Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Useful tips in HK School Search for your kids

Expatriates with children in Hong Kong have plenty of choices of international schools.   For a British curriculum, the English Schools Foundation has 19 schools from pre-school to secondary level.   The Hong Kong International School (HKIS) offers an American educational system. There are also schools for students who wish to follow their national curriculum from Canada, France, Germany / Switzerland, Singapore, Japan and Korea. Expatriate students may also attend schools that offer the local curriculum and Cantonese immersion programs.

Most common urgent concerns of foreigners planning to relocate to Hong Kong is finding school for their school aged children and provided below are some useful tips to your school searching.  

1          School Website Referral
Most schools have a website outlining important considerations such as their address, the school's system and curriculum, extra curricular activities, pictures of their facilities, tuition fees and zoning requirements.   It is very useful to use the school websites, the links below are good starting point in the search for a good school in HK.

2         Request for School Brochures
If you feel as though you need further information, contact the school and ask them to send you a brochure and an application form.

3         Set up an Appointment or Send in an Application
If you decide that the school is suitable for your child, contact the school to set up an appointment to discuss any questions further. If you have no further questions, send in an application. Documents required may include copies of school reports and passports for verification of your child's date of birth, especially if there is to be a change of curriculum and a suitable class needs to be determined.

4         Wait for a Reply from the School
Possible responses  from school may be to decline your child's application or to request an interview with your child in order assess whether the application will be considered further.

5         School Interview/Assessment
If your child's application is being considered further, the school will ask to meet you and your child. At this time you will be able to participate in a tour of the school as well.

6        Waiting List
If your child is been placed on a waiting list, there is little that you can do but wait. It is advisable to keep in contact with the school for up-to-date information on where on the list your child is. It is always advisable to apply for several schools to minimize the risk of failing to find an appropriate school for your child.

7        Acceptance
If the school accepts your child, it is likely that you will have to pay a registration fee, provided that the child has the appropriate visa to study. To verify compliance with their catchments policy, ESF schools also require proof of address in the form of a rent receipt, copy of offer letter or tenancy agreement. You will be supplied with information such as where to purchase uniforms, a school calendar and materials list.