, then you can target for following International schools who do not demand debentures are quite accommodative through out the year, due to high turn over.

    1. Delia School of Canada: This is good international school. Lot of desi crowd. The child gets adjusted easily in this environment. Fee approx. HKD 10,000/- per month. Application fee is approx. HKD 600/-

    2. Korean International School (KIS): This is good school. The studies are quite good, but less of desi crowd. Child may take some time to adjust to this new environment, where most of the students are Korean crowd, however some Indian and other nation crowd aswell. Fee is around HKD 8,500/- per month. Application fee is approx. HKD 1000/-

    Generally Indians who are doing well do not prefer to put their children in local schools where medium of teaching is English as they feel their child would be neglected there. The fee in local school is negligible (approx. 3000HKD annually). The good government school always have long wait list. Some local school that are accommodative through out the year are likes Sir Ellis Kedoorie near Causeway Bay. There are many other, you may have to research, however you should search for schools where medium of teaching is English otherwise it would be very difficult for 6 year old to accommodate.

    You should apply online for ESF (and other popular school that have long wait list) at the earliest. Do not depend on one school – apply in multiple schools (and keep paying endless application fees). If Good school calls your child for interview (Generally held in JAN every year for admissions of academics starting from SEP), be prepared to travel to HK for interviews or loose out the chance.

    The best way to do this is either negotiate EXPAT package with the sponsoring company where accommodation and schooling is sponsored by company (i.e . it is company responsibility get admission for your child in your prefered school and arrange accomodation for you). If not, negotiate for RELOCATION AGENT i.e. persons who help you to settle down in this new place and keep running in the city to arrange whatever you want and make your life easier. These agents have good local contacts, and can make life lots easier (e.g. collecting school forms, submission of forms etc.). If not, you would be left to run from pillar to post, not difficult as HK has good public transport, but would be complex, as you have small children who would move around with you while your Hubby is at work.

    For small kids its not difficult to learn Pontugua (Chinese), as its almost mandatory in all the schools as second language. In International school the process is easy, and exams on such foreign language is not too taxing. Infact, its good for kids to learn foreign language. At times, Kids may require additional tutors (tution classes), they are bit expensive of approx. HKD200 per hour, put part of Money Game called HK.

    One more thing to note is generally most of the schools have concept of cachement area, i.e. you need to stay near to school. Even if some schools like Delia Canada and KIS do not insist on cachement area, it make sense to stay nearby or at comutable distance so that child do not have to travel longer. The sadest part is most of these schools may be located in posh areas where rental is higher. Generally working men take up travel if their office is far, but prefer to stay near school so that kids have to travel less. Most International school have school bus facility, however depending on where you stay school bus charges ranges from HKD 1000 to 2500 per month!!

    All the best!!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    What about Hong Kong Academy? The new campus seems to be great and it has a very good reputation.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Thank U achotanis,

    Fr ur detailed i am also moving to HK ..n want my 6 yr old daughter to get her admitted in primary schools..have heard hk schooling process is a very tough job..n today only i m planning to fill DELIA SCHOOL OF CANADA application form..n vll be looking for some more is nt sponsoring any child education n relocation v only need to manage the whole thing..