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foreign education vs HK education

  1. #41
    kacoak is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhumgg View Post
    Dear all,

    What is your opinion whether foreign education like US education is better than Hk education even my kid study in the international school in HK??
    We are fairly new to Hong Kong, but from what I've heard and seen, education in Hong Kong is competitive world wide. As an overseas Chinese who's lived in the States since college, I have met my fair share of graduate students from HKU who are doing excellent research programs. Interestingly enough, none of these students came from an international school, though....

    You mentioned that you are in Texas at the moment. If your question is specific to your current situation, then I'd say it depends on your priority on what you deem important in your children's education. For instance, if you'd like your children to be educated in a bilingual English/Mandarin school, there are private schools like Yew Chung (they have one in Silicon Valley, I believe) for them. Public schools can offer excellent education and greater diversity of student body than private ones, although I'm reading a lot about the state education budget cuts in Texas at the moment. TAMS (Texas Academy of Math & Sciences) is a great option if you children are mathematically inclined.

    One thing I do like about schooling in the States is that there are options other than hard sciences. Before college I came from a fairly traditional asian school that emphasizes heavily on math and sciences. I discovered a wealth of humanities subjects during freshman year (and passionate professors), and was excited about them. But when it came to choosing a major, I went back to the sciences. At that point I'd wanted to work in the States, and getting a US working visa is easier with such majors.

    Bottom line is, I really do think that education is a journey and each child's is going to be different because of their different personalities and also personal/family circumstances. I believe that planning is important, but do allow for extra wiggle room. Case in point: a lot of my fellow international students chose to major in computer science due to the tech boom, but by the time we graduated, the bubble's burst, and many ended up with no job. If you think that learning Mandarin is important for the future, by all means expose your children to as much Mandarin as possible when they are young, but the world may be a different one 15 years from now. If they still need to learn Mandarin as an adult, they'll enroll in a program and do it. If they end up in Switzerland and need to learn German/French, they'll learn it then, as necessary.

    As I said, I'm new in HK so can't comment about the education here or living here in general, but I'll definitely make the best out of what's available, given this is where our family is at the moment, and therefore, home.
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  2. #42
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    carang 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 don't "pick fights" with anyone. I simply called your initial POST, not YOU, racist. If you read it, you will see I am correct. If you wanted to know about education in HK, then ask... don't cloud the issue with a racist diatribe against mainlanders.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??Many people on this forum know exactly which playgroup centres I run. And just so you know, most of my classes are full anyway, with very long waiting lists, so you wouldn't be able to join even if you wanted to...As a matter of fact, Thanka has even worked for me.

    I hope if you are not sure what you are talking about, you better dont reply to any thread.You are right of course, 16+ years in the education field in hong kong, I don't know what I am talking about when responding to a thread about education.

    - 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!!!I didn't even apply for international school for my child. I didn't WANT him to go to an international school and only learn English (he gets that at home), I wanted him to learn Cantonese so he could get by in HK and be able to speak to his grandparents, so we enrolled him in a local school. as for competition? if you didn't want to know what it was like or you already knew, then why are you asking a public forum?

    - 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.Yes, of course you are correct. Most international schools here have a daily Mandarin lesson. Personally, I think that a person needs more than 30 minutes/day in order to become fluent in a language.... but of course, you know better....
    As for RC and Yew Chung, yes, they do have reputations for having strong Mandarin programmes... I never said they didn't.


    - 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 To which international schools are you referring?

    - 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 relativesyes, I realise that... but YOUR post wasn't about THAT.... your post was about education in HK vs USA....but i would disagree that "they can pick up cantonese very quickly".... your child is already 5. if he/she is not already speaking cantonese, it will be much more difficult to pick it up. my kids have always taken their extra-curricular activities in cantonese in order to boost their language while learning something else at the same time..... however, the increase in their language abilities does NOT come from those classes, it comes from being immersed in cantonese at school.


    again, just because you didn't like my initial post regarding your views on mainlanders, does NOT mean i don't know what i'm talking about. i do NOT believe that i know everything about education in hk. i DO believe i know quite a bit about it, though.

    i am very rarely out and out rude. i am blunt, straight-forward and candid. if you don't like it, don't read my posts. however, the number of people who have thanked me for my input over the past 6(?) years on this forum far outweigh your negative comments.
    shwetakhanna likes this.

  3. #43
    zhumgg is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    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 don't "pick fights" with anyone. I simply called your initial POST, not YOU, racist. If you read it, you will see I am correct. If you wanted to know about education in HK, then ask... don't cloud the issue with a racist diatribe against mainlanders.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??Many people on this forum know exactly which playgroup centres I run. And just so you know, most of my classes are full anyway, with very long waiting lists, so you wouldn't be able to join even if you wanted to...As a matter of fact, Thanka has even worked for me.

    I hope if you are not sure what you are talking about, you better dont reply to any thread.You are right of course, 16+ years in the education field in hong kong, I don't know what I am talking about when responding to a thread about education.

    - 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!!!I didn't even apply for international school for my child. I didn't WANT him to go to an international school and only learn English (he gets that at home), I wanted him to learn Cantonese so he could get by in HK and be able to speak to his grandparents, so we enrolled him in a local school. as for competition? if you didn't want to know what it was like or you already knew, then why are you asking a public forum?

    - 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.Yes, of course you are correct. Most international schools here have a daily Mandarin lesson. Personally, I think that a person needs more than 30 minutes/day in order to become fluent in a language.... but of course, you know better....
    As for RC and Yew Chung, yes, they do have reputations for having strong Mandarin programmes... I never said they didn't.


    - 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 To which international schools are you referring?

    - 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 relativesyes, I realise that... but YOUR post wasn't about THAT.... your post was about education in HK vs USA....but i would disagree that "they can pick up cantonese very quickly".... your child is already 5. if he/she is not already speaking cantonese, it will be much more difficult to pick it up. my kids have always taken their extra-curricular activities in cantonese in order to boost their language while learning something else at the same time..... however, the increase in their language abilities does NOT come from those classes, it comes from being immersed in cantonese at school.


    again, just because you didn't like my initial post regarding your views on mainlanders, does NOT mean i don't know what i'm talking about. i do NOT believe that i know everything about education in hk. i DO believe i know quite a bit about it, though.

    i am very rarely out and out rude. i am blunt, straight-forward and candid. if you don't like it, don't read my posts. however, the number of people who have thanked me for my input over the past 6(?) years on this forum far outweigh your negative comments.
    - Hahahaa...so what is the name of your child care??

    - I never ask about competition in the HK education system in this thread

    - I thought you said many times in other threads that you cannot apply for international schools for your son because they are too expensive for you and the waiting list is too long. You actually toured many of them but you just cannot afford it.

    - Seems like your friend - HappyV is the biggest racist here. I said that I dont dislike mainlander, I just dont like uncivilised behaviour but I agree it can be from anyone and anywhere.

    Again, I welcome any comment and advice but in a nice, humble and diplomatic way. I learned about this since I was a child.

  4. #44
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    international schools ARE expensive. no, i did not tour any of them. when it came to decide. we considered esf and local schools. we did not tour any esf schools. we decided based on what we wanted language-wise for our kids.

    i have NEVER met happyv.

  5. #45
    Gataloca's Avatar
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    If you want to know the name of Cara's playgroup, just check her profile. So bad that she doesn't have any running in TKO. I would have loved to place my baby in her playgroups.

  6. #46
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    Just as a point of interest, how does the original poster know whether or not I am from HK? I could be Chinese, European, Canadian, African.........
    If you ask about moving a child from the US to HK, the the competition for school places is a huge factor, and part of the reality of the situation.
    Again - ironic that you should ask for contributers to be humble, seeing as your tone is anything but.
    Would you like to continue to call myself and carang lyers? We have both assured you that we have never met and I have no idea which playgroups she is involved with. Just because we agree and we differ in opinion from you, does not mean that there is a conspiracy or that I hate HK people. I love HK, but as you yourself pointed out, certain behaviour is not likeable. Or is it only ok to be critical of mainland Chinese behaviour, and not HK Chinese behaviour?

    Getting back to your original questions - I was thinking about this last night - it would really help to know how much of either Cantonese/Mandarin your child spoke. To a large extent, this, rather than securing a place, is the biggest factor. If your son speaks no Cantonese then I would not recommend a local school, because by the time you relocated here, he would be six (?) and has already missed a good chunk of that real 'sponge' time where children acquire language almost unthinkingly. As you say, of course he can learn later, but schooling is also about socialisation and it would be very difficult for him to make friends in a local school without these language skills.
    If he speaks some Mandarin, or he speaks no Chinese, then ESF or International/DSS schools would be better for him.
    Just one point - you've mentioned RC as having an excellent Mandarin program. If you mean Renaissance College, then I should point out that the program at RC is mirrored at Discovery College, and very similar to the CHinese programs offered at the other ESF schools; the biggest difference being that at middle school level, RC/DC offer the MYP curriculum and the other ESF schools (mostly) offer GCSE. All students graduate with the IB.
    So - curriculum should also be a factor in your decision. The reality is that local schools (esepcially the top tier schools) are reluctant to accept children with no Chinese (Cantonese) as they have a certain number of set subjects that are examined in that area. With family in the system you may be able to circumvent this, but it is worth considering.
    I am sure you are aware of the different curricula offered in the city - just off the top of my head, we have the new HK secondary diploma, IB, A levels, Australian, Ontario, US liberal-arts style.

    So, if you gave us some detail over your son's language background, we might be able to suggest some more specific options that would suit. Even two schools with the same language background and curricula can have very different learning and social cultures, and this really is information that can change very rapidly, and talking to people who used to know or go to the school may not have the current picture.

  7. #47
    zhumgg is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    international schools ARE expensive. no, i did not tour any of them. when it came to decide. we considered esf and local schools. we did not tour any esf schools. we decided based on what we wanted language-wise for our kids.

    i have NEVER met happyv.
    Hmmm...what should I believe?? You are saying completely different things in different threads. Obviously, very contradicting. Here I randomly attached several of your old posts which you said you toured many intl schools and what stop you enrolling your son is the price and waiting list. I dont know about other members but I would only like to hear comment/advice from a credible person. Thanks for your effort anyways. This will be the last time I reply your post.

    How is Norwegian International School in Tai wo?

    How is Norwegian International School in Tai wo?

    Please advise ESF , AIS or Norwegian ? Thanks

  8. #48
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    I also wanted to add - if you hope that your son will co to college outside of HK, then the guidance staff at the International schools do have a wealth of experience in helping students be selected into the the best course. The top tier schools have this experience as well, but they still have a huge proportion of students study within HK.
    I really hate the idea that the college fate of a five year old should already be a factor, but the reality of the fast paced, competitive nature of education in HK is that these are the kinds of things you should be considering.

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