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Do you regret moving to Hong Kong?

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  1. #31

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    That's the trouble with teh interwebz.

    I've been here 15 years and I love it.

    Dear Giant's been here a while and for him every day's a living nightmare.

    Who knows what your experience will be like if you come?


  2. #32

    Thanks everyone opinions. I really appreciate it.


  3. #33

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    Just want to add something abouy schools. Not all Hong Kong schools are pressure cookers and the style varies greatly. One of the organisations I work for, Shun Tak Fraternal Association, has three primary schools in Tuen Mun, all are effectively band one schools. Lee Kam, the new one near the Gold Coast folows a more 'western', relaxed and interactive approach to learning. Ho Yat Tung, on the other hand, is the super school, hours of homework and produces many super achievers. There is choice.


  4. #34

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    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by dipper:
    That's the trouble with teh interwebz.

    I've been here 15 years and I love it.

    Dear Giant's been here a while and for him every day's a living nightmare.

    Who knows what your experience will be like if you come?
    Living nightmare? No. Unpleasant overall, yes.

    As for the OP, I would be as down on someone wanting to uproot their family from HK and move to, say, Indonesia or Ireland on a long-term basis. It's a step down and represents a tremendous narrowing of the horizons of the child.

    He will grow up molded by HK society and the local educational system, both of which are IMHO damaging -- even discounting the high-pressure aspects of schooling. In the end, he will have to eke out a living in the professions (i.e. lawyer handling apartment sales, doctor prescribing packets of 23 different pills for stuffy noses and sore throats, etc.) with an office in a crumbling shopping arcade with wildly fluctuating rents or working in one of HK's pillar industries (finance, logistics, selling apartments, selling apartments, or selling apartments). If he wants to be an engineer or a scientist or work in any one of a number of other fields, he will either be out of luck or have to move back to the West, but with worse English and after having been robotized by HK.
    Last edited by dear giant; 17-11-2011 at 08:36 AM.
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  5. #35

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    Hate to say it, but I think DG is right on this one. And I LIKE it here. But I came with my education and quals intact first.

    dear giant likes this.

  6. #36

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    If I were that miserable I would leave given the option. Many do not have that option or the option that they have are not worthwhile. You need to look at what you value. Low taxes, safety, travel, being with your own kind, family are all good reasons vs crowding, air quality, lack of good schools. If you have money, anywhere is comfortable. If you don't then HK is not the place for you comfort wise. Since your kid is only 4 I wouldn't worry too much about him/her adapting. Many come to HK to run away from something - a bad job, a bad relationship. It appears that your reasons are not that, so take our time and decide what is best for you and family. One other thing too - HK is really bad for relationships - especially when both do not immerse themselves in the local scene.

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  7. #37

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    Jun 2004
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    OP,

    To offer a bit of a more balanced point of view (disclaimer: I am no “fan” of HK, been here for a while now +6 years, married to a local who works in the education sector) I would say that first of all, HK, as any city is what you make of it. Clearly some people love it, some hate it and it most cases it is linked to how they came here (i.e. with good./ bad packages and at which stage in their life)

    Housing:
    You do not have to live in a shoe box, some people make the choice to live “away” from the center and enjoy a life pretty similar in that respect to their European/US counterparts: i.e. houses, cars, lively neighborhoods (prime example would be Sai Kung, Clearwater Bay…)
    That being said the overall construction in HK is below what you would find in the main US cities (it is better however than in many middle/small US cities/towns) but clearly you get better flats in Chicago for example than in HK for the money you pay.

    Education:
    Regarding education, I think a lot has been said (not always true in my opinion – or at least only showing one side of the HK education system) so I would add.
    First of all the HK education system is not one system. you have different types of schools: International (but very expensive on average), ESF (English School Foundation), some top Local Schools that produces some excellent and well rounded youngsters (Diocesan’s Boys School, St Stephen..), some good local school and then the rest (which is more or less accurately portrayed by some on those pages).
    HK has generally (but this is changing a lot, as my wife – in the field for 10 years – can attest) a rot learning approach to education (like many Asian nations: Japan. Korea…) but as I mentioned it is slowly changing and this way of learning is used to various degrees depending on which school your kid attend.
    For the record, the US of A is not this idyllic place some posters are trying to portrait on here and has itself a lot of issue with its education system – ask Michelle Rhee and you can be sure your kids in HK will not be faced with the violence that many young American face at school on a daily basis.
    .
    If your kid is of Chinese origin but does not speak Chinese, a few years in HK may also be a good opportunity for him to learn.

    Finally it is true that many kids here do after school “work”: ie piano lesson, English lesson…but again it is somehow a parents choice here. I know plenty of expat kids (and to a lesser extend some Chinese) who just go home and play with their friends after school…

    Pollution:
    Definitely HK is more polluted than most US cities that being said, many expats have kids in HK (and locals too) and they live fine.

    Security:
    HK wins hands down on that one. I have never set a foot in Boston but for having family in Chicago, I would never ever consider taking the subway past 9PM while here you and your kid can safely travel in the city

    Nature / Location:
    HK has some fantastic beaches and country trails for kids to run around – I am not familiar with Boston so can’t comment
    HK is in the heart of Asia so very easy to travel to other places of interests in Asia

    Taxes/Job:
    Well this obviously depends on you and no one can really advise you on this.

    The rest:
    Food, entertainments… are all matters of personal preferences so we can’t really comment on this

    Living abroad as a kid:
    Having lived abroad as a kid an being from a multicultural family, I can attest that I loved it and that I thank my parents everyday for having given me this opportunity: it was a real eye opener and yes you may have to explain to your kids why some ppl are richer than others – but the earlier they learn the better they are equipped in my opinion. Living abroad was a very exciting experience (at least for me) as a kid and one I never regretted.

    Finally I understand that you are contemplating a temporary move (2/3 years) not a permanent one, is that correct?
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  8. #38

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    Mat, we can disagree and we can discuss our disagreements. Please go and try and stifle debate in some other thread.

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  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by dear giant:
    Mat, we can disagree and we can discuss our disagreements. Please go and try and stifle debate in some other thread.
    ?why such aggressivity?

    I have provided what I think is a rather detailed point of view a few pages back.

  10. #40

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    Jan 2008
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    Coming to HK is an excellent opporutnity. Its goes well for some, badly for others. But the opportunity to study at Cambridge university is (more or less) a once in a life opportunity, living in HK isn't.

    To me it would be madness bordering on insanity to turn down the chance to study for English Literature Degree at Cambridge University to come here.

    dear giant likes this.

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