Hong Kong is one of the world’s top destinations for Westerners, both for vacation travel and for longer term career moves. With its impressive skylines and wide range of entertainment and shopping choices, there’s little surprise that so many people choose to head to the city. If you’re moving for the long term you might be worried that you won’t quite fit in or that the culture shock will spoil your experience – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some top nuggets of advice on how to adjust to a new life in Hong Kong once you’ve made the big move.
A new workplace
While many of the characteristics of a workplace in Hong Kong are very like those of a workplace in the West, it’s important to remember that there are some key cultural differences which need to be understood before you make the big move to this autonomous territory. Office dress codes, for example, are usually quite formal, and that is generally observed even at workplace social events. Respect is also very important, and there is little place for heated arguments. By getting that understood before you leave, there’s much less chance that you’ll experience any culture shock in your new job or cause any embarrassment for your new colleagues.
Learn the language
Although lots of people here speak English, it’s also a good idea to learn some of the local language in order to be able to make yourself understood. Remember, the language here is Cantonese rather than Mandarin. If you’re planning to stay for the long-term rather than just for a few months, learning the basics of the language is particularly important – especially for your children, who may find that not speaking it holds them back when it comes to important social events.
When moving abroad, one of the main issues parents face is how to make sure their children settle in well. Often, a good way to ensure a global experience for your child while also making sure they can study similar topics to what they’d be learning about back home is to enroll them in an international school. The Hong Kong international school offers lots of excellent options including foreign languages to athletics, so there’ll be something for your child to excel at and focus on no matter what their interests are.
Quite rightly, Hong Kong enjoys a reputation for being one of the best places in the world for a visit or even to settle down in for a new life abroad. And while many people may find themselves wondering if it’s going to be tough for them to settle in when they reach HK, there’s really nothing major to worry about. Whether it’s learning the local language or visiting your child’s new school in advance, there are plenty of ways to make sure that you become integrated as quickly as possible when you arrive on the city’s shores.