Hong Kong, also known as the Pearl of the Orient, has an interesting history dating back as far as the Stone Age. In the 7th century the deep natural harbour became a popular port with trading ships travelling the Silk Road between Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Europeans traded peacefully with the Chinese from the 16th century until the Opium wars in the 19th century. In the mid 19th century to assure peace, China handed over Hong Kong Island and then Kowloon to the British, who then leased the New Territories for 99 years. That lease expired in 1997 and the whole of Hong Kong was returned to Chinese rule. Under the Sino-British declaration, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, able to retain its freedoms and way of life for 50 years post handover.
Modern Day Hong Kong
Hong Kong, known as the city that never sleeps, is one of the most fast paced, vibrant places on earth. In spite of this Hong Kong is a safe and friendly place where children are treated with kindness. Public transport is good with buses, trams, the Star Ferry and cheap taxis. Street signs are all written in English and Traditional Chinese but the majority of residents speak Cantonese or Mandarin. English speakers are a small minority so knowing a little Mandarin can be really helpful and appreciated by locals.
With an estimated population of around 7.5 million crammed into a relatively small urban area, space is at a premium. There is no more space to build outwards, so buildings have become high rise. This means that if you want to live in or close to the city centre you will pay a relatively high price for a very compact living space. Most of the family friendly accommodation is a little way out of the city but often commutable in 10-15 minutes.
In spite of its crowded, built up, urban area, there plenty of playgrounds, parks and green spaces. In fact, Hong Kong is mostly made up of country parks with excellent walking and running trails. There are also many beautiful beaches, where you can swim, surf or hire a junk all year round and a variety of clubs with swimming pools and sporting facilities.
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Best International Schools in Hong Kong - Rankings
Note: our rankings are based on parent, pupil and teacher reviews. If you think your Hong Kong school should be in the top 20, get reviewing - we want to hear from real people with real experiences at schools so parents, teachers and pupils get the real story when they research their next school. You can find your school in the full List of International Schools in Hong Kong, or search by name here.
Harrow International School Hong Kong is located in a magnificent crescent-shaped building with custom-built facilities near the Gold Coast, Tuen Mun. The school integrates elements of educational philosophy, practice and traditions from Harrow School in England into the diverse international community of Hong Kong to provide a highly distinctive education.
Harrow International School is an all through day school for pupils between K1 (3 years) to Year 13 (18 years). Boarding begins from Year 6 in the Prep School on a weekly basis from Sunday evening to Friday evening. Just under 50% of pupils in the Upper School board, but all Day pupils are members of a House.
There are currently three boys’ and three girls’ Prep Houses (Year 6 to Year 8), and four boys’ and four girls’ Senior Houses (Year 9 to Year 13).
The Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong (NAIS) opened in September 2014 and offers an all-through education for students aged 3-18, with specialist teachers in Music, Art, Drama, PE and Mandarin from the very start of a child’s educational journey. Our sole focus is on the success of each and every child. We want them to be the best they can be and we encourage them to “Be Ambitious”, reflecting our school’s philosophy.
This means we support each student to progress further than they thought possible, achieving more academically, personally and socially – all of which are equally important. At NAIS Hong Kong, every day is an ‘international day’ as our pupils are part of the greater Nord Anglia Education family, with 80+ schools in 30+ countries, linked by our Global Campus. This allows students to co-operate with each other on projects and learning across the world, making them internationally-minded, effective global citizens of the future.
Rosebud Primary School has been offering its quality education services to primary students since 2004. Rosebud is accredited by Hong Kong SAR government and it also has International accreditation. The school produces graduates who have no difficulty in being admitted to international as well as local government secondary schools. Moreover, following the local and international curriculum, we provide education with the high emphasis on the exclusively English medium of instruction in the core subjects.
Rosebud provides an international environment, welcoming students from all nationalities. Rosebud Primary School follows –student-centred- with a project-based learning curriculum where every child’s need is addressed with care due to its highly qualified and experienced local and foreign faculty. Along with highly qualified faculty, Rosebud offers Teaching Assistants in classes to support students learning. With the help of our school psychologist, we discover the individuality in each child and help them adapt to the society and understand their inner world as well. In this aspect allows students to build strength, confidence, independence, and happiness within their character. With latest multi-media equipment like smart boards and state of the art iMac, Computer Lab promotes more independent and creative learning.
Rosebud Primary School has continuously invested in up-to-date classroom technology so that each student is trained to be a future world citizen. Along with the education and facilities, Rosebud ensures a friendly, supportive and secure environment.
German Swiss International School Hong Kong (GSIS) offers education in two streams from kindergarten to secondary school, following the German and British school systems. We are supported by the German and Swiss governments.
More than 1,300 students from over 30 countries are taught by a committed team of highly-qualified teachers from German and English-speaking countries. As part of Asia's leading city, our mission is to provide a quality education to citizens of the 21st century, encouraging and fostering the talents of each student - as an individual, as part of a team and as a responsible member of society. In a globalized world, the multicultural character of GSIS is a challenge and an opportunity.
The Harbour School (THS) is based in Hong Kong and is a primary and secondary international school that recognizes children as complex individuals with differing needs, goals, personalities, and backgrounds and thus takes a customized approach to learning. Founded in 2007, The Harbour School has gained a worldwide reputation as a center of educational excellence emphasizing skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, creativity, innovation and resilience.
THS recently placed second worldwide in a global competition for 21st Century School of the Year. While we offer an American curriculum, it is adapted to ensure learning success for a very diverse international population. We are committed to unlocking the best in every student, encouraging students to find and develop their areas of strength.
The Harbour School is a model for providing a 21st-century education for typical, advanced and gifted children while also providing support to students with areas of weakness.
American School Hong Kong (ASHK) is a non-profit college preparatory school offering a holistic American education taught by North American teachers. The school is operated by Esol Education, a leading education organisation with 40 years of experience in establishing and operating K-12 international schools, currently educating 10,000 pupils in nine schools across three continents.
ASHK delivers a rigorous curriculum, focused on developing well-rounded, motivated, and thoughtful global citizens. It equips students with the academic, social, and entrepreneurial skills required for success in the 21st century. The American School Hong Kong is incorporated as Universal American School Hong Kong Limited. We accept applications three years in advance and all year long. It is always wise to apply early, as spaces can fill up quickly. Our aim is to make the application process as smooth as possible, and to reach an enrolment decision quickly.
ASHK values a balanced approach to student growth. Our students know the importance of each of our Student Learner Profiles that prepare them to be world citizens of integrity. Those profiles complement an excellent academic program, to develop skills that meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
Kingston International School Hong Kong is comprised of Playgroup, Nursery, Kindergarten and Primary students who are guided by a diverse and uniquely qualified staff united in our belief bilingualism and a small-school approach to learning. After graduating from Kingston Primary, our students have the through-train option of continuing the small-school approach in secondary school at International College Hong Kong. Since 1994, Kingston has dedicated itself to the worthy pursuit of equipping students to be proficient in two of the most significant languages of the twenty-first century: English and Chinese (Putonghua).
For over 20 years, Kingston International School has successfully provided a challenging and stimulating environment that nurtures the balanced development of students who, in their own unique way, grow into active and responsible world citizens. We are proud to have been the first school in Hong Kong to be authorized to provide the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. The IBPYP provides a unique framework for approaches to learning.
The Diocesan Boys' School (DBS) is a boys' school in Hong Kong, located in Kowloon. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest secondary schools in the city. The school's mission is to provide a liberal education based on Christian principles. Having run as a grant-aided school since it was founded, the school commenced operation in the Direct Subsidy Scheme in September 2003. It uses English as the medium of instruction.
The vision of our school is to equip our students with the sound knowledge, worthy qualities, dynamic social and technical skills they need to become contributors to society and leaders with integrity in a diverse and ever-changing world.
The mission of Diocesan Boys' School is to provide a liberal education based on Christian principles.
In 2002, the idea of opening a school that offered the Montessori curriculum in a dual-language setting, was a dream. Today, it is a joy to witness the sheer volume of possibilities The International Montessori School Hong Kong enables for each child, and to hear the natural mix of English and Putonghua ringing out in the hallways and classrooms. IMS’ integrated curriculum meets the different development needs for the growing person, giving your child the opportunity to explore their own passions, while guiding them to develop the skills they need to be successful in school and in life.
The opportunity to learn in such a natural way could be the greatest gift you can give your child. As IMS student and faculty numbers grow, so too does the richness of our community. At present our community hails from over 50 countries from around the world. Every member of our team, together with our parent community is committed to create a collaborative learning community which is deeply rooted in respect and kindness. We believe that children are naturally born with the inner directive to meet their own needs and to learn. Our goal at The International Montessori School is to embrace this innate drive by providing optimal learning opportunities from an outing run by our older students to dumpling preparation by the little ones. Learning happens everywhere at The International Montessori School Hong Kong!
Japanese International School Hong Kong (JIS) was established in August 1997 with a large school campus opened in Tai Po, Hong Kong with an international section and a Japanese section to the school. Twenty years later the school is going from strength to strength offering both Japanese and international families an excellent educational experience for their children.
The international section community is delightfully small; around 170 students, allowing for a very intimate, caring, community environment in which staff, students and parents are working together to achieve dynamic goals for learning and development. Our students travel from a wide variety of residential areas of Hong Kong to enjoy our spacious, well equipped campus on the edge of a large country park in Tai Po district, New Territories, Hong Kong.
The Japanese International School, Hong Kong (International Section) was described by a HK education journalist as The holy grail of international primary schools in Hong Kong (2016). JIS was also recently nominated by The Knowledge Review (USA), international education publication as One of the 10 best international schools in Hong Kong (Nov 2018).
Chinese International School Hong Kong is committed to the achievement of academic excellence and is characterised and enriched by its dual-language programme in Chinese and English. The mission of Chinese International School is to inspire students to a lifelong love of learning. The school encourages intellectual curiosity and independent, critical and creative thinking which will maximise students’ potential and promote the growth of the whole person.
The school prepares its students to be compassionate, ethical and responsible individuals, contributing to local and global communities, respectful of other views, beliefs and cultures, and concerned to make a difference in the world.
Invictus School Hong Kong (Chai Wan) will be an independent, co-educational day secondary school that offers affordable, high quality education from Year 7 - 13 to both local residents and expatriate families. Students will be immersed in an inclusive and collaborative community that will foster a nurturing environment in which they can grow to their full potential.
Subject to regulatory approval, the Chai Wan campus located at 188 Tai Tam Road will open in the third quarter of 2020 and will offer IGCSE courses for secondary school.
Anfield School Hong Kong is an Independent Catholic, International School, comprising of a Primary school and 2 large Kindergartens, whose curriculum is underpinned by the Early Years Foundation Stage and the English National Curriculum. At Anfield, our robust curriculum for students aged 2-11 years, is fit for the 21st century, embracing the notion of promoting a globally – minded education of the very highest quality.
Anfield enjoys an enviable reputation as thriving, dynamic, happy, caring and supportive schools with a strong family atmosphere. Through developing a healthy mindset, we support our children in fully understanding and engaging with the learning culture in their classroom. We encourage them to maximise their efforts and also talk about their thoughts and feelings in relation to home and school. As a result, Anfield School Hong Kong has optimistic and happy students, who show compassion and empathy for everyone in our Anfield family.
At Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong our superb, spacious facilities are designed specifically for children aged 3-11 years, and enable our specialist Primary teaching staff to deliver a rich educational experience for all of our students. Through our broad and engaging thematic curriculum, complimenting a varied extra curricular programme, we aim to support and nurture thoughtful, compassionate leaders, and establish foundations for successful life long learning.
At Shrewsbury, you will uncover the unique blend of traditional educational values and innovative teaching methodology that stand at the heart of our school. Drawing upon over 450 years of experience, Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong nurtures each child in our care with great diligence as they work through a broad, challenging and fulfilling curriculum that promotes academic rigour, increasing levels of independence and high attainment. We explore the strengths of each of our students within a world class facility that offers a unique range of opportunities, ensuring that every child thrives both within and beyond their school years.
Discovery Montessori International School has 3 reputable International Montessori Schools that provide bilingual (English and Mandarin) Montessori Education for children aged 1 to 12 years old. We currently have over 600 enrolled children in our schools and we are a contributing member in our local community and maintain strong parent support and volunteerism.
Discovery Montessori Academy (DMA) is an expansion of Discovery Montessori Schools for Primary (6-12Y) Sections. We offer a bi-lingual (English & Putonghua) curriculum for children aged 3 years to 12 years.
Korean International School’s origin can be traced back to Saturday School, started in 1960 with just 6 students to provide for the needs of Korean community in Hong Kong. An increasingly larger community’s needs and support from Korean government was instrumental in securing and establishing KIS at Sai Wan Ho and today, we are indeed proud to serve KIS which not only cater for Korean community’s needs, but also welcome an international body of students from over 25 countries. Full stream Korean Section and International School have grown over the years, and whilst KIS suffered ups and downs with the fortune of Hong Kong itself, we are now on firm grounds to continue to grow with completion in 2013 of second extension to existing buildings that will allow us to offer more classrooms and facilities to meet increasing demand for international education.
We believe firmly in providing a secure and stable environment in which students from all backgrounds can grow, work and play together while in Hong Kong, so that they can go anywhere in the world with full confidence. We hope that the special environment at Korean International School, where two curriculums coexist side by side, whilst challenging, will provide extra stimulation and motivation.
Clearwater Bay School is a family centred school, which means that we are committed to providing an educational environment in which all our students feel safe, happy and at home. We work very hard to develop good parent teacher relationships, and to provide a warm, caring and supportive place for students to learn. We want our students to develop empathy for others, confidence, responsibility and a strong desire to learn and achieve their best.
As an International Baccalaureate World School we strive to provide a high quality international education for all students. We offer the Primary Years Program (PYP) which is an engaging and challenging inquiry program that fosters students’ intellectual, social, emotional, physical and cultural development. We aim to develop students who are internationally minded and who act to make a difference in the world. I ask that you support our efforts by reinforcing our school values expressed through the IB learner profile.
English Schools Foundation's vision is for every student to be the best that they can be. Our mission is to inspire creativity and nurture global citizens and leaders of the future. We do this by creating joyful learning environments, led by a community of exceptional teachers who bring out the best in every child through a personalised approach to learning and by inspiring curious minds.
Carmel School Association is a Jewish International School committed to academic excellence through fostering intellectual curiosity, self-directed learning and the individual development of each child. Carmel is committed to teaching students about, and fostering a love for, Jewish values and traditions, and the Land and State of Israel, its language and culture.
Our personalised approach, with emphasis on growing caring, compassionate, global citizens, produces students who are independent thinkers and communicators and who will become leaders and contribute to the Jewish and wider world.
Sha Tin Junior School is a large primary school, situated in the New Territories of Hong Kong. The school is part of the English Schools Foundation and offers a broad inclusive education through the medium of English. The school opened in 1988 and quickly grew to a maximum operating enrollment of 540. A facilities expansion programme in the mid 2000’s provided extra classrooms and a number of new facilities, including a swimming pool, sports hall and roof top playground, which are shared with our partner secondary school, Sha Tin College.
The school also expanded to the current enrollment of 900 students. Sha Tin Junior School is fully authorised by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP). Authorisation was granted in May 2009, SJS becoming the first ESF primary school to achieve this status.
There are 34 other international schools in Hong Kong
that didn't make it into our Top 20, either because they didn't have enough reviews
or its review rating was too low. If your school is one of those and you think it should make the
Top 20, make sure you add your review and tell your story via the school links below.
At Garden International School (GIS), your children will not only receive an outstanding education ...
My family and I are originally from the UK but have also lived in Australia and Spain. We have always wanted to make sure that our 3 boys have the best possible experience living abroad and that our travels have a positive impact on their education.