International school applications 2024 - the most critical things you need to know [Last update on 4 Oct 2023]
Many parents in Hong Kong choose to send their children to local primary schools in order to build a solid Chinese language foundation. However, once their child reaches P5/Grade 5, parents become keen to prepare their child for the possibility of international study given the strong correlation with prestige, career opportunities and future salary. We are also at a point in time when many expats with overseas ties have left Hong Kong due to pandemic constraints which is contributing to a unique opportunity in available places at international schools. Having said that, the process remains notoriously competitive and now is a critical time with imminent open days, curriculum webinars and fast approaching application deadlines. We outline here all the key dates for admissions from the top 10 secondary international schools in Hong Kong in order to give our Bizibuz parents an edge!
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International School Applications: Important Dates & Information
Chinese International School was founded in 1983 as a small “East meet West” school grounded with roots in Hong Kong and has now grown to a vibrant community of over 1,500 students aged 4-18. Located in Hong Kong, with a Study Centre for Year 10 students in Hangzhou, CIS’ mission to empower students to discover new paths, build bridges, and flourish on a life’s journey in pursuit of excellence, commitment to service, and stewardship of our future is supported by passionate educators, skilled administrators, dedicated operational staff, and a caring community. The school follows a dual language curriculum under the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program.
Campus Tours: There are no in-person tours available at this time, only online tours available here: https://www.cis.edu.hk/about-us/campus-facilities
(28 Feb 2024 deadline for primary, secondary school has an open schedule, reception applications closed 31 Oct)
Canadian International School of Hong Kong is an international school in Aberdeen, Hong Kong. Founded in 1991, the school provides an education for over 1,800 students representing more than 40 nationalities from Early Years 1 to Grade 12. CDNIS has been a leader in international education since its inception 30 years ago and is now widely recognized as one of the world’s most innovative and cutting-edge institutions. Our future-ready programmes promote academic excellence, the development of character, and strong engagement both locally and globally. We are fully committed to the integration of Chinese language and culture with the Ontario curriculum and International Baccalaureate programmes, and are the only school outside of Canada where students graduate with both the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and the IB Diploma.
Campus Tours: new dates will be announced shortly as these dates below are at full capacity already! You should be able to register for a school tour here soon:
Apply: https://www.cdnis.edu.hk/admissions/apply-online (31 Jan 2024 deadline)
Hong Kong International School (HKIS) is an international private school with campuses in Tai Tam and Repulse Bay, Hong Kong. The school was founded in 1966. Today, HKIS spans from reception one to the twelfth grade. Its Lower and Upper Primary Divisions are located in Repulse Bay, and the Middle and High Schools are located in Tai Tam. The school follows an American curriculum, offering various Advanced Placement courses and 3 foreign languages in Middle School and High School: French, Spanish and Chinese. Chinese language study is mandatory for R1-G5 students. Students in the High School division are required to study interdisciplinary Humanities, American History, Biblical Studies, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and also meet various requirements in Fine Arts, Information Technology, Asian Studies, and Physical Education & Health. Religious education is a compulsory element of the curriculum.
Lower primary (R1-Grade 2): Wednesdays at 10am. Dates until end December are currently full but check here for new openings:
Upper primary (Grades 3-5): Wednesdays at 9am. Dates available here (7 Dec & 14 Dec):
Middle school (Grades 6-8): Tuesdays at 1130am. Dates available here (6 Dec & 13 Dec):
High school (Grades 9-12): Tuesdays at 1030am. Dates available here (6 Dec & 13 Dec):
Apply: https://psreport.hkis.edu.hk/onlineapplication (1 Feb 2023 deadline for grades 6-12, lower & upper primary applications closed 31 Oct)
The German Swiss International School is an international school in Hong Kong established in 1969 by German and Swiss families looking for a bilingual German-English education in an international setting. GSIS now has approximately 1,250 students] from over 30 countries. The school offers English, French, Latin and Mandarin programmes. GSIS is one of the first German Schools Abroad to offer the bilingual Deutsche Internationale Abiturprüfung (DIAP, German International Abitur Examination).
Campus tours: new dates will be announced shortly as these dates below are at full capacity already! You should be able to register for a school tour here soon: https://www.gsis.edu.hk/admissions/school-tours/
Peak Campus for Year 2-6 parents: 8 NOVEMBER 2023, 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM, 6 DECEMBER 2023, 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Pokfulam Campus for English International Stream for kindergarten & Year 1: 7 NOVEMBER 2023, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM, 5 DECEMBER 2023, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
(recommended to apply NOW as assessments are scheduled between Nov and Mar for English international primary and secondary streams).
The French International School is the only accredited French school in Hong Kong (linked by an agreement with the Agency for French Teaching Abroad (AEFE). It has over 2,500 students in four different campuses. FIS offers two Streams, the French and the International streams. The French stream follows the French National Education curriculum which leads to the "diplôme national du brevet" and the French "Baccalauréat". The "Option Internationale du Baccalauréat" (OIB) offers advanced level studies in English. The International stream is based on the British curriculum and leads to IGCSE (University of Cambridge International Examinations) in Form 5 and the International Baccalaureate (IB) in Form 6. FIS was the first international school in Hong Kong to offer an International Baccalaureate program in 1988.
Open Day at:
Chai Wan Campus - 14 Oct 2023
Tseun Kwan O Campus - 19 Oct 2023
Blue Pool Road Campus - 11 Nov 2023
(Note the date of your application impacts your position in the waitlist so apply NOW. Applicants are assessed for international stream primary and secondary from Jan-Mar, then offer of admissions are distributed from April onwards)
Victoria Shanghai Academy (VSA) is a private independent, non-denominational, co-educational day school in Hong Kong established under the auspices of the Shanghai Victoria Education Foundation Limited, a registered charitable body. Since 2007, The School is proud of having been the first IB World School in Hong Kong to provide Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP). These are the curricula frameworks through which we strive to inspire students to “Value, Strive and Act”.
Parent Information Evening: Tue 6 Dec 2024, 630-730pm. More information will be provided later.
Campus Tours: Available on numerous dates from Nov 2023- May 2023, book here
(Years 2-11 applications are open now, Year 1 has already closed)
The Australian International School Hong Kong is a private co-educational international school in Kowloon Tong that follows the Australian academic year from Jan to Dec. Established in 1995, the school provides education for children from Preparatory to Year 12 plus a Reception kindergarten class. The primary curriculum is based on the Australian National Curriculum that has been adapted to suit the international setting. Students in Year 7-10 follow the NSW Stage 4 & 5 Syllabus developed by the New South Wales Board of Studies. In Years 11 and 12, students can select either the Higher School Certificate of the New South Wales Board of Studies or the IB Diploma Programme. Mandarin Chinese is taught as part of Chinese Studies to Primary students, as part of a language in Year 7–8, and as an elective in Year 8–12.
(reception to year 10 applications open year round. Given the school term starts in Jan, the formal application deadline for secondary passed on 31 Oct but AISHK will continue to accept applications now provided the applicant can commence term in Jan)
Singapore International School is a kindergarten, elementary and secondary school situated in two different campuses on Nam Long Shan Road, Wong Chuk Hang. It is an international school set up by the Ministry of Education of Singapore and follows the Singaporean curriculum. In Secondary Three and Four, students study towards the internationally-recognised Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) curriculum before progressing to the two-year IB Diploma Programme. They also enrol for the International Certificate of Education (ICE), which recognises the achievements of students who qualify and have performed well in seven IGCSE subjects from five different subject groups, including two different languages.
Campus Tours: There are no in-person tours available at this time, only online tours available here: https://www.singapore.edu.hk/virtual-school-tour/
(primary admissions for non-Singaporeans closed on 30 Sep 2023 and secondary admissions for non-Singaporeans closed on 15 Oct 2023)
The Independent Schools Foundation Academy is a non-profit bilingual private independent school in Hong Kong. It is also an IBO World School, and offers the IB Middle Years Programme and Diploma Programme enhanced by ISF Shuyuan courses and programmes spanning Ancient Chinese and Western Classics through to 21st Century STEM. The campus is in Cyberport, Pokfulam
Campus Tours: https://admissions.isf.edu.hk/ to become a friend of ISF and book a school tour which are run ‘from time to time’.
Become a friend of ISF and then proceed to the online application
(Grades 2-11 application deadline is 15 Jan 2024. Foundation year and grade 1 applications closed 14 Sep 2023 and 27 Nov 2023 respectively)
The English Schools Foundation (ESF) is the largest English-medium international school organisation in Hong Kong. It comprises 22 schools and a comprehensive programme of extra-curricular activities to bring out the best in every student through a personalised approach to learning and by inspiring curious minds. There are over 18,000 students from 75 different nationalities in ESF kindergartens, primary, secondary and all-through schools. At secondary level, the two ESF all-through schools, Renaissance College and Discovery College offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) from Years 7 to 11.
For the other five ESF secondary schools (Island School, King George V School, Sha Tin College, South Island School and West Island School) , the curriculum are aligned to the MYP framework from Years 7 to 9. Students follow a school-designed curriculum with an approach that is broad and balanced leading to a suite of IGCSE and GCSE qualifications. Subjects include English, mathematics, science, the humanities, creative and performing arts, design technology and an additional language(s) at an appropriate level. At Years 12 and 13 (post-16), students have the options of taking the IB Diploma programme or the Applied Learning Pathway.
Parent Webinars & Campus Tours: dates have passed for 2023, however additional sessions should be available soon here: https://www.esf.edu.hk/parent-seminars/
(Central Applications for 2024/25 Year 1 and Year 7 opened 1-30 September 2023. Late applicants can still register but will be placed on a waitlist according to date of application submission. Applications can be submitted under the General Application process for Years 1-12 throughout the year).
Note that residential zoning applies for ESF primary and secondary schools but not for Discovery College (DC) and Renaissance College (RCHK).