Expat Housing/Schooling Allowances

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  1. #1

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    Expat Housing/Schooling Allowances

    I may have the opportunity to move from USA to HK with my husband and 2 children (ages 4 & 6). For schooling, HKIS looks great, however the cost is approx. USD 20k a year. The Repulse Bay apartments also look great and they are approx. USD 100k a year. WOW-Wee talk about expensive...Do companies pay this? What is the average expat allowance for school and rent?


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by BESA:
    I may have the opportunity to move from USA to HK with my husband and 2 children (ages 4 & 6). For schooling, HKIS looks great, however the cost is approx. USD 20k a year. The Repulse Bay apartments also look great and they are approx. USD 100k a year. WOW-Wee talk about expensive...Do companies pay this? What is the average expat allowance for school and rent?
    There is no "average" allowances as this spread could be extremely wide. Everything depends on your role with the company (and the size of the company).

    However, a large bank for example for a senior manager role will at least cover the bulk of the above mentioned expenses (both schooling & housing).

    Your company should give you a standard expat policy/package and you negotiate from there....good luck.
    Last edited by climber07; 10-07-2007 at 07:26 AM. Reason: spelling!

  3. #3

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    >> talk about expensive...Do companies pay this?

    Many dont pay for Repulse Bay quality, some pay, some pay for much more than that.

    My point being, HK offers a lot more than the stereotypical options offered to the American transfers ( Repulse Bay + HKIS ) and there are a lot of folks living pretty happily here on much less and there are several we know who complain even after getting a LOT more.


  4. #4

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    If you're set on HKIS, another factor to consider - unless your company has an available debenture, your kid may not be able to get a spot immediately. I'm pretty sure there's a waiting list a mile long right now.

    KIA and climber are definitely right about packages being quite varied, with some correlation to seniority. Having education and housing entirely picked up by the company is certainly not a given, although it you're in the right position it can happen.

    Last edited by hello_there; 10-07-2007 at 10:09 AM.

  5. #5

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    My housing allowance is generous, but wouldn't cover Repulse. My schooling allowance might cover HKIS, since the terms were rather open-ended. I also have a cost of living increase.


  6. #6

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    I can't thank you enough for all of your responses. I know it is such a sticky topic. I am just really concerned that I pick the best place to live for my family. We are in our upper 30's and are executives in our companies for over 13 years. Our current employers are large comapnies however they do not have many expats in HK, therefor they do not really "really" know the cost of apartments. Obviously we will negotiate with them, but I want to be sure I have a fair rate in my head for an apartment where my peers live. ( at least for now, I want to start off living where my peers are to feel most comforatble and to get my feet wet, eventually we would love to get out there and mix and mingle with all of the other wonderful people and cultures).


  7. #7

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    If you're a US exec, your "peers" will live all over the HK, including Kowloon side, Disco Bay, etc. 100k USD for housing allowance is on the high side. Keep that in mind. Lots of expats who live in Repulse Bay pick up part of the tab. Its nice to have a good package, but don't be unrealistic when negotiating.


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by BESA:
    I can't thank you enough for all of your responses. I know it is such a sticky topic. I am just really concerned that I pick the best place to live for my family. We are in our upper 30's and are executives in our companies for over 13 years. Our current employers are large comapnies however they do not have many expats in HK, therefor they do not really "really" know the cost of apartments. Obviously we will negotiate with them, but I want to be sure I have a fair rate in my head for an apartment where my peers live. ( at least for now, I want to start off living where my peers are to feel most comforatble and to get my feet wet, eventually we would love to get out there and mix and mingle with all of the other wonderful people and cultures).

    You may want to encourage your employer to seek council of a propery / relocation agency (there are quite a few of them, i.e. Asia Pacific Properties, etc.) Such a company could relay the housing market information direclty to your employer aiding you indirectly in your negotiations.

  9. #9

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    Of course, the fact that it is in the agent's interest to hype the price as high as possible doesn't affect the validity of what they have to say at all.


  10. #10

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    PDLM : the MNC corporate agencies rarely engage in price inflation, given that they tend to be on corporate contracts and they have a fair bit of credibility to loose over just one relo contract. We're not talking about your Centaline types here.

    I'm sure your company uses a HR agency or two to verify regional compensation ...


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