Teach English in Hong Kong

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How to Begin Teaching in Hong Kong

Fusion of Chinese, British, Indian and Cantonese Cultures

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.

40% of Hong Kong consists of nature reserves and country parks. Making one of the favourite pastimes among locals hiking across it’s vast landscapes. It’s also a country rich in entrepreneurial spirit with 67 residents holding personal fortunes of a billion plus. Ranking the country 6th in the world in the 2018 global billionaires list.

An interesting fact around Hong Kong is don’t be alarmed if the apartment you are staying in does have a 4th floor! It’s common for the number four to be omitted from things across China. In Chinese the word “four” sounds a lot like “death” deeming the number unlucky in culture. The opposite can be said about the number “eight” which is deemed lucky as it’s translation represents the word “wealth”.

Hong Kong holds an incredible 8000+ skyscrapers across it’s city. It’s skylines is one of the most envied across the world. It can be viewed at it’s highest peak which the famous The Peak Tram in use since 1888 can take you up to. It’s “current” tallest building is in West Kowloon and is call the International Commerce Centre. Another important building to this wonderful skyline is the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong who boats the highest swimming pool and bar in the world. Both on the building 118th floor.

 

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
    BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length
    3-12 months
  • Peak Hiring Seasons
    March - December, all year round
  • Visa Info
    Work visa in advance
  • Typical Students
    Business professionals, children
  • Average Monthly Cost of Living in Local Currency
    19,075-31,792 HKD
  • Average Monthly Salary in Local Currency
    19,075-50,867 HKD

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