Advice for families moving to the Hong Kong region
There are numerous reasons why you might be considering a move to Hong Kong. Considered a great place to work, Hong Kong is ranked among the top five leading international finance centers, and boasts a vibrant culture, a bustling nightlife, and plenty of opportunities to rest and play. Hong Kong is so much more, though; despite its reputation for high-rise buildings and crowded streets, it has vast natural areas that are ripe for exploration. Its friendly people, low rates of taxation and booming trade districts certainly sweeten the deal for expats.
Where east meets west, Hong Kong is the kind of place you can never be lonely, or bored.
A little advice to complement your move
Whether you’re moving in order to pursue a career change or because you fancy the adventure and incredible culture, there are a few things you need to know if you’re going to be living in Hong Kong. We’re a friendly bunch here, but it pays to be prepared for your new life, after all.
Do your research
How much do you really know about Hong Kong? It’s vital that you conduct a little research prior to your big move, whether that’s simply to ascertain the kind of accommodation you can expect, or your means of traveling around the busiest areas. Hong Kong’s streets are busy, to say the least. Public transport, such as the buses, trams, ferries and the Mass Transit Railway offer the best options for travel. You should also be prepared for smaller apartments than you’ve perhaps become accustomed to, and for a subtropical climate that’s humid all year round.
Understand cultural differences
Hong Kong’s culture is a rich and dynamic, offering tastes of eastern and western influences. Its religious background is a multi-faith one, where Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus come together in a melting pot of beliefs and practices. Indeed, the territory plays host to numerous festivals and celebrations throughout the year that you’ll want to be a part of. The predominant language spoken in Hong Kong is Cantonese, and while most businesses will use English in their operations, it will certainly help to learn some basic phrases in the local language that will become useful throughout daily life.
Explore your educational options
Hong Kong is a wonderful place to raise a family. However, you’ll want to consider your educational options if you are planning on moving the whole family. Hong Kong’s educational system comprises private, government, and subsidized or international schools, each with their own merits. Many expats will try to get their children into an international school in Hong Kong; such an establishment offers a basic and yet enriched curriculum, which will allow children to develop a deeper understanding of new cultures and experiences – while meeting and befriending children in similar circumstances.
Get to work
If you’re considering a move to Hong Kong due to a promotion or job offer, then there’s a good likelihood your career aspirations are already established. The territory is a great place to meet new people and to network; if you’re prepared to work hard, you’ll be rewarded with some fantastic opportunities. If you’re seeking work in Hong Kong, you must have the correct paperwork, which will involve researching your right to work. The banking and financial sectors are particularly prominent, although you might also look for work in IT, marketing and administration.
Become a part of the expat community
To really thrive in Hong Kong, it’s worth seeking out and becoming a part of our expat community. We’re a small, friendly bunch, but will no doubt become a huge part of your life here. The Internet is a veritable treasure trove of social groups and advice, of course; you’re never very far from someone with valuable advice for fellow expats. While those already living and working in Hong Kong will do all they can to make you feel welcome, it’s worth seeking out the experiences of those who have gone before you.
Hong Kong boasts a rich, dynamic culture, which you’d do well to become a part of. While many of its traditions and practices are perhaps different to what you are accustomed, the friendly nature of Hong Kong’s people will help you to settle right in. With a lot of research and some dedicated planning, you’re sure to feel at home in no time.