Hong Kong is so much more than its undeniably awe-inspiring skylines. It has been described as ‘NYC meets Hawaii’, and while that statement may stretch the truth a little, it does encapsulate the sheer vitality of big city life and the stunning landscapes that Hong Kong has to offer. The city barely sleeps and HK street life is a whirr of neon, glitzy malls, and never ending skyrises piling sideways, topways and all different ways around you! 

As a destination for international school teachers, it’s hard to beat. In this article, we hear from educators teaching at international schools in Hong Kong and from the members of our own team who have lived and worked there in order to get a flavour of life in this incredible city.

international schools in Hong Kong
Photo credit: Faiza Berrada Gouzi

Districts of Hong Kong

On the island itself, no two areas are the same, from the buzzing Sheung Wan and Wan Chai with their coffee shops, sought after restaurants and watering holes, to the relaxed, more open spaces of Kennedy Town, South Side and Happy Valley. Further afield, families are spoilt for choice with stunning areas to live such as Discovery Bay on Lantau Island (which gives Desperate Housewives a run for its money) and Lamma Island for a more bohemian vibe. 

In the New Territories, Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay, both renowned for their breathtaking beaches and sprawling country parks, showcase the beauty of Hong Kong’s nature. Outdoor enthusiasts can fill their days year-round with hikes through picturesque landscapes, by camping on cliff-encircled beaches, or by kayaking, surfing, scuba diving. And this is just the start of a long list of accessible activities.

Hong Kong views
Photo credit: Terence Moran

Climate in Hong Kong

Although the summer Monsoon season is undoubtedly sticky and rain-soaked, Hong Kong is a city blessed with distinct seasons (albeit without the snow!) and a lovely, temperate climate for most of the year. Winter can get chilly and winter coats and woolly hats make an appearance, but for most of the year the city is blessed with a lot of sunshine and weather that makes outdoor life easy.

Hong Kong beaches
Photo credit: Naveen Kumar

Current situation

There is no doubt that Hong Kong’s political landscape has shifted significantly in recent years. That being said, many of the teachers we’ve placed there and some of our own team who call Hong Kong their home have confirmed that – for the most part – Hong Kong is as vibrant and receptive as ever; life as an international teacher continues to afford a huge variety of experience and opportunity. The city has definitely got its groove back as a tourist destination: flights are fully back on the agenda, linking you to incredible places in Asia and further afield and the island itself is back to hosting incredible events like Art Basel, the Hong Kong Sevens and festivals like Clockenflap. As for many other countries in this constantly changing world, it’s important to research and educate yourself about the national politics and customs of any country you’re considering relocating to. 

Statue in Hong Kong
Photo credit: Faiza Berrada Gouzi

International schools in Hong Kong

Unsurprisingly for such a metropolitan city, there are a huge number of international schools in Hong Kong. Teacher Horizons has sixty Hong Kong international schools currently listed on our website. 

All of the major school groups have centres in Hong Kong, and the vast majority of them have an excellent reputation. Since the city is still at the centre of the international financial world, plenty of people from all over the globe educate their children here. This means that the demand for high quality teaching is constant, and the funds are there to pay for it.

The majority of international schools in Hong Kong follow the International Baccalaureate curriculum: the Primary Years Programme, the Middle Years Programme, and the Diploma Programme. Some Hong Kong international schools have also started teaching the Career-related Programme. There is no doubt that teaching in Hong Kong will boost the experience for your CV no end.

You can read more about the international schools in Hong Kong here.

Hong Kong cuisine


Hong Kong is arguably a foodie-heaven, boasting a food and bar scene that is hard to rival in Asia. With an impressive array of 77 Michelin-star restaurants and housing the best bar on the continent, Hong Kong is a culinary force to be reckoned with!

As for entertainment, there’s something for everyone, from hitting the cultural highlights of the ballet, HK Philharmonic and the opera to whiling away a day on a junk boat with friends jumping overboard in picture-postcard beaches.

Hong Kong nightscape


Hong Kong’s safety makes it a huge draw for singles and families alike. Knowing that, as a single female, you can walk down the street during the evening – without so much as checking over your shoulder – is a hugely liberating way to live. And as a parent, knowing that your child is growing up being able to play outside safely in the sunshine and nature, it feels like a real gift to give them. 

There is no shortage of activities for children through term time and beyond with the Hong Kong extra-curricular world set up for keeping children busy and engaged: from drama and music to a vast range of sports, Hong Kong has it covered. But if you prefer a more low-key existence, hours can be spent building dams and dens on beaches, wandering round the free museums and parks, making Hong Kong a very easy place to relocate your family to.

International school teachers landscape


The expat scene is a diverse one with representation of a wide range of cultures. Teacher Horizons has placed candidates in Hong Kong who come from places as far-ranging as India, USA, Costa Rica, Scotland, Vietnam, England and South Africa in recent years.

Here, a few of them share their own personal experiences of teaching in Hong Kong.

International school teacher in Hong Kong


Languages teacher, YCIS HK


“As a teacher in Hong Kong, I have been privileged to immerse myself in a rich tapestry of cultures and experiences. The city’s vibrant lifestyle offers endless opportunities for exploration and learning. From bustling markets to serene temples, every corner of Hong Kong is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Hong Kong is a melting pot of cultures, where people of all faiths are welcomed and respected. Embracing the local travel potential has not only broadened my horizons but also deepened my understanding of different cultures. Despite previous challenges, choosing Hong Kong as a place to teach has been incredibly rewarding, offering a unique blend of tradition and modernity that continues to inspire and educate both myself and my students.”

International school teacher in Hong Kong


Science teacher, YCIS HK

International school teacher in Hong Kong


IGCSE & IB mathematics teacher, YCIS HK

“Considering Hong Kong for international teaching offers a plethora of compelling reasons. Firstly, Hong Kong presents an attractive destination for educators seeking enriching professional experiences in an international setting. With its renowned education system and diverse student population, teachers can engage with a dynamic learning environment that fosters personal growth and professional development. 

“Moreover, living in Hong Kong provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in a vibrant blend of cultures, offering a rich tapestry of experiences and fostering a global perspective. From exploring the bustling streets of Hong Kong’s vibrant neighbourhoods to indulging in the city’s renowned cuisine, the lifestyle in Hong Kong is filled with excitement and adventure. Additionally, the city’s strategic location makes it an excellent base for exploring the surrounding region, with easy access to stunning natural landscapes and nearby travel destinations. However, it is essential to consider the challenges that come with living in a densely populated urban centre, such as high living costs and limited living space. Despite these challenges, the rewards of teaching in Hong Kong and embracing its unique lifestyle and cultural opportunities make it an enticing choice for educators seeking an international teaching experience.”

International school teacher in Hong Kong


Geography teacher, YCIS HK

International school teacher in Hong Kong


D&T teacher, Renaissance College

“Hong Kong is a vibrant city that offers an outstanding work-life balance, a rich local culture, and abundant opportunities for socialising and joining various groups and activities.

“Regarding work-life balance, Hong Kong is known for providing a favourable environment. With a 40/60 work-life balance, you’ll have lots of time to enjoy your personal life. The work environment is generally good, with manageable levels of stress. Once you’ve settled into your routine, life becomes easy and hassle-free.

“The local culture in Hong Kong is quite accessible; many people in the city speak English, making communication and interaction effortless. The city also boasts a diverse and delicious culinary scene, with great food options to explore. Additionally, the locals are known for their friendliness, making it easy to connect and build relationships. Socialising in Hong Kong is a breeze. There is a wide range of activities to engage in, from relaxing on beautiful beaches to hiking scenic trails. You can also join junk boat trips or enjoy leisurely brunches with friends. It’s an excellent place to meet new people, whether you’re social or prefer more intimate gatherings. I have joined many groups, trips, and activities; Hong Kong offers plenty. By putting yourself out there, you can discover a myriad of opportunities. For example, I have joined the Scuba Diving Club, Cycling Club, FitFam (fitness community), and Midnight Runners (a running group). There is even a dog club for my dog Zico and me. The city is teeming with clubs and communities catering to diverse interests.

“In terms of finances, it’s important to note that Hong Kong can be pricey, particularly when it comes to housing. However, there are ways to manage expenses. You can find good happy hours and deals at various establishments. Additionally, Hong Kong serves as an excellent travel hub, allowing you to explore nearby destinations at affordable prices. 

“Regarding political security, Hong Kong is a very safe city. You can feel confident in your safety and the stability of the environment. Visas and official government dealings, such as obtaining a driving license or paying taxes, are relatively straightforward and hassle-free.

“Hong Kong schools offer a conducive learning environment. The students are generally motivated and keen, fostering a positive educational atmosphere. The emphasis on work-life balance means that your children can enjoy a well-rounded lifestyle while pursuing their studies. Overall, Hong Kong is a great city to live in; it is diverse and has a feel of home (UK).”

International school teacher in Hong Kong


ICT teacher, YCIS HK

“Working as a teacher in Hong Kong has many benefits. Hong Kong is a very safe city, especially for single women, and there are many expatriate communities for teachers to join and make new friends. On the weekends, there are great opportunities for hiking and trekking in the beautiful natural surroundings. The job also provides lots of chances to travel around Asia during school breaks because of Hong Kong’s convenient flight connections. Teachers can socialise with other expatriates by organising meetups and events in the evenings and on weekends. It is easy to get around the busy city using the excellent public transportation. Plus, the tropical climate means warm weather most of the year. With the high salary and low tax rates, saving money is feasible. Living in the cosmopolitan centre of Hong Kong exposes teachers to diverse cultures in Asia. Altogether, Hong Kong offers teachers rewarding experiences both professionally and personally.”

We hope that reading these stories leaves you feeling inspired! If you are an international school teacher considering a move to Hong Kong, please reach out to your International Adviser at Teacher Horizons to find out more, and to discuss next steps. 

Current vacancies at international schools in Hong Kong

Here is the list of current vacancies to teach at international schools in Hong Kong. It’s worth noting that jobs in Hong Kong are incredibly popular and that schools start their hiring cycle early in the year. This means this list is unlikely to be extensive now that we are nearing the end of the school year.

We recommend you bookmark this page and check again once next year’s hiring cycle starts in force if you’re keen to find a job in an international school in Hong Kong for 2025!

photo of author
Written by Camilla Cook
Camilla has been working in education for the past sixteen years, teaching English in the UK, El Salvador, Thailand, and Tanzania. She participated in the Teach First Programme in 2005, and went on to support another Teach First teacher in her efforts to set up The Literacy Pirates, an education charity working to develop the literacy, confidence, and perseverance of young people referred for extra support by their teachers. As their first Director of Learning, she was responsible for planning, leading, and evaluating the learning programmes. She has worked as the Head of Language and Literature in international schools for the past five years, and is now living in Brighton with her husband and two children, attempting to reacclimatise to the weather by cycling around as much as possible and eating lots of ice cream.
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