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What are my chances?
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moonbeamshimmer



Joined: 28 May 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:12 pm    Post subject: What are my chances? Reply with quote

Hi,

I am thinking about teaching internationally and am interested in Hong Kong (but would also consider Singapore and Thailand). I've had a look through the forum and was wondering if anyone could suggest what my chances would be in Hong Kong.

- 27 year old female
- BA Classics degree
- PGCE and QTS
- 3 years teaching experience in UK primary schools with my 4th year about to begin as a year group leader
- I hold a Hong Kong ID card as I am half-Chinese although I do not speak Mandarin/Cantonese. Not sure whether this would be a hindrance or help to my application?

I also wondered whether there is any information which gives some detail into curriculum, school life, term dates etc? I appreciate that this may vary from school to school.

I understand that it is extremely competitive in Hong Kong and I do want to be able to save money while abroad so a realistic diagnosis would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:10 pm    Post subject: re: good and bad... Reply with quote

Quote:
- 27 year old female
- BA Classics degree - 27 year old female
- BA Classics degree
- PGCE and QTS
- 3 years teaching experience in UK primary schools with my 4th year about to begin as a year group leader
- I hold a Hong Kong ID card as I am half-Chinese although I do not speak Mandarin/Cantonese.


Your age and qualifications are all in your favour. Make sure to bring transcripts along, just in case. You won't need a work visa as I just read now you have HKID. All that is good.

Now the bad....your half chinese appearance may go against you, parents at centres want the teachers to look white (whatever that means!), and the schools for which you are well qualified, overly so in a lot of cases, may also want a caucasian teacher. I would say try depending on how chinese you look, you will either get offers or you won't. Speaking some canto can only help, at least you will be able to haggle a bit, make yourself understood and so on....although you may not like what you hear, but generally using english is no problem. Go for it and good luck![/quote]
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sistercream



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 497
Location: Pearl River Delta

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you are specifically interested in TEFL, you might find a bit less culture shock starting your overseas experience working in an ESF or international school. If you want to jump in the deep end, then apply for the EdB NET scheme.

With your qualifications and experience, you don't need to settle for the nearest lanugage mill!
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:15 am    Post subject: re: agreed Reply with quote

Quote:
With your qualifications and experience, you don't need to settle for the nearest lanugage mill!


Yes, the pisser may be depending on how chinese the OP looks whether they can become a NET or not. At an interview, it could go either way, and that is Hong Kong, they don't consider it racist to hire a caucasian with a degree and some tefl experience, over a well qualified but chinese looking person. As a case in point, I only have a BA in Literature....yet I used to tutor English Writing at 500 HKD per hour to a boy for a family in a plush flat in Kowloon. They specifically told the person who got me in contact with them, white only, noone asian looking or of african/indian descent. Qualifications can play a part, but so does looking the part in their eyes, and that is where it is crap on so many levels......
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 658

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Each international school has a website which details their recruitment policies and requirements. Some also detail salaries and benefits. On paper I think you would meet many schools' minimum requirements but as you can guess competition is tough. No harm in doing your research, checking out each schools website in detail. Many schools start their recruitment towards the end of the year (Nov / Dec) so you have some time to get yourself organised.

Here is a list of international schools in HK.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_international_schools_in_Hong_Kong

At international schools, the ESF and the better local schools your nationality / appearance won't matter so much. Only your (proven) qualifications and experience. Naturally further down the chain at language mills and the like your appearance WILL make a difference.
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:17 am    Post subject: re: if the cap fits... Reply with quote

Quote:
Naturally further down the chain at language mills and the like your appearance WILL make a difference.


And it may well do at the international schools also. When the cup is full, it is full, and in this particular case it is overflowing!!!!
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moonbeamshimmer



Joined: 28 May 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all your replies.

It's amazing how appearance matters so much! To be honest, most people don't guess that I am half Chinese and normally guess Spanish/Italian. I don't think I would want to work in a school where the appearance is valued over merit so this may work out to be a blessing in disguise if I don't get any offers.

I will definitely be doing some more research into this as I need to be sure that saving a decent amount is viable without living in squalor as I'd be giving up a good (by UK standards!!) salary here in London.

Thanks again
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:23 pm    Post subject: re: apartments Reply with quote

Quote:
I need to be sure that saving a decent amount is viable without living in squalor as I'd be giving up a good (by UK standards!!) salary here in London.


Apartment space may be an issue. I have seen places ranging from 5,000 HKD a month to 20,000 HKD a month, and while the ones at the higher price ranges were nicer, they were still by UK standards, small, perhaps as limited as those in London. Unless you are prepared to live in the N.T., or on the outlying islands, rent on HK island/Kowloon will be an issue to consider. Myself and other ex china FT's used to bemoan that you could get a spacious nice hotel room for a month in Shenzhen, for less than a small flat/guesthouse room would cost in HK. Good luck!!
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moonbeamshimmer



Joined: 28 May 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Space is an absolute premium in HK isn't it?!

Do you think if I applied and was accepted onto the NET scheme, I'd start right at the bottom of the pay scale? I think that's 25k or thereabouts? Without taking into account housing allowance.
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sistercream



Joined: 18 Dec 2010
Posts: 497
Location: Pearl River Delta

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:11 pm    Post subject: Re: re: if the cap fits... Reply with quote

Spelunker wrote:
Quote:
Naturally further down the chain at language mills and the like your appearance WILL make a difference.


And it may well do at the international schools also. When the cup is full, it is full, and in this particular case it is overflowing!!!!


Having worked in - and continuing to be well connected with - international and ESF schools, I call bull dust on this one, although I'm certain that it would be the case in some of the lesser mainland "international" schools. But in HK, the international and ESF schools are very definitely equal opportunity employers (at least as far as race is concerned.)
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:33 pm    Post subject: re: the same as the UK Reply with quote

Quote:
But in HK, the international and ESF schools are very definitely equal opportunity employers (at least as far as race is concerned.)


Given that you get an ID card in Hong Kong with a number of stars on it determining how chinese you are and what benefits you can get, I seriously doubt there is the same equal opportunities the same as in the UK. I still maintain however that in the eyes of many chinese, HK'ers and mainlanders, white=native speaker. ESF may well be ok, and the international schools, but in the NET programme I would not be so sure, it may well depend on the interviewer/headmaster.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 658

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

moonbeamshimmer wrote:
Space is an absolute premium in HK isn't it?!

Do you think if I applied and was accepted onto the NET scheme, I'd start right at the bottom of the pay scale? I think that's 25k or thereabouts? Without taking into account housing allowance.


The EDB NET pay scale is here: http://www.edb.gov.hk/en/sch-admin/admin/about-sch-staff/net-scheme/remuneration-package.html

I don't think you would start at the bottom of the scale, they should credit your years of teaching in the UK as long as they can be officially proven. If I had to guess you would probably start off around the low 30K mark (plus accommodation - which is currently around 20-21K I believe). You can live fairly comfortably here in HK on that amount.
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:44 pm    Post subject: re: agreed Reply with quote

I also don't think the OP would start off on the lower end of the scale, not with those qualifications. Again, depending on how Chinese the OP looks, may well be the issue, for the NET jobs Rolling Eyes Sad
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 658

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

moonbeamshimmer wrote:
Space is an absolute premium in HK isn't it?!


Sorry forgot to address this in my earlier post. Yes space is at a premium here but if you can land an EDB NET position, an ESF position or one at an international school you will be fine. Remember that many teachers get by on much less than HKD 30K / month here.

With that in mind, approx HKD $15K will get you a modern one bedroom place Kowloon-side. Many modern complexes have excellent facilities which somewhat offset the smaller flat sizes. For example my estate has two swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), a gym, basketball courts, a restaurant, a library, a spa, a children's playroom (super useful if you ever have kids) and more.

Another upside of small apartments is that they are efficient, will save you on utilities and are easy to clean.
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:13 am    Post subject: re: hmmmm Reply with quote

Quote:
With that in mind, approx HKD $15K will get you a modern one bedroom place Kowloon-side.


For that, why rent a one bedroom shoebox in Kowloon? If the OP has HKID, they can easily get a 1 or 2 year business visa for mainland china. Rent a more spacious apartment there for a fraction of the price in say Luohu or Futian, and take the KCR each day, at weekends eat cheaper in Shenzhen like the older hongkies do, cheaper massages as well. That's what I would do even if it meant getting up earlier, that or live somewhere like Cheung Chau.
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