For foreigners looking to live and work abroad, Hong Kong is worth considering. Especially if you are a teacher and are qualified to join the academic sector. Teaching is a highly rewarding career and one that often makes it possible to relocate to other countries and experience more of the world. Hong Kong is a top destination for teaching professionals looking to spend some time in Asia for several reasons.
The local culture places great importance on quality education and academic achievement. There is also the understanding that English is an important language to learn and master in the global economy. This is partly why there is strong demand for English teachers than can help students excel in the language.
Parents and students are highly motivated and will seek out opportunities that will further education. From private tuition to online tutorial schools, there are many opportunities for a qualified teacher to find work.
Because of the strong demand for teachers, whether you are a new graduate or seasoned professional, there are plenty of opportunities to secure work here. Teachers are well-respected and can get assistance from employers in handling such matters as visa renewals.
Hong Kong is a great place to work and earn a meaningful salary. Most foreign teachers that come to teach English will either join the Native English teacher (NET) Scheme or an international school. Both options provide an attractive and competitive salary that will typically also include benefits like medical cover and housing allowances.
You can also help save for your retirement through the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF). As the name suggests, contributions are mandatory, but you will get back your money if you decide to leave Hong Kong permanently. Do keep in mind that Hong Kong does have a high cost of living. So to ensure your earnings go the distance, you will need to learn how to spend conservatively.
The region does have a low standard tax rate of about 15% on personal income. It is applied progressively within a range of 2-17% on assessable income after deductions and allowances. There are however no taxes applied on other incomes such as from dividends, capital gains or inheritance. Taxes are also only applied on incomes earned within the region. This low tax rate means you get to retain much more of your earnings compared to if you were in much of the west.
Respectful and Attentive Students
As said, students in Hong Kong tend to be highly motivated. You will certainly find teaching in this region to be very rewarding. The culture also teaches young ones to be respectful of their elders and teachers. This makes for a healthier and easy dynamic where teachers do not need to worry about having to discipline or mould students’ characters. They can simply focus on academic instruction knowing that students are taking the work seriously.
Because parents are also interested in seeing good results from their investment in learning, they tend to take more of a vested interest which is also helpful to teachers. You can rest assured students are following study plans even in your absence.
Hong Kong is on the northern end of the tropical zone and therefore benefits from having long humid summers and mild dry winters. This subtropical climate makes it ideal for those that want to escape the extreme cold temperatures of winter that much of the western world suffers. For some, it may just be a personal preference, but for others, it could be health-related. Either way, you do not have to worry about the weather disrupting learning or your ability to move around.
This territory is made up of many islands and varied terrain that includes mountain ranges, woodlands, and hundreds of miles of coastline. So whether you prefer to sunbathe on the beach or take a hike, there is much to explore and enjoy in Hong Kong. It is a nature lover’s paradise with expansive marine parks and nature reserves. You do not need to travel far to enjoy your downtime.
Outside of the cities, the majority of the territory is made up of protected country parks and nature reserves. Many travellers will find ample chance to enjoy the great outdoors with most offering facilities available for those that want to hike and camp. There are also over 100 beautiful beaches in the territory where you can enjoy sunbathing, dining, spas, shopping, and water sports.
Convenient Travel Hub
Chances are if you are ready to relocate, it is because you want to see more of the world. During long breaks and holidays, you can easily travel to many other parts of Asia and the world from Hong Kong. It is a major travel hub with direct connections to many other countries. There are about 109 airports in 37 countries that currently have direct flights to this region.
Hong Kong also has its own well-developed public transport system that makes it easy to explore the local region. There is easy access to tramways, trains, buses, and taxis. There are also easy connections that will take you to other Chinese cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
Hong Kong is one of those cities that is a melting pot of various cultures. Most are Asian, but you will also see a strong presence of European and even African influences. From the languages spoken to the food that is enjoyed, many new experiences await you here. More so if you are interested in learning new languages.
Chinese dialects like Mandarin and Cantonese are widely spoken here and can be easy to pick up if you are interested. You can also immerse yourself in other languages like Hindi, Thai, and Japanese. If you are not interested or as adept at languages, you can still get by on English as it is one of the most widely spoken languages.
This cultural diversity does not just come from the resident population but also within the teaching class. You will find lots of opportunities to mix and mingle with other teaching professionals from various countries.