International Schools Vs. Esf

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  1. #1

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    Question International Schools Vs. Esf

    i am currently applying to CIS, GSIS, HKIS, kennedy school.
    can anyone give me a general sense of what the schools are like? are the international schools very chi chi (stuck up) and are mothers approachable? heard that kennedy school's staff if extremely warm and friendly. But then how does their system compare to that of international schools in hk?

    we are an american/german/chinese family therefore well considered german swiss international. we are also very modest and humble. i would like a friendly and down-to-earth atmosphere so that children are to play healthly and not be concerned about "who has the latest video game" or "my chauffer is picking me up".


  2. #2

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    German Swiss International School is a brilliant school. Quite a few of my friends go there. And if your kids are into the arts, it will be even better, cuz they do encourage kids to be more creative and can freely express themselves.
    I use to go to Yew Chung international school. Its a really expensive school, but its much better in the old days when I was in it, less stuck up kids. But now a days, most international schools in HK have stuck up spoiled brats. So its really hard to avoid them. But out of all Int'schools, i would recommend German Swiss

    Cheers
    amabel


  3. #3

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    >> are the international schools very chi chi (stuck up)

    Oui Oui.

    Actually, do know several folks who send their kids to the "International Schools" (more on this later, given that ESF is actually more international than the private schools you mentioned) and have heard good and bad things about them.

    Good things: Smaller classes and more attention from teachers, marginally to much better facilities

    Bad things: Brats, inattentive socialite parents, smaller peer groups and more peer pressure

    ESF is very representative of the general expat community in my opinion, atleast the middle class community and has kids from every nationality you can think of. A mini UN so to speak... the IS' will be a little bit more oriented towards the nationality the school represents.

    At the end of the day, we all know that both the schools have their fair share of misfits..... what matters is how your kid can handle them.

    You should visit the schools and spend some time before spending money on the deposits in my opinion.


  4. #4

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    this is a tough one... a 'good' school is very subjective. amab. heard that GSIS is great... I have a friend who just moved her child out of there over to Bradbury because she was fed up with it. Some people love FIS (French school) because its very academic oriented... some hate it for the same reason.
    We too are very down to earth people... despite being expats for a very long time. I loathe the 'expatiness' of most. We moved our children out of an one international school with a high number of expats, to another one with a majority of Chinese students to get away from the expat bubble. We thought it would be great for them to have a more 'local' experience while still getting the benefits of an international school. Problem is... these are wealthy local kids and some of the behavior is worse than any expat brat stuff I've seen! Drivers, spoiled, rude etc. Unfortunately I think its part and parcel of life with 'the elite'.
    Bottom line, if you send your kids to any of the better schools in HK, there are going to some spoiled brats there. We just try to keep things as normal as we can for our kids. It is VERY hard though when they see so much excess around them. Good luck!


  5. #5

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    My friends say HKIS is good.


  6. #6

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    tks canuckinhk! can you please tell me which international school with more local students that your children went to? i totally agree on your method and i would try to do the same with my children. i do like diversity and would like to expose the kids to that. it would be greaet if there was a school of that kind of balance. i do believe that mandarin will be important for the future. and in fact, i will visit a chinese school tommorrow for saturday studies in new york to get a head start. i have applied to CIS as well. i wonder if they will take children who speak absolutely no chinese.


  7. #7

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    I think it also depends on how long you are planning on being in HK.

    I attended both GSIS and Island School. I remember receiving a letter given to all students at GSIS regarding arrangements for the last day of term which started 'If your driver is unable to pick up your child, please make sure your maid....'. Yes, it was written in that sort of language!

    If you are planning on being in HK for more than 2 or 3 years I would make absolutely sure your child gets exposure to either or both Cantonese and Mandarin. This was never catered for when I was in ESF's schools and is a BIG regret of mine. I have now returned to HK and my daughter is attending a local chinese primary school and her language skills are coming along leaps and bounds.

    The quality of the tuition at these schools was always very good but the exposures to some of the excesses of expat brats wasn't good. Drugs was the big issue, I know of more than a dozen people from my year at Island School that attended rehab and there are more than 2 or 3 from my year that have since passed away due to drug related problems.


  8. #8

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    sharon, i sent you a pm


  9. #9

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    You can try Hong Lok Yuen International School.

    Up in the New Territories but a lovely school, just like you'd find in the UK or US, i.e. large field, lots of space, small class sizes etc...

    The parents are very sociable

    Their school fair is on today (Sun 20th) if you want to look around.

    Last edited by rani; 20-11-2005 at 12:55 PM. Reason: FYI: User is associated with the school.

  10. #10

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    GSIS is an excellent school. the ESF schools are good, too. Pretty much all of 'em are gonna have snobby kids though, it's inevitable. Have friends who went to Canadian International School, but lookin at how they turned out, the ESF might well be your best bet. I spent 13 years in the ESF system. Definitely some very bright kids in Hong Kong!

    Oh yeah, Island School definitely has a lot of kids who use drugs...everything from marijuana to heroin. Unfortunately, cocaine is pretty popular with the young teens right now and it is more readily available than ever.

    Last edited by jayinhongkong; 20-11-2005 at 01:33 PM.

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