Advantages of language courses in Hong Kong

  • Course costs. A week of courses in Hong Kong costs 302 USD. In comparison, prices average at 430 USD/week in the US, and 442 USD/week in the UK.
  • Small groups. Language course students in Hong Kong study in small groups — a maximum of 8 people. This allows the teacher to devote more time and attention to each student.
  • Special training. Language schools in Hong Kong offer in-depth writing practice. In English-language programs, students study advanced grammar and vocabulary. In Chinese courses — traditional and simplified characters. There are also spoken language trainings available to help practice pronunciation and understand the tones of Chinese.
  • Cantonese and Mandarin. Both Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese courses are available in Hong Kong. Mandarin is more common — it is spoken throughout China[1]. In Hong Kong itself, people communicate in Cantonese[2]. If you are planning to study or work here, it is best to know this dialect.
  • Visas. Student visas for language courses are processed by the chosen language school. Moreover, you do not need to be present in Hong Kong — a ready-made visa is sent by mail.

Disadvantages of language courses in Hong Kong

  • University courses. University language courses in Hong Kong are available only for students of these universities[3]. If you are looking to engage in student life or apply to a university through a Pathway program, choosing another country is your best option.
  • Accommodation. Language schools in Hong Kong do not provide accommodation for students. Most often, students live in rented apartments, hostels, and hotels.
  • High prices. The average cost of living in Hong Kong is 1,077 USD/month[4]. This is comparable to prices in popular destinations: for example, the US — 1,361 USD/month[5] and Great Britain — 1,124 USD/month[6]. Living is also cheaper in Beijing, where people often go to learn Chinese — 749 USD per month[7].

Cost of language courses in Hong Kong

SchoolProgramNumber of weeksCourse costCitiesApartmentsHostels
Q LanguageIntensive English / Chinese 15*1-4387-1,358 USD

Hong Kong

1,826 USD/month13 USD/day
Intensive English / Chinese 24*620-2,169 USD
Intensive English / Chinese 15*2-12 months2,656-10,530 USD
Intensive English / Chinese 24*4,075-16,770 USD
International Language CenterWeekday Morning Class (English) 4*81,087 USDHong Kong1,826 USD/month13 USD/day
Weekday Morning Class (Chinese) 4*959 USD
Saturday Morning Class (English) 3*101,087 USD
Saturday Morning Class (Chinese) 3*959 USD
Intensive Group Schedule (English) 3*20 days2,302 USD
Intensive Group Schedule (Chinese) 3*1,918 USD
Private English lessonsIndividual2,366-4,668 USD**
Private Chinese lessons1,663-3,581 USD**

* number of hours per week

** individual programs are divided into modules of 30 and 60 hours, the cost is indicated for 1 module.

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Types of English courses in Hong Kong

Type of programIntensityGroupMin. language levelAvg. cost per week
General English10-155Beginner

136 USD

Semi-Intensive English6-96-8Beginner237 USD
Intensive English15-246-8Beginner473 USD
Business English20-256-8Beginner368 USD
Conversational English10-155Beginner136 USD
English Writing Course10-155Beginner136 USD
Private LessonsIndividual1-2Beginner70 USD/lesson
  • General English lessons. Usually last 8 or 10 weeks. Available for any language level.
  • Intensive English. More intensive programs for those who want to learn English in a shorter amount of time. Duration — from 1 week to 12 months.
  • Semi-Intensive English. A course with an intensity of 6-9 hours a week, made particularly for those who are not ready to devote a lot of time to language learning. Lessons are held in the morning or evening for 2 hours a day. Duration — from 1 week to a year.
  • Business English. Courses for those who plan to work in English-speaking countries. In the classroom, students learn special vocabulary and develop presentation and negotiation skills. Duration — from 1 week to 12 months.
  • Conversational English. English for real life situations. During the course, students learn how to introduce themselves to strangers, ask for directions, contact a bank or hospital, and much more. Duration — 8-10 weeks.
  • Writing courses. Practical courses for those who want to improve their writing skills. Beginners are taught the basics of grammar and spelling, while advanced students are taught how to make speech more interesting with advanced vocabulary. Duration — 8-10 weeks.
  • Private lessons. Individual lessons with a teacher. They allow the student to study at their own convenience, independently choosing the intensity (1-20 hours per week) and duration of their classes.

Types of Chinese courses in Hong Kong

Type of programIntensityGroupMin. language levelAvg. cost per week
Intensive Mandarin / Cantonese15-246-8Beginner387-620 USD
One-to-One Mandarin / Cantonese1-201-3Beginner55 USD/lesson
HSK / AP Test PreparationIndividual5Beginner128 USD
Chinese Writing CourseIndividual5Beginner128 USD
  • Intensive Mandarin / Cantonese. Intensive General Chinese courses. Schools in Hong Kong offer both Mandarin and Cantonese courses. Duration — from 1 week to 12 months. Available for any level of Chinese.
  • HSK / AP Preparation. Preparation courses for language exams. Available for any language level, though the duration and intensity of the classes depend on it.
  • Chinese Writing course. Students study traditional and simplified characters, as well as practice reading and writing skills in Cantonese and Mandarin. The duration and intensity depends on the initial language level. Courses are divided into modules of 60 hours. Upon completion of the module, students move up to a more advanced group.
  • One-to-One Mandarin / Cantonese. Individual lessons. The student can choose the intensity and duration of their lessons. Courses can also be taken in small groups of up to 3 people.

University courses

Courses at Hong Kong universities are available to those who have already enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, but do not have sufficient knowledge of English or Chinese for their studies[3]. As a rule, such programs last 1-2 academic years.

Universities also allow you to take the international IELTS exam and the standardized HSK test (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi).

Features of admission to language schools in Hong Kong

Enrollment to language schools takes place all year round. Classes start every Monday.

For admission to Hong Kong language schools, you need to:

  • Apply through the official website of the school
  • Pay for the chosen course and registration fee
  • Receive an invitation from the school
  • Provide documents for a visa (pay the consular and delivery fees)

Language schools help students with visa processing and document translation. The processing time for a Hong Kong student visa can take up to 6 weeks.

On the first day of school, students take a test in order to determine their level of English or Chinese. After that, they are divided into groups. Some schools offer online testing on their website before arrival to Hong Kong.

Taking language courses in Hong Kong

University language courses are only available to their respective students, with the main aim of the curriculum being preparation for higher education studies. Classes are held in the format of lectures and seminars, having a fixed duration and schedule.

Language schools offer more varied and flexible courses. General and Intensive English courses can be supplemented with IELTS/TOEFL preparation, Business English lessons, or conversational and writing practice.

Chinese can be studied both in General and Intensive programs, as well as in special courses for reading, writing, or Business purposes. Both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese courses are offered in Hong Kong.

Schools in Hong Kong do not organize extracurricular activities. However, teachers and staff are always ready to give advice on how to spend free time in the city. Moreover, language schools are located in central areas of Hong Kong — within walking distance of tennis courts, dance schools, and city attractions. Language course students walk around the city, explore museums and galleries, or get together to visit Disneyland.

Furthermore, language schools do not provide students with accommodation in a host family or residence. Students usually rent apartments together with other classmates or live in hotels and hostels.

Accommodation options while studying in Hong Kong

Accommodation optionsMealsNumber of people per roomAvg. cost
ApartmentNone1-3422 USD/week
Hotel1-2940120 USD/day
Hostel1-1210013 USD/day

Additional expenses

ExpenseAvg. cost
Consular fee21 USD
Registration fee64 USD
Visa delivery by courier37 USD
Airport transfer69 USD

Cost of UniPage services

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Visa for language courses in Hong Kong

A student visa is necessary to take language courses in Hong Kong. As a rule, it is processed by the chosen language school or university. The student provides scans of the necessary documents, and the staff of the educational institution sends them to the migration service. When the visa is ready, it is sent to the student by mail or courier service.

Documents for a Hong Kong student visa:

  • Completed and signed visa application form with an attached photo
  • Foreign passport with blank pages and a validity period of more than 6 months
  • Copies of active passport pages
  • Proof of financial solvency — bank statement, income statement, scholarship award letter, etc.
  • Invitation letter for language course enrollment

For underage students, you will also need:

  • Parental consent to travel abroad
  • Accommodation booking in Hong Kong
Work while taking a language course in Hong Kong

Work on a student visa is prohibited in Hong Kong. For violation of this ban, foreigners can be deported and banned from receiving a visa in the future.

Most popular language schools in Hong Kong

Q Language

Q Language opened in Hong Kong in 1999. It offers courses in English, Mandarin, Cantonese Chinese, and even Korean.

The school offers two types of intensive English and Chinese courses: 15 and 24 hours a week. Short-term courses last from 1 to 4 weeks, longer ones — from 2 to 12 months. Courses can be adapted to the goals and objectives of each student. For example, they can add elective classes in Business English or international exam preparation.

The average course cost is 387 USD per week.

International Language Centre

ILC Language School has been teaching English and Chinese for over 10 years.

They offer general and intensive programs, courses for Business English, as well as practical training in speaking and writing. You can work individually or in groups of 5.

The school offers several scheduling options, allowing you to study on weekends or evenings.

The cost of the Chinese course is 972 USD, while the English course is 1,087 USD for 8 weeks.

Hong Kong for learning English and Chinese

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China. It is autonomous in resolving internal issues, has its own visa policy, and is known for its Cantonese dialect.

  • World recognition. There are 7 major universities in Hong Kong. Among them are the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, which are regularly included in the world’s top 50 universities according to QS[8].
  • Rich culture. Hong Kong is an international port and a major financial center in Asia. Due to the abundance of foreigners who come to the area to work or study, different cultures and nationalities mix here. Students who choose to study English or Chinese in this city can practice by interacting with locals.
  • Nature. Hong Kong is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by picturesque mountains, where students of language schools often go hiking. In addition, the city has many parks and squares.
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