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Constantly looking to the future while always honouring its past, Hong Kong is a modern city enhanced by the richness of an ancient society. Visitors to the city are invited to experience age-old rituals and time-tested wisdom of the East.

Enormous skyscrapers are built using an ancient technique of bamboo scaffolding; herbal medicine shops are next to trendy clothing boutiques; wheelbarrows are parked next to Rolls Royces; and caged birds are taken on walks in the park past roadside fortune tellers.

Eligibility Requirements

You must be 16, 17 or 18
Enrolled in a NZ school
Getting ‘achieved’ or more in your school work

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Host Family Placement
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • School Placement
  • Medical Insurance
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Assistance with Application Process
  • Visa Application Assistance
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Orientations during your time abroad
  • Access to Alumni Network
  • Continuous Support
  • Worldwide Presence
  • 70 Years Experience

What you are responsible for

  • Vaccinations
  • Visa and Passport Fees
  • School Uniform
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Host family and culture

You will probably live in an urban area on the mainland or other outlying areas. It’s common for both parents to work long hours, and for grandparents to live with your host family in a small apartment. Respecting your host parents wishes and family time is important. Families prefer to eat together at home on weekdays. Expect to dine out on the weekends, especially for Sunday yum cha (lunch), and perhaps travel to mainland China.

Hong Kong offers plenty of delights for your taste buds. A basic meal consists of fish, meat, eggs, vegetables and rice or noodles, and most dishes are stir-fried or steamed. Salads, raw vegetables and dairy products such as milk or cheese, are available in Hong Kong, but are not common. Many students bring lunch with rice and meat from home to school.

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Language and school

Both English and Chinese (most often Cantonese) are official languages in Hong Kong. You should have a basic knowledge of English before your exchange and be prepared to learn Cantonese. AFS will provide Cantonese classes at the beginning of your stay.

You will attend a secondary school where classes are taught either in English (an EMI) or Chinese (a CMI). EMIs and CMIs are public high schools with a set of core classes and elective subjects like tourism, music, or Chinese literature. Your school will be heavily academically oriented, intensive and demanding. The school year runs from September to July, for about 8 hours a day. Most classes are in the form of lectures and students are expected to wear uniforms.

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Kick-start your future with AFS and discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.

This programme begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations, other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations which will help you maximize your experience, cope with the challenges of navigating a new culture and community as well as gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding throughout your time abroad, and as you return to your home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family the whole way through.

Find out more