What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

There are many international schools here. Despite the number of schools, there are waitlists at many and admissions is extremely competitive. Apply a year before you arrive if you can. - Jun 2020

No direct experience, but apply early if you have a preferred school. I've hear the schools are generally very good. - Jul 2018

HKIS seams to be the top choice but it is very competitive and there is no guarantee of entrance so people are encouraged to apply to more than one school. Another popular choice is HKA but there are also some others including Montessori, British international, French international, Canadian international, etc. The CLO office here does a great job in staying on top of these schools to advise on the best choices. My kids go to HKIS and it is a pretty impressive school but it has mostly expat and local kids of means, the consulate kids seem to be looked down on by other students as temporary "poor" kids just passing through. That mentality is rough on my kids who came from schools made up primarily of embassy kids. Having said that, they have managed to make a few good friends and they are getting a very challenging, top notch education. Also to add, the "add ons" required for the school that parents have to pay out of pocket is ridiculous. Between requiring a certain type of Mac laptop for each kid, compulsory week long trips out of country each year, and for fee after school activities it is really expensive to have kids in school here. This was a big factor for us not extending. - Apr 2016

Great schools, though places are limited -- apply early and to several! I have 2 kids at HKIS, though in retrospect might have preferred the Canadian International School (due to their Mandarin program and great music facilities). HKIS has done a stellar job helping my eldest apply to colleges in the U.S. - Feb 2015

Hong Kong has a great selection of international schools. I have one child at HKIS. We like it although in retrospect, we should have explored options closer to our home as he has to get on the bus at 6:50 am. I have another child at Island Christian Academy, which is closer, and we like it so far. Start applying at schools as soon as you know you are moving to Hong Kong as it is very competitive. - Feb 2015

Many people have their children at HKIS, but they are very mainstream and closed minded in my opinion. My son attends The Harbour School which has usually a 2:15 teacher/student ratio and they are very hands on and forward-thinking. There are many options here and it is best to apply early and be prepared to put some money down for debentures. - Mar 2012

No personal experience, but I've heard the HK international school is really great. There has apparently been some trouble lately with space and getting kids places at the school if people are assigned here kind of last minute or in the middle of a school year. There are plenty of other good international and private schools here, though. - Mar 2012

There are many International Schools. I don't have kids, but I don't think people have any issues on this front. - Aug 2010

Don't have kids, but I know the schools here are great. Parents are really, really happy with them. Hong Kong International School (HKIS) is particularly popular, so work with CLO ASAP to ensure that you can secure a spot. - Jun 2010

I don't have kids but the one thing I know is it is an absolute must to get your kids on a waiting list for a school basically the minute you have an inkling that you might be coming here. The schools are very good and competitive. I know a lot of expats like the HKIS (Hong Kong International School) which is world-famous. - Jun 2008

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