10 Aug 2021 | ESLteachers
As Covid-19 and its aftermath continue to ravage some parts of the world, a few places have managed to keep the virus under control and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hong Kong is one of the locations where normality has largely resumed, with the number of new Covid cases per day being consistently maintained at a low single digit since May 2021 (compared to the tens of thousands in, say, the US and the UK). As of the 10th of August, locally-transmitted cases have been reportedly at zero since the 8th of June, with a small number of new cases all being imported. This goes to show the dedication the Hong Kong people have towards fighting the virus. If you are worried about the continued uncertainty or simply sick of the way the pandemic has been handled in your hometown, maybe it’s time to take a break somewhere new.
For ESL teachers thinking of teaching abroad when travel restrictions ease, here are a few reasons why Hong Kong is a great destination to consider:
Secured Teaching Positions
Hong Kong schools have actively taken different measures to ensure minimal interruption to education during the pandemic. Even though all schools were suspended for a short while as the virus hit hard in 2020, the education sector was able to respond to the circumstances by swiftly bringing classes online. This has created abundant online teaching opportunities for ESL teachers and helped them secure teaching positions during those difficult times. As a result, the education sector has been able to bounce back quickly and continue to thrive.
Hong Kong is a forward-thinking city. Many institutions have also adapted their teaching spaces to the pandemic in innovative ways. While all schools have now reopened physically, the pandemic has prompted them to further recognise the potential of digital technologies for educational purposes. Some schools have even taken the initiative to incorporate virtual reality (VR) technologies into their English lessons, allowing students the opportunity to visit different countries and broaden their horizons without even leaving the classroom. If you’re the kind of teacher who would like the chance to explore how new and immersive technology can benefit your students, then Hong Kong may be the place for you.
Access to Public Healthcare
As an expat relocating, one of the most important things to think about is the accessibility of healthcare. This is especially crucial in the precarious times that we are currently living in. Hong Kong offers high-quality public healthcare to eligible residents at a relatively small cost. As a reference, a general outpatient consultation would cost HK$50 per attendance, which is approximately US$6.50. The public healthcare system in Hong Kong covers not only Hong Kong citizens and permanent residents, but also non-permanent residents. This means that as soon as you are in Hong Kong with a valid visa and have obtained your Hong Kong ID card, you are eligible for access to public healthcare.
Good Awareness of Public Health and Hygiene
As mentioned before, Hong Kong has been quite successful in containing Covid-19. With more and more of the population becoming fully vaccinated, that also offers an additional layer of security. The general public in Hong Kong is mostly familiar with and open to the idea of mask-wearing. It has been commonplace in the city to wear a mask when feeling under the weather because it is seen as a polite and considerate thing to do. No one would bat an eye at you wearing a mask to keep others safe! Furthermore, hand sanitiser is readily available and can be found in most public spaces. So if you are concerned for your health, you needn’t be—the average Hong Konger has a good sense of moral duty when it comes to looking after one another’s physical wellbeing.
These are only a few of the reasons why you should consider Hong Kong as your next place to develop your teaching career. With so much to do and see, you’ll feel so many changes in your life and have the chance to explore a brand new culture in a vibrant international city. Most importantly, teaching jobs are never scarce in Hong Kong, as there is constantly a high demand for qualified ESL teachers with native-level English proficiency.
The travel advice and quarantine rules related to the pandemic are constantly being revised and updated. For the latest information, please visit the Hong Kong Government website: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/inbound-travel.html