How to Teach English in Hong Kong

Mastering the English language is a huge priority to the people of Hong Kong. As the business world continues to progress, so does the need for international communication skills. To keep up with rapid economic progress, Hong Kong stresses the importance of learning English and places a high value on education and learning.

Combine those components with the fact that there are presently not enough native English speaking instructors within the country, and it might be that Hong Kong is the perfect place to go if you are entertaining the idea of teaching or tutoring in another country.


Qualifications Needed

In the event that you have chosen to tutor English in Hong Kong, there are some basic qualifications that you simply must have. In some nations round the world, you’ll need a college degree and really very little else. Hong Kong, however, has high expectations for foreign lecturers.

First and foremost to become an English instructor you must obtain an employment visa if you’re a foreigner. There is a specific list of exceptions for Australian and New Zealand citizens. Anyone else must have a valid employment visa. Employment visas require lots of paperwork, so get started early. Use the internet to help you navigate this part of the process, especially Hong Kong’s government websites. There are also a few tutoring agencies in Hong Kong who can help with the process if you are interested.

The next step is to get TEFL certification. While this isn’t a strict requirement it is a good idea as it brings with it a wider variety of job options. Another benefit is that the pay rate for those who have TEFL certification is noticeably higher.

Obtaining Employment

There is an impressive amount of online resources to help with finding job opportunities for private tutoring  and teaching English in Hong Kong. Sites like are helpful as they allow those looking for tutoring to find your services and basically come to you instead of you having to go out seeking them.


Finding Appropriate Housing

Probably the biggest headache you will experience after deciding to teach English in Hong Kong will be the search for appropriate housing. In several countries, the employer that hires you may provide you with teacher’s housing for free; but, in Hong Kong this is often not the case. Luckily, most jobs in tuition centers or schools in Hong Kong do embrace a “housing allowance” alongside your regular paycheck. The idea behind the allowance provided is that will cover rent, it would be wise to take that amount into consideration when choosing how much you can afford.

Again, there are on-line resources available to help in your search. Browse Hong Kong housing websites for an idea of the value placed on the amount of space you need. If you have been employed, your employer should be able to help you find something suitable for your needs.

If you have made the decision to teach English in Hong Kong, along with your excitement, prepare yourself for a sometimes difficult but very rewarding experience. The opportunity to immerse yourself so fully in another culture will be an enlightening experience that may very well change your life.