Attending an international school can be a great experience for a young child, with exposure to world-class teachers and cutting-edge curriculum methods. You’ve probably heard a lot about Stamford American International School in Hong Kong and its tailored approach to education with individualised learning plans for students. The school also has a unique, problem-based STEMinn (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Innovation) Program, daily classes in Mandarin and Spanish and a huge range of co-curricular activities. But how does that translate to the classroom experience? Nine-year-old student Nick Overbaugh takes us through a typical day of an international school student in Grade 3 in Hong Kong.
How does your day start?
I use the bus to get to school – I leave my house at 7.20am. When I get to school we can play on the 8th floor, the 6th floor, or our floor.
What subjects do you have?
We have mathematics, English, science, art, unit of inquiry, music, drama. That’s about what we do most of the time. I think there might be more … oh yeah, we also have PE, of course!
What’s your favourite part of the day?
It’s usually around 1.15pm, as we do science and it’s almost time to go home from school and see my family. I always like doing experiments in science or using technology.
What’s your favourite class?
English! I always enjoy it. Sometimes we have to write things and sometimes we have to act things. I really enjoyed writing a personal narrative. I wrote about how I moved to Hong Kong. It was very exciting and I was also a bit nervous, but I was in Hong Kong before, so I already knew how it was a lot different than America.
What do you have for lunch?
I bring my own lunch. I am hoping to have a school lunch next year, but the teachers’ lunches look the best in my opinion. Do you do any after-school activities? I do fencing. It’s very interesting – I never did it before and never thought about it. Our coach was an Olympian – I never thought I would meet one!
What’s your least favourite part of the day?
I used to not like math but I am starting to like it a bit more. My teacher convinced me to like it and she’s doing a very good job. The math here is more complex.
Who is your favourite teacher and what do you like about them?
My favourite teacher is my homeroom teacher Ms McIntosh because she always finds a way to pass time and she makes the day feel short – it feels like I came to school just a minute ago.
Do you have homework?
Yes; it’s usually similar to what we do in class, some math and some English. It’s split up so usually it’s a couple of hours over a few days so I space it out. It’s pretty much the same as the homework in America, but it’s harder and I have less of it.
What else would you like to share with readers?
I just find that it is a very good school and there are a lot of interesting things happening. I used to be heartbroken I was not in America anymore, but now I’m starting to really like it.
Stamford American School Hong Kong
25 Man Fuk Road, Ho Man Tin
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This article first appeared in the August/September 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.