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Applying for School for Fall of 2010--waste of money?

  1. #1
    penguinsix is offline Registered User
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    Applying for School for Fall of 2010--waste of money?

    Having just arrived in HK I'm a bit behind in the application process for the various International schools and ESF schools. As I sit here staring at all of these applications and the random application fees ($2,500 for this one, another $2,000 for that) I'm kind of asking myself if I'm really just deluding myself as to my 4-year-old's chance of entering an international school next Fall.

    Are there really open spaces (and short wait-lists) at this point, or am I basically just throwing away the application fees at this point? Would it be better to go to some small kindergarden (say Tutor Time or like that) for a year and apply as part of the 'normal' process next Fall for classes starting in 2011?

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i would DEFINITELY call around and see what is up... ask if they are already full for the next year, if so, move on.

    it all adds up and the app fees are non-refundable (what a great way to make an extra few hundred thousand $$$$!!!)...

    we chose a small local kindergarten and are thrilled with it. it does teach in cantonese, though (and is miles away from the mid-levels)...there are smaller kindergartens out there, you just have to ask around and have a look.

    beware, though, that although 'smaller' than an international school, it is still sought after (as are many kindergartens attended by expats).

  3. #3
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    Is your son's birth year 2005 (ie, is he trying to enter P1 at ESF this autumn?) If so, call them and ask about their waiting lists. My son's name is currently 16th on the list at Bradbury ESF, but they rang us last week and offered a place at Glenealy (which I believe is Sheung Wan end of midlevels).

    Lots of expats are moving on this summer; I think you'll find that there will be ESF places available.

    best of luck

  4. #4
    penguinsix is offline Registered User
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    He's born in 2006 (May), so he's in the 4 year old group. We applied to Hillside ESF but were told there is a pretty substantial waiting list.

  5. #5
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    I have 2006 borns as well (and 2004). I would call around but also consider Woodlands, Sunshine, etc. My oldest was 4 and a little bit when we got here, she did one year at Sunshine, and we had to apply in September for her P1 spot at ESF (which you would have to do in September as well if that's what you may want to do). Her year at Sunshine went very well, smooth and it gave us time to look into options, etc. In the end we decided on ESF (we're paying everything out of our own pocket and are very happy). Getting a spot at Woodlands, Sunshine, etc. shouldn't be a major problem in my experience.

  6. #6
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    i think you will have a good chance at woodlands / sunshine too -in the meantime I would just wait and apply for your son to start at the ESF or whatever you choose next year.

  7. #7
    penguinsix is offline Registered User
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    I just heard the Canadian school has a waitlist of 59 for reception classes next year. Thinking more and more about the Woodlands / Tutor Time like option and starting fresh for 2011.

  8. #8
    FionaN is offline Registered User
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    Woodland Pokfulam normally have space for afternoon class, so you only need to wait for morning class.

    Application fee for ESF is only a few hundred, so just try. A friend of my move from US and apply in end of term also got accepted.

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