Education Enrichment Kids

Need help applying for university?

Ampla Education provides after-school tuition and admissions consulting services to help students with preparation for boarding school and university applications. Here, we chat to the founder of the Hong Kong-based company to find out more about its offerings.

Personal experience

As the director of education services provider Ampla, it seems fitting that JULIANNA YAU’s own experience as a student straddled four countries and three different continents.

“I was born in Canada, and I grew up in Hong Kong,” says Julianna. “I then boarded at Badminton School in Bristol in the UK, and went to Cambridge (where I read Maths). That was followed by a teaching course in the US, at Stanford.”

Experiencing these four different education systems has proved beneficial. “It means I can incorporate and integrate the best elements of each system into our programmes at Ampla.”

So, what kind of student was she? “I guess I was quite versatile. At school, I was the studious maths student and sports team captain. At university, I was also the studious maths student and social club president!”

Getting the best out of students

While Julianna has clearly lived up to the promise she showed as a student, it was the number of young people she saw in Hong Kong who weren’t able to fulfil their capacity for academic achievement that gave her the idea for the business.

“I was seeing lots of students with great potential, but they were lacking the opportunity to fully realise their skills. That’s why I established Ampla Education. The idea was to help students achieve their goals by delivering niche mentorship programmes catered to individual needs.”

In addition to these mentorship programmes, Ampla provides school and university admissions consultations, which include discussing application strategies, arranging school visits, editing personal statements, coaching for interviews and preparing for exams, both face-to-face and online. “We also offer intellectual enrichment classes in STEAM, public speaking and debating to promote a well-rounded education,” adds Julianna.

Accessible education

With the business deriving its name from the Latin word meaning “opportunity”, it’s no surprise that at the heart of the Ampla ethos is the idea of making quality education easily accessible to all. “For the past few years, we’ve been providing free university application workshops to under-resourced local students, and supporting girls’ literacy development projects to reduce gender inequality,” says Julianna.

In 2019, the team supported the construction of two schools in Cambodia, and they’re hoping to create more learning opportunities through improved classroom conditions.

All of this is headed up by a group of Oxbridge and Ivy League educated tutors. “They combine the best teaching methods from across the world and have expert knowledge in Hong Kong, British, American and Canadian school curricula,” says Julianna. This means classes can be tailor-made specifically to every student’s needs. “We not only consolidate their existing knowledge, but we also explore topics not covered at school; this way, we promote an interest and enjoyment of learning through a series of fun yet challenging activities.”

Pens down!

Of course, nobody can study all day – nor should they. “I think downtime is just as important as studying,” says Julianna. Her own hobbies when she’s not on the job are playing music and doing aerial sports. (“They’re a good way to keep my mind sharp so I can easily focus at work.”)

“Having said that,” she continues, “it doesn’t mean you can’t have downtime while learning at the same time.” It’s for this reason that Ampla is launching an “edu-tainment” branch of the business that will combine education and entertainment to transform children’s parties into a thrilling adventure.

“The idea is to host interactive mystery parties for children – complete with props – at the venue of their choice. We hope to help them learn through play as they immerse themselves in our interactive detective stories.”

Sounds cool. (But never too cool for school, of course!)

Find out more about Ampla’s offerings at ampla-edu.com.


Read more in our Kids section:

How to engage with lonely teens
Questions every expat parent asks
Guide to international schools in Hong Kong

This article first appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.