The first half of 2020 has placed a lot of strain on Hong Kong-based parents with children boarding back home in the UK, the US or Australia. COVID-19 has seen these parents trying, at times under duress, to navigate the uncertainties of border closures, limited flights and quarantine gauntlets. For some expat families, it’s been an emotionally charged and expensive back half of the school year. Many were lucky enough to make it back to Hong Kong and be together. Parents and students alike displayed nerves of steel – and some serious travel smarts – to be reunited.
Boarding is a special, powerful and forming experience for many students. Many would suggest that it’s an experience worth fighting for – even in a pandemic. We definetely understand the value placed on this experience, and the tradition it begets for many families. So, we were interested to hear about Harrow International School Hong Kong and its proposition of weekly boarding. The school is offering a traditional English boarding experience right in our backyard!
Weekly boarding and wellbeing
Weekly boarding at Harrow sees students depart campus on Friday evenings to spend the weekend with their families. They then return to school on Sunday evening, ready for another week of learning and extra-curricular activities. This option is available for students from Year 6.
According to the Harrow team, families enjoy this programme because it allows most of a student’s school and academic commitments to be met during the week. This means weekends become a time to focus on social and sporting endeavours, bringing balance to busy lives.
A word from a boarder
“My schedule runs from 8am to 6.30pm and is packed with academics and extra curriculars. For me, attending a music or drama rehearsal or even running my own society after school is my time to relax – it’s doing something I enjoy.
“Prep times are usually very well planned and enough time to get everything done. Over the weekend, I often find myself having lunch with a friend or watching YouTube to catch up on my free time.”
– Steven Liu, weekly boarder at Harrow International School Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s only British boarding experience
Boarding at Harrow Hong Kong is built on the core principal of community living. In the British tradition, all Upper School students at the school are assigned to one of 14 houses.
The role of each house is to provide students with a sense of belonging and to promote a feeling of security. It also works to help guide them in their academic and extra-curricular endeavours.
This article first appeared in the June 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.