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A reader commented on the Expat Report Review of Hong Kong International School in Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Review-of-Hong Kong International School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The school looks a little run-down, however, it has new technology, for example "Smart Boards" in each classroom, and each student receives his/her own MacBook once in 5th grade.

There are many extra-curricular activities available. Many take place after school each day, and a later bus is available to take the children home. (Continue)

A reader replied most recently with:
I highly disagree with this review. HKIS provides many challenges for students especially from grade 6 (middle school) and up.
A reader replied recently with:
I agree. The lower primary school is excellent in every way EXCEPT in teaching reading and writing. This is a well-run school that has good facilities, offers a lot of extra-curricular opportunities, pays attention to social-emotional learning (which is great), and is satisfactory at teaching math. It needs to raise its levels in teaching spelling, handwriting and fostering a love of reading.
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Review of Yew Chung International School in Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Review-of-Yew Chung International School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Facilities are very poor in the school. Buildings are old and poorly maintained. The kindergarten has little/no outdoor areas for play time. The high school has a small pool but no other sports areas. (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
I agree with this report. Very poor for expat children especially in high school. The school rule is supposed to be that students speak English but this is not enforced in secondary outside of the class and sometimes not in the class.
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Expat Report Dating and Marriage in Hong Kong, Hong Kong was published
Dating-and-Marriage-in-Hong-Kong
What is it like in your country of residence for someone with your relationship status (married/divorced/dating)? If you're single, how do you meet other people? Do English-speaking people tend to gravitate to certain parts of your city?
English-speaking people do tend to gravitate to certain parts of Hong Kong. I can usually meet people at work, walking through the city, bars and coffee shops. (Continue)
A reader commented on the Expat Report Review of Hong Kong International School in Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Review-of-Hong Kong International School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The school facilities are very nice, there are two campus one in Repulse Bay that houses Lower and Upper Primary and the other in Tai Tam with Middle School and High School.

They have great installations on both locations and have access to a very rare commodity in this town: lots of space. (Continue)

A reader replied most recently with:
I would also add that the quality of the teachers are fine but the administration is somewhat mercenary and lacking in empathy. If your child has the slightest wobble or issue outside of norm, the school will offer no support or counseling despite having several counselors on staff. They simply can't be bothered and if you don't like it, there is a wait list for your child's place. Equal or better education is available elsewhere at much less cost. Don't assume that HKIS is the best just because it is one of the most expensive. Check other schools as well.
A reader replied recently with:
I am a school teacher in India. i want my children to have an exchange program with your school children. How should I go about it?
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Review of Hong Kong Academy in Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Review-of-Hong Kong Academy
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Facilities are not yet a highlight, but programs are. The school has a very child and family friendly approach (see below) with the main emphasis on school programs. HKA are still searching for their own facility on the island, so are currently in an old facility on Stubbs Road but are rapidly outgrowing it. Technology is a feature - completely wireless facility, with one to one laptop program in middle and high school. Gym/auditorium, small well kitted out middle/high library and an additional one in the primary section. two rooftop areas for outdoor pursuits. Good size classrooms with plenty of materials. The outside of the school can be off-putting to those that like "pretty" though, as this is a temporary facility, and so money is not being spent on the outer appearance but rather what is happening inside.

Extra curricular program growing each year...Primary has a well developed after school activity program, and Wed afternoon workshops (school 1/2 day), and MS now offers several sports (basketball, volleyball, soccer) as well as a scuba diving club, MUN, Math Olympiad and Cultural exchanges. All students from Grade 3 up enter into an outdoor camp or experience - local camps for primary students, out of country for middle/high school. (Continue)

A reader replied most recently with:
I am almost certain that this review was written by the former Head of School.
A reader replied recently with:
Is it true that HKA will be moving to a new campus in Sai Kung in 2013?
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Expat Report Having a Baby in Hong Kong, Hong Kong was published
Having-a-Baby-in-Hong-Kong
Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...
Delivered at Matilda International Hospital. Stayed 3 nights. Delivery was induction and Epidural. Hospital was fantastic. (Continue)
Expat Report Culture Shock in Hong Kong, Hong Kong was published
Culture-Shock-in-Hong-Kong
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
The quicker you accept that it won't be like home, the better. Just because things are different, doesn't mean they are "wrong". If you continually compare (based on the assumption that your home country's way is the best / only way) you will continually be disappointed and frustrated!

So - go with the flow and enjoy something new. Keep busy. Don't hang around with people who whinge and complain - find people who are enjoying their new home. Do classes, volunteer, take up a sport etc etc. Be prepared to develop friendships with people you would not normally perhaps associate with (i.e., older or younger, from a different background etc). You don't have to be best buddies, but it is nice to have a coffee and a chat, or just a friendly "hello' with a neighbour. Don't continually go "home" for holidays! Explore your region whilst exciting places are close (and maybe less expensive to get to!)

Take a deep breath and let "it" go! Then smile and move on - we're here for a good time, not a long time! (Continue)

Expat Report Review of Hong Kong Academy in Hong Kong, Hong Kong was published
Review-of-Hong Kong Academy
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Facilities are limited as the school is in temporary premises. School moving to a transition premises for August 2010, but has been awarded a site in Sai Kung to build a new school. (I imagine it will be 3 years before it is ready).

However, don't be put off by what the school looks like on the outside, the classrooms are fine and there is a great atmosphere. Very small class sizes (max 18) with two teachers per room in primary, and often in middle school too. Great support programs for different learners - in fact I've never seen such a great teacher - student ratio.

A range of after school activities is offered (often with bus transport to a different location). The small size of the school means it is not an extensive list, but there are so many other options in HK for English speaking kids anyway. (Continue)

Expat Report Review of Carmel School in Hong Kong, Hong Kong was published
Review-of-Carmel School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The nursery and pre-K facility are well-stocked, warm and inviting, with appropriately sized amenities and bright colored art work. The facility has a kosher kitchen and a pool on site.

The middle school is in an older building, with limited areas for sports and a moderately sized function room that doubles as an auditorium. It does however have a library, science lab, and computer lab.

The high school is brand new and has fully modern and spacious facilities. (Continue)

Expat Report Review of Carmel in Hong Kong, Hong Kong was published
Review-of-Carmel
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The facilities, while a bit older, have character and are conveniently located. The classrooms are bright and nicely decorated. The facilities are flexible, to meet the changing needs of the school. I have yet to see the new high school's facilities, but believe they will be on the cutting edge of schools here in Hong Kong. Extra-Curricular activities are numerous. There is dance, cooking, judo, additional Chinese language classes, soccer, and numerous other classes. The staff is very open to suggestions for new ideas as well. (Continue)
Expat Report Moving to Hong Kong, Hong Kong was published
Moving-to-Hong-Kong
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
As I said before, just think about your priorities. Make a list. For example, is a spacious apartment more important than having Starbuck's outside your door? Do you want to be near the beach or would you rather have a shorter commute to work? Each area in HK has it's own flavor and, like any other city, it's plusses and negatives. Just think about what's most important to you, discuss with your family (if applicable) and your real estate agent. There's such a variety here, you'll be likely to find something that will meet (most) of your needs.

Once you are here, get involved with local expat organizations, the YWCA, etc. And there are also lots of charities that welcome volunteers. These are great ways to meet people and stay active. (Continue)

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