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Work in Quarry Bay - have 2 yr old son that speaks English - rental suggestions?

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  1. #1

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    Work:Quarry Bay / Taikoo Shing - have 2 yr old son that speaks English - rental suggestions?

    Hello.

    I'll be relocating from Australia to Hong Kong and moving with my wife and son aged 28 months (2 years, 4 months).

    1. The company that I will be working for is based in the WeWork Taikoo Shing. I will be a local package, so have to rely on tax rebates, etc.

    2. I understand that getting a place in Bilingual Nursery/school is hard. I can probably stretch to 200K pa for pre/school. Though, prefer to spend less. I think we will eventually send him to the Australian school, but that is a few years away and we would really have to move to Kowloon without leaving him stuck an hour+ each way to get to/from school.

    3. Probably need 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom. I can afford up to 50K a month without compromising ability to pay for school, etc.

    4. Our son loves the outdoors and running around, so would prefer a building with club facilities, indoor play ground, etc. I was initially looking at Cullian West, etc that seem new; but it seems quite a journey by MRT to get the office each day.

    Any suggestions on building/locations to look to live in and nursery / pre-school to send our son to?

    I'm trying to figure out which areas would be affordable and be a happy medium between travelling to work and getting a good preschool and not travelling too far, etc. Being too far from office makes it difficult to get back home to help out, etc.

    I've had a look at international preschools / nurseries and most of the good ones are in the Kowloon side (YCIS, AIS, etc).

    We have spent a few months at a time in Korea, so understand that apartments can be smaller than a full house in Australia, etc. We have spent time living out of a hotel suite (for my previous work). Being in small spaces can work, but as he gets older, he loves being outside.

    My wife and I would like him to maintain English. He only converses with us in English and can string together 5-6 word sentences. My wife is Korean and can understand Hangul, but only says a few words.

    Wife will work from home, so we need a home office for 'stuff'.

    Last edited by jimbo_jones; 30-04-2019 at 09:42 AM.

  2. #2

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    Grand Promenade is one MTR stop away and has club facilities. Should be within budget.

    Victoria kindergarden is bilingual and has a couple of locations in Taikoo.

    Maintaining English is not going to be an issue at all for a 2 year old who's parents converse in English. If anything, this sounds like the perfect chance to get him exposed to new languages. Once he starts going to an English medium school, English will become his dominant language.

    Don't sweat about being located right next to primary schools. The schools run busses that pick up students from all over the place.

    Edit: It's also just occurred to me. Your wife is Korean, you're working in Taikoo. Korean International School runs a separate English medium stream based on the UK curriculum and is literally a 5-10 minute walk away, and is halfway between the office and Grand Promenade

    Last edited by jgl; 30-04-2019 at 09:59 AM.

  3. #3

    You can move to Tseung Kwan O. Very close to your work, plenty of space to run around for your kid, and you're able to afford a large flat. There should be kindergartens/pre-schools in the area. Don't worry about primary school locations yet. Once the time comes and you're more familiar with Hong Kong then you can move around again as there is no guarantee that your kid will get into a school of your choice.. Moving here is very cheap and you can get movers to pack and unpack everything for you including dishes.

    However, you may want to look at Nord Anglia International school in Lam Tim. If your kid gets in, then you can work, live, and go to school within a short distance of each other.

    Last edited by civil_servant; 30-04-2019 at 10:06 AM.
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  4. #4

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    A popular building with Korean families is Pacific Palisades

    Pacific Palisades - Home


  5. #5

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    I send our daughter to a local Kindy which is free with a government voucher. She knew absolutely no Canto and pretty soon was singing Canto nursery rhymes. I make sure that I read and write English with her and that is her main language. In fact she is becoming quad-lingual as her Tagalog and Illongo is pretty good too.
    Never underestimate their ability to learn and adapt at that age.

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  6. #6

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    Grand Promenade in Sai Wan Ho is a great suggestion. Newer estate with sea views and facilities. Location though requires walking outside to the MTR which is a bit hot in the summers and sucks in the rain. You could easily take taxis to work though for more comfort.

    TKO is also a great family oriented place and more developed than Sai Wan Ho. If you like government facilities such as running paths, pitches, badminton courts, etc then TKO is a good pick too.

    I would say Olympic and Nam Cheong as you previously looked at is not convenient for your workplace.

    On a side note. Didn't HK just rule that shared offices such as WeWork are illegal? I imagine if the government wants to enforce anything that WeWork will be a prime target.

    Last edited by MandM!; 30-04-2019 at 11:08 AM.

  7. #7

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    Having a look back on my schooling, I wish that I had the opportunity to pick up a foreign language and not follow the normal route.

    Chinese is extremely difficult to learn. I lived here about a decade now and only know basics. My conversation is weak. I can read and order some food items but that is about it, unfortunately.

    I would say English is much easier to learn and especially the reading part. So if you can be exposed to Chinese medium for Kindy and Primary, that would be a real asset.

    As I remember, growing up in the states, we didn't do anything in primary anyway. So learning proper writing and process seems good. But innovation is needed so I would say at some point make the transition to a western education with English medium, potentially starting with secondary.

    My thoughts.

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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MandM!:
    Having a look back on my schooling, I wish that I had the opportunity to pick up a foreign language and not follow the normal route.

    Chinese is extremely difficult to learn. I lived here about a decade now and only know basics. My conversation is weak. I can read and order some food items but that is about it, unfortunately.

    I would say English is much easier to learn and especially the reading part. So if you can be exposed to Chinese medium for Kindy and Primary, that would be a real asset.

    [...]

    My thoughts.
    Thanks for the insights. My parents were Chinese (Taiwan and Guangdong. My father came to Australia in the early 50's. I wish I learnt mandarin when I was young. We moved to the suburbs in Australia (no Asians until the 80's). There we chinese schools on the weekend, but I was teenager and all the kids were primary school age. So I didn't like it much and didn't learn much. I think the intonation for Mandarin is the most difficult thing to pick up later. My parents only spoke Mandarin at home between themselves and my father generally spoke english to us kids. My father and his family spoke to Cantonese, but I didn't pick up much.

    My brothers learnt languages in High school and are fluent in Japanese (which was the trend in those days).

    I do wish our son learns multiple languages. But I think he will struggle in the local system longer term, as we can't speak mandarin well and he will be way behind his peers wrt to communication.

    My wife grew up in Singapore and Australia, so we both are fluent in english have Masters / double-masters, etc from Australian universities. I think we can help him in English, not so much in Korean/hangul and Chinese/mandarin.

    He is on the wait-list for local private schools (he's still too young to start kindergarten/reception) in Australia and we may come back to Australia.

    In Australia we send him to daycare/nursery care and he seems to enjoy the semi-structured play / learning / craft. I am somewhat keen on montessori schools, but we'll see how it goes.
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  9. #9

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    On a side note. Didn't HK just rule that shared offices such as WeWork are illegal? I imagine if the government wants to enforce anything that WeWork will be a prime target.
    @MandM! - not aware of any such move. 100s of shared office spaces all around HK, including Cyberport.

  10. #10

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    If you decide to live on HK Island (East) , there's a montessori school often recommended.

    https://icms.edu.hk/

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