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foreign education vs HK education

  1. #25
    zhumgg is offline Registered User
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    btw, most of my HK friends do portfolio for their kids as they really target top tier local school. Some of the school even request a portfolio for the application like St. Stephen.

  2. #26
    zhumgg is offline Registered User
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    The top tier schools NOT ONLY look at academics, they are serious on the portfolio as they are looking for all rounded individual but not those only hide in the library. There is a news just published in both english and chinese newspaper, a straight "A" student was rejected by King's College (top tier school in HK) regardless of his bright academic result and the fact that he was the top 10 students (based on academic result) of the King's College Old Boys' Association Primary School

  3. #27
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    if you come back and enroll your child in an international school (1) you may not actually get a place, they are VERY hard to get....not because of "competition", but because there are too many students and not enough spaces and (2) you can pretty much forget your child learning to speak/read/write chinese. it's not going to happen unless they go to the chinese international school and then they'll speak mandarin, not cantonese.

  4. #28
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    A bit about our situation and what I think:

    I am a "westerner", educated in the USA in a small public school. I was writing 20-page research papers with full peer-reviewed reference sources when I was 17-years-old and reading and analyzing difficult classical literature. My teachers were tough! I studied both AP (advanced placement) Biology and Chemistry courses which included real-life science (like monitoring a nearby river and running water tests etc.) I also was taking black/white photography from a well-known and published professional photographer as an independent study and I learned how to do electric wiring and historical archiving--some of the work I did is in a collection in the Library of Congress (along with my classmates). I had a very eclectic education that was free. I went to a state university (even though I was accepted to others) and also felt I got a top-rate education even though my school was small and not famous. To me, education is and always has been about 1) the heart and ability of the teacher 2) the effort and interest of the student 3) learning how to learn--developing the skills and attributes (like curiosity for one--which is not really encouraged in many local HK classrooms, unfortunately).

    But, my life in the USA taught me more things outside of the classroom that many children probably won't get exposure to here in HK. We lived near to nature and were able to explore more. My dad had a large organic garden which I helped tend with him--that was a great education! There was simply more room. So, education, to me isn't all about what happens inside the classroom walls.

    Are you thinking of sending your child to boarding school? I know that in some places you can send your child when they are in primary school. I would never, ever send my child to boarding school because I don't want to be separated from my children--I think it is my responsibility, honor and duty to be a daily influence in their lives--even when they are teenagers. I don't think the possible rewards of that situation outweigh that component--for me, that is.

    I studied Mandarin Chinese in university and lived in China in a fully language immersion environment (ZERO English) for a year. I understand Mandarin quite well and speak semi-fluently. I can even write some Chinese as all of my exams were conducted in Chinese. Some of my dearest and closest friends are Mainland Chinese. I've traveled all over the country on the train (that's how you really get to know who Mainlanders are, I think). I've lived in a couple cities--one in the far-far north and one in the far-far south. I've had my share of experiences with Mainland Chinese people. Some days I hated it and some days I loved it. Overall, I'm still enchanted by Mainlanders, although I find many of their particular habits annoying and even disturbing (like the one time I was standing on a crowded Mainland bus and I had to stand for about an hour and a man sneezed all over my face and arm--lots of snot came out--made no effort to cover his face--and I had nothing to wipe off with so I just kind of had to stand there--that was pretty disgusting).

    My husband is Hong Kong Chinese--grew up here all of his life--was locally educated and then went to Australia and studied for 4 years in university. He used to work in a factory as a manager in Shenzhen up until a year ago. I used to work there as well and I used to stay in a Mainland Chinese dormitory on the factory premises.

    We have two children. Our eldest child is in K2 and is attending an SKH local kindergarten nearby where we live. I am satisfied with his kindergarten and he loves it. My son is very clever (if I do say so myself!) and for us only a portion of his education actually takes place at school. He learns a lot through doing different activities--especially with my husband. The most important thing right now is that he loves learning and he's curious--as long as he can maintain these throughout school, he'll do fantastic.

    The problem is--and I know this as a primary school teacher in Hong Kong. Often what happens in HK primary school classrooms is the opposite of inspiring students to learn. What happens is students get burdened with a heavy load of work which kills the joy of learning for them. At the same time they are being taught to memorize correct answers and not really think for themselves. This is a widespread issue in HK, I think. I cannot speak about the international schools here because I don't know very much about them.

    So, what we have done is choose a school that has a unique environment. The school where my son studies is much different than many larger schools in HK. The children spend more time outdoors. They keep a garden there. The school has a lot of good programs for the children including great English and Mandarin lessons. And I like the teachers. There are other "mixed" and foreign students who attend as well.

    I think that no matter what you choose you have to select the school based on your "gut feeling" and not only because of a reputation or because you think your child will learn this or that there. Choose the school that fits your child. Don't force your child to fit to the school. Every school has a unique environment, culture and feel--you have to choose the one that lines up with what is important to you and your child.

    But, no, we won't be moving back to the States just so my children can go to school there. We might, however, choose another country--thinking about South America. ;)
    Last edited by thanka2; 09-02-2011 at 10:50 PM.
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  5. #29
    zhumgg is offline Registered User
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    Carang, I always find your comment to any post (I have read a lot of your responses to many posts) very rude and unprofessional. I have seen you surely picked a lot of fight with many members in this forum. I wont enroll my kid to a day care run by this type of people and cant believe anyone would. Do you dare to tell us what is the name of the day care you said you are running??

    I hope if you are not sure what you are talking about, you better dont reply to any thread.

    - sounds like you are the only one who knows the HK intl school is very competitive. You cant get a seat for your son so he is now studying in a local school in HK. Dont ever try to inject negative thinking to other members here. Why it is not competition?? The kids are all competiting for the limited space!! So what??!! The world is full of competition anywhere!!!

    - Not only Chinese international school can teach chinese. There are many other international schools like Yew Chung and RC has good mandarin program too. Even other internationals school has daily mandarin lessons that can help kids to learn practical chinese.

    - Many local HK and mainland students are studying in international school now which is even better as they all speak cantonese or mandarin to each other in some extent which can help to boost the kids' chinese language

    - You dont only learn Cantonese/mandarin in school, there are many extra-curricular activities which is cantonese oriented outside of teh school. When the kids are in HK, they are in the cantonese speaking environment that they can pick up cantonese very quickly just by talking to friends and relatives

  6. #30
    zhumgg is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    if you come back and enroll your child in an international school (1) you may not actually get a place, they are VERY hard to get....not because of "competition", but because there are too many students and not enough spaces and (2) you can pretty much forget your child learning to speak/read/write chinese. it's not going to happen unless they go to the chinese international school and then they'll speak mandarin, not cantonese.
    I always find your comment to any post (I have read a lot of your responses to many posts) very rude and unprofessional. I have seen you surely picked a lot of fight with many members in this forum. I wont enroll my kid to a day care run by this type of people and cant believe anyone would. Do you dare to tell us what is the name of the day care you said you are running??

    I hope if you are not sure what you are talking about, you better dont reply to any thread.

    - sounds like you are the only one who knows the HK intl school is very competitive. You cant get a seat for your son so he is now studying in a local school in HK. Dont ever try to inject negative thinking to other members here. Why it is not competition?? The kids are all competiting for the limited space!! So what??!! The world is full of competition anywhere!!!

    - Not only Chinese international school can teach chinese. There are many other international schools like Yew Chung and RC has good mandarin program too. Even other internationals school has daily mandarin lessons that can help kids to learn practical chinese.

    - Many local HK and mainland students are studying in international school now which is even better as they all speak cantonese or mandarin to each other in some extent which can help to boost the kids' chinese language

    - You dont only learn Cantonese/mandarin in school, there are many extra-curricular activities which is cantonese oriented outside of teh school. When the kids are in HK, they are in the cantonese speaking environment that they can pick up cantonese very quickly just by talking to friends and relatives

  7. #31
    zhumgg is offline Registered User
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    Thank you for your sharing, Thanka2 :)

  8. #32
    zhumgg is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by thanka2 View Post
    A bit about our situation and what I think:

    I am a "westerner", educated in the USA in a small public school. I was writing 20-page research papers with full peer-reviewed reference sources when I was 17-years-old and reading and analyzing difficult classical literature. My teachers were tough! I studied both AP (advanced placement) Biology and Chemistry courses which included real-life science (like monitoring a nearby river and running water tests etc.) I also was taking black/white photography from a well-known and published professional photographer as an independent study and I learned how to do electric wiring and historical archiving--some of the work I did is in a collection in the Library of Congress (along with my classmates). I had a very eclectic education that was free. I went to a state university (even though I was accepted to others) and also felt I got a top-rate education even though my school was small and not famous. To me, education is and always has been about 1) the heart and ability of the teacher 2) the effort and interest of the student 3) learning how to learn--developing the skills and attributes (like curiosity for one--which is not really encouraged in many local HK classrooms, unfortunately).

    But, my life in the USA taught me more things outside of the classroom that many children probably won't get exposure to here in HK. We lived near to nature and were able to explore more. My dad had a large organic garden which I helped tend with him--that was a great education! There was simply more room. So, education, to me isn't all about what happens inside the classroom walls.

    Are you thinking of sending your child to boarding school? I know that in some places you can send your child when they are in primary school. I would never, ever send my child to boarding school because I don't want to be separated from my children--I think it is my responsibility, honor and duty to be a daily influence in their lives--even when they are teenagers. I don't think the possible rewards of that situation outweigh that component--for me, that is.

    I studied Mandarin Chinese in university and lived in China in a fully language immersion environment (ZERO English) for a year. I understand Mandarin quite well and speak semi-fluently. I can even write some Chinese as all of my exams were conducted in Chinese. Some of my dearest and closest friends are Mainland Chinese. I've traveled all over the country on the train (that's how you really get to know who Mainlanders are, I think). I've lived in a couple cities--one in the far-far north and one in the far-far south. I've had my share of experiences with Mainland Chinese people. Some days I hated it and some days I loved it. Overall, I'm still enchanted by Mainlanders, although I find many of their particular habits annoying and even disturbing (like the one time I was standing on a crowded Mainland bus and I had to stand for about an hour and a man sneezed all over my face and arm--lots of snot came out--made no effort to cover his face--and I had nothing to wipe off with so I just kind of had to stand there--that was pretty disgusting).

    My husband is Hong Kong Chinese--grew up here all of his life--was locally educated and then went to Australia and studied for 4 years in university. He used to work in a factory as a manager in Shenzhen up until a year ago. I used to work there as well and I used to stay in a Mainland Chinese dormitory on the factory premises.

    We have two children. Our eldest child is in K2 and is attending an SKH local kindergarten nearby where we live. I am satisfied with his kindergarten and he loves it. My son is very clever (if I do say so myself!) and for us only a portion of his education actually takes place at school. He learns a lot through doing different activities--especially with my husband. The most important thing right now is that he loves learning and he's curious--as long as he can maintain these throughout school, he'll do fantastic.

    The problem is--and I know this as a primary school teacher in Hong Kong. Often what happens in HK primary school classrooms is the opposite of inspiring students to learn. What happens is students get burdened with a heavy load of work which kills the joy of learning for them. At the same time they are being taught to memorize correct answers and not really think for themselves. This is a widespread issue in HK, I think. I cannot speak about the international schools here because I don't know very much about them.

    So, what we have done is choose a school that has a unique environment. The school where my son studies is much different than many larger schools in HK. The children spend more time outdoors. They keep a garden there. The school has a lot of good programs for the children including great English and Mandarin lessons. And I like the teachers. There are other "mixed" and foreign students who attend as well.

    I think that no matter what you choose you have to select the school based on your "gut feeling" and not only because of a reputation or because you think your child will learn this or that there. Choose the school that fits your child. Don't force your child to fit to the school. Every school has a unique environment, culture and feel--you have to choose the one that lines up with what is important to you and your child.

    But, no, we won't be moving back to the States just so my children can go to school there. We might, however, choose another country--thinking about South America. ;)
    Thank you again. Your reply gave me a lot of insight for more thinking. I never think about putting my kid in boarding school too as I never want to separate from them. I want to be with them all the time :)

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