Teaching English in Hong Kong

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Teaching English in Hong Kong

Fusion of Chinese, British, Indian and Cantonese Cultures

The largest film festival in Asia is hosted here annually.

Although a former British colony until 1997, Hong Kong is now known as the Hong Kong Special Administration of the People’s Republic of China. Chinese Hong Kong is governed slightly differently from the mainland, and is allowed autonomy in certain areas of its political administration.This colonial past also means that Hong Kong brings with it an interesting fusion of Chinese, British, Indian and Cantonese cultures. 

This can be seen in the architecture and the cultural pastimes throughout the area. Victoria Peak, at 552m high, the highest point in Hong Kong, has old colonial gardens as well as a panoramic view of the city.This blends with Chinese street markets. Temple Street night market is the biggest of these. Western restaurant chains are found next to traditional restaurants serving jasmine tea and the famous small dishes that make up dim sum.The largest film festival in Asia is hosted here annually, and the sounds of Cantonese opera also bring a unique cultural experience for anyone staying for a while. Cantonese is mainly spoken in Hong Kong and English is also an official language. 

Teaching Opportunities

With Hong Kong as a thriving business region with international trade, it would be a mistake to assume that English language courses were not needed, or that there were not many opportunities for teaching. In fact, opportunities abound in Hong Kong. However, Hong Kong is a very difficult market to break into. Employers have come to expect very high standards. Applicants need to have a degree, a 120-hour TEFL certificate and experience to gain some of the better jobs. There is also a preference to hire from within the country, selecting candidates based on their residency. This means obtaining a job from outside the country is extremely difficult. Although there are private language schools, many applicants try to obtain university positions, as they have better benefit packages and leave conditions. Obtaining a work visa is often a long and arduous process, with a lot of paperwork. 

If you are serious about finding work in Hong Kong, you will also need to come to the country with savings to pay for the first couple of months, but more importantly for the upfront deposits (usually two months) needed to rent somewhere. This is no small feat when looking at the high prices for rental accommodation. As a result of this situation, many teachers do not generally live on Hong Kong Island due to the cost. Thankfully, transportation is cheap, which makes commuting to the centre for work more financially manageable. The advantage of Hong Kong is that once you have found your way into the work market, it offers long-term stable work opportunities.

Teaching Requirements

Degree Requirement Typical Contract Length Peak Hiring Seasons Visa Info Typical Students Average Monthly Cost of Living in £ GBP & Local Currency Average Monthly Salary in £ GBP & Local Currency
BA/BS required3-12 months March - December, all year round Work visa in advance Business professionals, children 19,075 - 31,792 HKD (1,500 - 2,500 GBP) 19,075 - 50,867 HKD (1,500 – 4,000 GBP)
BA/BS required
March - December, all year round
Work visa in advance
Business professionals, children
19,075 - 31,792 HKD (1,500 - 2,500 GBP)
19,075 - 50,867 HKD (1,500 – 4,000 GBP)

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