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Sometimes referred to as ‘the Pearl of the Orient,’ Hong Kong may seem ultra-modern but it’s still firmly rooted in tradition. By living with a local host family and attending high school, you’ll be fully immersed in the unique culture of Hong Kong, which is one of the most densely populated places in the world. You’ll meet lots of new people and have the opportunity to become a part of the community. Get ready for an experience unlike any other!

Things to know

Hong Kong is a great place for meat eaters! Like many Asian societies, people in Hong Kong take off their shoes when they enter a home. You’ll typically be offered slippers to wear by your host. Even though Hong Kong is a huge city, excellent public transportation makes it easy to get around and explore.

Eligibility Requirements

Current high school students are eligible to apply. Specific age requirements may apply; contact AFS for more details.
Must be in good academic standing (recommended GPA of 2.5 or above).

Your journey to Hong Kong

Your journey to high school in Hong Kong will begin in Los Angeles, where you’ll meet your fellow AFS students, although you might be the only one traveling to Hong Kong. You’ll attend an overnight orientation, where you’ll learn some basics about life in Hong Kong and speak with a Cultural Resource who recently spent time in the region. Then you’re off!

When you arrive in Hong Kong you’ll be welcomed by AFS Staff or Volunteers. On your way to meet your host family you’ll get a chance to see some of the local sights. Hong Kong is a blend of the past and the present; you might see enormous skyscrapers inspired by feng shui architecture, herbal medicine shops, trendy boutiques, wheelbarrows parked next to Rolls Royces, and even caged birds being taken on walks!

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Meeting your Host Family in Hong Kong

You could live anywhere in Hong Kong, including the mainland or other outlying areas. Most families have small, urban apartments and it’s not uncommon for multiple generations to live under one roof. Traditionally many relatives live together but you’re more likely to live with a standard nuclear family. Even so, you can expect to visit with extended family fairly regularly. On the weekends and holidays, families enjoy shopping, having a picnic, going out to a restaurant for tea, or traveling to mainland China.

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Settling into daily life in Hong Kong

Teenage Life

A lot of your time will probably be spent socializing with your host family and friends from school. However, Hong Kong is a bustling city and you’ll find lots to do. You could play sports like basketball and soccer or go hiking on one of the region’s great trails. Yoga has also become extremely popular, especially among women. In the evening, you can expect to hear the sounds of people singing karaoke.

Food you’ll encounter

Rice is a staple food and appears in almost every dish. Congee, a rice porridge sometimes served with meat and vegetables, is a popular breakfast. You’ll also see a wide variety of noodles, including ramen, udon (a thick wheat noodle), and rice noodles. Most noodles are served either fried or boiled. There are a number of different drinks you could find offered with your meal, including coffee, tea, fruit juices, and flavored milk drinks.

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Your High School in Hong Kong

High School in Hong Kong is very challenging, but while the education system used to be based on memorization, most teachers now focus on interactive learning and critical thinking. School runs for ten months and lasts about eight hours a day. You’ll probably attend a public high school and have a core set of classes along with many elective subjects like tourism, music, or Chinese literature. Taking part in various school clubs will provide you with a great opportunity to get involved in your community. There are clubs for a wide range of interests including sports, debate, drama, and history.

What's Included

  • 70+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 50,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations with a vetted host family
  • Round-trip international airfare for the designated program dates
  • School enrollment fees
  • Worldwide, 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Access to an in-country support team and network, as well as our Participant Support Department based here in the U.S.
  • Orientations and intercultural education before and during your program
  • Secondary medical coverage
  • Visa support and guidance
  • Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people
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Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.
When you return home from high school in Hong Kong, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in Hong Kong.

In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.

A new you awaits.

Apply for High School Study Abroad in Hong Kong!

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