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Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Old Jun 14th 2020, 4:10 pm
  #1  
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Default Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Hi
we are relocating from Hong Kong to US. I will be working in NYC. We have three kids aged 14,9,5 and we are looking for options around NYC suburbs ( we don’t want to live ib the city but some suburbs commutable by 1 hour travel).
my concern is that my kids are used to IB curriculum and I would like to enroll them in public IB schools
we would chose a district that had this option and is commutable from Time square .

Additinally, would 190k Salary ( pre-tax) is ok for a comfortable lifestyle in an Suburb around NYC for family of 5?

thanks a lot !
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Old Jun 14th 2020, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Hello fellow Hong Konger,

There are a number of threads about what is or isn't comfortable in New York City, but to be honest, $190k in the NYC area for a family of 5 isn't exactly easy street. Some posters have said $200k with teens can be rough. I would think that would probably rule out privates and the number of public's offering IB program are limited, such that you're going to have to let the school sort of determine where it is you'll be living, which will be another hurdle to jump through in addition to the price and travel commute.

What is your long-term goal for the kids? US university? UK university? Return to the expat lifestyle? For the two younger kids the IB- thing isn't that major as far as what they are used to, but for the older kid if they've started down the track than maybe they'll want to continue, or maybe you prefer IB for your kid's long term university plans. We found the bigger issue for us returning from expat assignment to Asia was more social readjustment to American schools rather than any major academic shift (hint: your kid will be ahead at math and probably behind at English, as is the case with many HK transplants back to the US).

Is there any chance of a relocation package? Maybe school fees to an international school?

You can search some school review sites like Niche for IB programs here:

https://www.niche.com/k12/search/sch...ty-metro-area/
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Old Jun 15th 2020, 11:18 am
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

$190K for a family of 5 in NY State? Your not going to be living the high life I'm afraid.

What's the situation with health insurance? Do you know how much they charge? That, along with taxes, might leave you significantly shorter than you think you might be in what is the most (or 2nd most) expensive state in the country.
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Old Jun 15th 2020, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

IB is widespread in US public schools. Sometimes the school is not necessarily "branded" as an "IB school" but there is a robust and vibrant program running inside, almost in a self-contained fashion. I am sure you will find no trouble finding an option that suits.
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Old Jun 15th 2020, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
$190K for a family of 5 in NY State? Your not going to be living the high life I'm afraid. ....
My wife and I lived in the suburbs of New York in 2001-2002, and left for a number of reasons, but arguably the most significant was income v cost of living. Based on my experience I would consider that $190K would be at the very lowest end of what would be tolerable for a family of four, but I note that you are a family of five.

FWIW I would consider $300k to be a reasonable starting point for a stereotypical life in the 'burbs, not exacty "comfortable", but not unpleasant, and that living on $200k will probably leave no financial room for holidays/ travel or savings, and not much for eating out or entertainment.

Could you survive on $190K? Sure, and many families in the NYC area obviously survive on a lot less, but I wouldn't travel half way around the world to "survive" in New York.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 15th 2020 at 12:45 pm.
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Old Jun 15th 2020, 12:36 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

As OP is coming from Hong Kong - I am assuming he or she already has an in-depth understanding of grotesquely overpriced apartments, in far-flung suburbs.
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Old Jun 15th 2020, 5:42 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

The main IB website has a search tool to find schools in particular regions (search New York, New Jersey [Connecticut suburbs too pricey?]). Might take quite a long time to narrow down results.
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Old Jun 15th 2020, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by HDWill View Post
The main IB website has a search tool to find schools in particular regions (search New York, New Jersey [Connecticut suburbs too pricey?]). Might take quite a long time to narrow down results.
There are only 9 public schools in the NYC area listed as IB schools.
Shouldn't be hard to narrow that down.
Although not perfect - greatschools scores are a good place to start ( or at least rule out options).
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Old Jun 15th 2020, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
There are only 9 public schools in the NYC area listed as IB schools.
Shouldn't be hard to narrow that down.
Although not perfect - greatschools scores are a good place to start ( or at least rule out options).
I am not sure this is correct. The lists I have found have a lot more, and don't count Connecticut and New Jersey. As OP said he doesn't want to live in the city that is also relevant.
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Old Jun 15th 2020, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
I am not sure this is correct. The lists I have found have a lot more, and don't count Connecticut and New Jersey. As OP said he doesn't want to live in the city that is also relevant.
They asked for NYC area not New York.
Definitely 9 state schools - 4 are further out from the city
https://www.ibo.org/programmes/find-...ypePublic=true
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Old Jun 15th 2020, 10:05 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
They asked for NYC area not New York.
Definitely 9 state schools - 4 are further out from the city. .....
No they didn't, they asked for "NYC suburbs" (quoted from post #1), further specifying "commutable by 1 hour", which depending on where in NYC the commute it to (I presume they mean Manhattan), would bring in a fair chunk of northern NJ, a large part of Westchester County, most if not all of the other five boroughs of NYC, and the eastern end of Long Island. Far western CT might be a stretch, but is a possibility too.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 15th 2020 at 10:28 pm.
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Old Jun 15th 2020, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

apologies, I was looking at the map which doesn't show all the schools - even on the New York state one there are 93 choices in the list Doesn't sound like it will be too hard to find a school.


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Old Jun 16th 2020, 12:38 am
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

I live in the greater NYC metro area, as others note depending on the kind of lifestyle you want $190k won’t go that far around the NYC metro area especially if you have to live somewhere specific to get in the IB school catchment. I would look on Zillow to see if rentals are available in those areas. In our town rentals are concentrated in areas that go to different schools than the ones we want to send our 2 children to, and with the amount of people moving form the city at present supply could be tighter as well.

Also look at the commute time carefully. The one “fast train” from my town in CT pre COVID-19 was 1h11, but because I had to be in before 8am, my commute was closer to 2h door to desk in and around 1h45-1h50 home. That is drive to station, park, walk to platform, wait for train, train ride (some days delayed) wait to get off the platform at GC (trains were busy), walk 2 blocks from Grand Central, the way home there is no wait to get on the platform, but if you are not 10-15 mins early you may not get a seat.

At 1 hour “front door to desk” you won’t be that far out of the city. Also if you have to drive to the station budget for 2 cars.


Last edited by tht; Jun 16th 2020 at 12:42 am.
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Old Jun 17th 2020, 4:37 am
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Thanks a lot got for the inputs

I am double minded now on the move ... in HK
1 hour travel is considered a lot but hearing from folks 3-4 hours of daily commute is not considered to be bad by local standard in the US
I am trying to avoid the astronomical international school fees in HK for my kids but looks like the added taxes in US wouldn’t let me get much better off anyway ....

the idea is to be able to get a house in suburbs and enjoy the space and lifestyle , ( quite pissed with the Shoe-box apartments in HK)

it’s definitely a tough decision with the salary bracket I am looking at
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Old Jun 17th 2020, 4:40 am
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Default Re: Moving from HK to USA- public IB school options around NYC

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
Hello fellow Hong Konger,

There are a number of threads about what is or isn't comfortable in New York City, but to be honest, $190k in the NYC area for a family of 5 isn't exactly easy street. Some posters have said $200k with teens can be rough. I would think that would probably rule out privates and the number of public's offering IB program are limited, such that you're going to have to let the school sort of determine where it is you'll be living, which will be another hurdle to jump through in addition to the price and travel commute.

What is your long-term goal for the kids? US university? UK university? Return to the expat lifestyle? For the two younger kids the IB- thing isn't that major as far as what they are used to, but for the older kid if they've started down the track than maybe they'll want to continue, or maybe you prefer IB for your kid's long term university plans. We found the bigger issue for us returning from expat assignment to Asia was more social readjustment to American schools rather than any major academic shift (hint: your kid will be ahead at math and probably behind at English, as is the case with many HK transplants back to the US).

Is there any chance of a relocation package? Maybe school fees to an international school?

You can search some school review sites like Niche for IB programs here:

https://www.niche.com/k12/search/sch...ty-metro-area/
my goals for the move are

. avoiding internationals schools fees in HK
. being able to live in a decent size home in the suburbs and enjoy the lifestyle
. kids long term education ( kids have US passports but haven’t lived there yet)
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