‘Cos you’re never too old to learn something new!
As we all know, being a parent is busy! In between diaper changes, school runs and your children’s extracurricular activities, it’s also important to find time for yourself. Not just for a mama’s night out, but to foster your own interests and to expand on new or existing skills and crafts. If you’ve been yearning to learn a new language or take up photography, there’s no time like the present! It’s important to keep learning throughout our lives. Whether it’s a weekend workshop, evening hobby class, or further education you’re looking for, we have rounded up some of the most interesting and reputable courses and classes for adults in Hong Kong.
You’re in Hong Kong – what better time to learn Mandarin or Cantonese? This being an expat city, there are plenty of other options if you want to start picking up another language. We’ve rounded up some of the city’s top schools.
Always wanted to learn Mandarin as a second language? MSL Master is here to help you become fluent and understand Chinese culture while you are at it. Its Mandarin classes are for adults and are taught by April Zhang, a well-reputed Mandarin teacher, who is also the author of two series of Chinese textbooks and many articles on Chinese teaching and learning. In addition, you are supported with free online resources for many learning tips and insights.
Always innovative in its approach, MSL will launch a Chinese Learning Pen in June 2020. The new technology allows MSL textbooks to be produced with high-quality native Chinese voicing and English explanation integrated into their pages. Students will be able to access all the lessons and associated support through the learning pen and follow the MSL Chinese curriculum anywhere, anytime.
Only for Sassy Mama Hong Kong readers, MSL is offering a 5% discount on the Intensive Mandarin Programme in November. Mention this article when you register before Monday, 28 October 2019 to claim your discount.
The Hong Kong Institute of Languages offers the opportunity for both general and business-related language learning from beginner to advanced levels. It conducts face-to-face teaching in small groups or private lessons with qualified native speakers in a variety of languages, including English, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. With a proven track record and the flexibility to choose the level and reason for your study, The Hong Kong Institute of Languages makes it easy and fun to learn.
Hong Kong Pro Language School
Hong Kong Pro Language School’s main focus is to provide quality language learning in Mandarin and Cantonese, as well as French and English. What makes this language school unique is its flexibility. Whether it’s a classroom learning environment or a private tutor, Hong Kong Pro Language has you covered. Even if you want to learn from the comfort of your own home, enrol for its online courses (which means you can brush up on your language skills after the kids have been put to bed!).
More Language Classes:
HKU SPACE – Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Turkish, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Polish
Gaia Language – Chinese, Spanish, English, Latin
Sunny Day HK – Arabic, Cantonese, English, French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish
The Spanish Cultural Association of Hong Kong – Spanish
International Language Centre – Chinese, English, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish
Yale-China Chinese Learning Centre – Cantonese and Mandarin, with the option of applying for a government subsidy.
Language World – English, Cantonese, Mandarin
MI Language – English, Cantonese, Mandarin
Always wanted to write a book or just get better at your personal blog? Here are some places that can help.
Hong Kong Writer’s Circle (HKWC)
The Hong Kong Writer’s Circle (HKWC) established itself in 1991 as an organisation for writers of all levels. For a small annual fee, you’ll get access to a network of professional writing connections, feedback, critiques, workshops, retreats and more throughout the year. HKWC is a great way to share and improve your writing by connecting and sharing with others.
HKU SPACE –Writing Life Stories
The Hong Kong University School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE) offers plenty of further education programmes and courses on writing. It also has part-time study and workshop events too, like the Writing Life Stories course. For three hours, on eight Saturdays, Writing Life Stories will help you turn memories into memoirs. You will be instructed and encouraged to gather your own life story and origins, or perhaps that of your family, under the direction of Dr Gillian Bickley. The class discusses how to obtain and validate information, how to discover your voice and relate to your intended audience. In combination with writing exercises and assigned reading, the course ends with sharing your written work.
More Writing Courses:
British Council English for Adults – Improvement of written English
Looking to nurture your inner Van Gogh or use your time in Hong Kong to try Chinese ink painting? Check out these top-notch venues for a variety of art classes.
Art Rooftop teaches students the methods and techniques of classical renaissance art. Professor Sergei Rozhnov graduated from a top Russian Academy at the St. Petersburg Academical Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and has brought his expertise to Hong Kong. From portraits, human anatomy nude figure drawing, watercolour and more, Art Rooftop has something for beginners and more advanced artists who are looking to improve on their craft. You can also sign up for Art Rooftop’s annual membership to get access to everything it has to offer year-round.
Art Rooftop, 1/F, 17-19 Yik Yam Street, Happy Valley, Hong Kong, 5431 4221, www.artrooftop.com
Anastassia’s Art House has been open since 1998 and has established itself as a reputable Russian Art Academy with a variety of locations available in Hong Kong. The aim of Anastassia’s Art House is to teach the Russian and Western tradition of fine art in a variety of mediums, all taught by acclaimed artists and instructors. From oil and acrylic painting to drawing, watercolour, portrait and human anatomy study, art history, workshops and masterclasses with a large and flexible schedule, you’ll be able to find time to be creative no matter what your schedule is like.
More Art Courses:
Two-Part Studio – Pottery, drawing (portrait/still-life/oil/pencil)
Chocol’art – Pencil, watercolour, oil and acrylic painting
Studio 83 – Oil and acrylic painting
Banana Art Club – Watercolour, acrylic and Chinese painting
Danny Liu Wing Hung – Ink Art
Read more: How To Introduce Your Children To Art
You’ve probably had plenty of practice with this, capturing every little moment of your baby’s life, from the first smile to the first day of school. Or if you’re a foodie and an Instagramaholic, you probably love snapping up beautifully-plated dishes when you actually make it for a mama’s night out. These are some of the places where you can hone your talent and put that thoughtful gift from your partner (even if the DSLR did come after a lot of prompting!) to good use.
Hong Kong Photography Workshop
With a goal to make photography accessible to everyone (because reading a camera manual just makes it hard work!), Hong Kong Photography workshop has been offering courses and private classes in English since 2011. From beginners’ classes and camera basics, to street and night photography courses, the experienced and reputed instructors will show how to capture all the best angles and how to work a camera.
The Photography Institute
The Photography Institute offers a comprehensive online course for photography that allows you to learn at your own pace, which is perfect for any busy mama or papa. Using an online platform, you’ll have access to your instructor as you work your way through the specially-designed course modules. They have been crafted by some of the best in the business, to give you the knowledge and skills to take photos like a pro. There are 12 modules and 12 assignments to complete and you can take anywhere between 12 weeks to 12 months to complete them. 24/7 student support is available throughout the course and you can also connect with other students on the group’s Facebook page. So whether you want to make photography a serious hobby or start a new career, The Photography Institute makes it easy for you to acquire the skills you need to get there.
The Photography Institute, 11/F, Dah Sing Life Building, 99 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong, www.thephotographyinstitute.hk
More Photography Courses:
Want to have the confidence to get up on stage and perform? Or maybe all you are looking for is a way to improve your public speaking, dance away your worries or sing Christmas carols with your kids. Whatever the reason (for a hobby or professionally), here are some of the places that will help you fulfil your dreams.
Hong Kong Players
Hong Kong Players is Hong Kong’s longest-running community theatre group, having originated in 1844! Whether you want to act, direct, or get involved backstage, there is a place for everyone within Hong Kong Players. If you want to act, there’s an audition process for the company’s shows (don’t get intimidated – the aim is still to have fun!). With a thriving community and workshops that are held throughout the year, it’s a great place to get involved with theatre.
Hong Kong Theatre Association Ltd. (HKTA)
Founded in 2007, the Hong Kong Theatre Association (HKTA) aims to enrich art and cultural development in Hong Kong while training, encouraging and nurturing acting talent. HKTA offers three, 10-week acting courses for adults throughout the year with the focus on character and text analysis (while also doing voice work and body exploration). While the courses are mainly taught in French, there are also additional courses in English. HKTA’s courses help nurture the individual talent of each actor and are a great place to go if you’re looking to improve and get involved within the theatre community.
More Theatre Courses:
American Vocal Studio
American Vocal Studio is an elite studio with some top-notch vocal teachers that are available to teach in whatever vocal style you’re looking for, such as pop, musical theatre, classical, jazz or rock. It offers group classes in the evening for a cheaper rate, but also has private lessons with the instructor that best suits the style you’re wishing to learn. American Vocal Studio also hosts workshops on Home Audio Recording and Pop Recording if you’re looking to get the perfect sound at home.
Red Vocal Academy
Established in 2011, Red Vocal Academy has been the go-to training centre for all types of singing, from classical to contemporary and choir. The Showchoir is available for those aged 12 to 23 but its Total Vocal Method programme is open for adults and provides all-round vocal training in three levels. It also offers private lessons for adults and will have you singing like a pro in no time.
Red Vocal Academy, 603 Park Commercial Centre, 180 Tung Lo Wan Road, Tin Hau, Hong Kong, 3468 5421
Red Vocal Academy, Shop 208A, 2/F, West 9 Zone, No. 38 Cherry Street, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2609 1123
Red Vocal Academy, 2303, Hon Kwok Jordan Centre, 7 Hillwood Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3426 9885, www.redvocal.com
More Singing Courses:
Aspire Music is a contemporary music school offering lessons in drums, bass, guitar, piano and voice. It has an international and local base of instructors with a friendly environment and spacious rooms to learn in. Packages, private and group lessons are available for adults at all levels and its online booking platform makes it easy for you to sign up and get playing as soon as possible!
Tom Lee Music
Founded in 1953, Tom Lee Music is a Hong Kong staple and its shops are practically everywhere, making it a convenient choice for instrument purchase and music lessons. It has an extensive list of lessons from piano, brass, woodwind, string, percussion, guitar and bass music lessons. Additionally, you have the choice between group lessons or 45 to 60-minute private lessons, as well as events and masterclasses not found anywhere else in Hong Kong.
More Music Courses:
Dance Trinity is your one-stop shop for everything dance, with pole dancing, salsa, ballet, Bollywood, belly dancing, hip hop, jazz and more, it has an abundance of adult classes for dancers of all abilities. What’s more it also offers drop-in classes, as well as discount cards and passes, so that you can try a variety of classes to discover the ones you like best! Once you’re ready to commit, 3 to 4-week courses are also available so you can continue to improve on your dance style of choice.
350 dance classes per month! You read that right! Whatever your dance level or schedule, StudioDanz has a class that will work for you. Groups classes of urban dance, jazz, hip hop and contemporary are some of its specialities. You can drop-in or buy a package of classes at one of its two enormous studio locations. So whether you’re looking to perform, get fit, or just looking for a new challenge, Studiodanz has a dance class for you.
StudioDanz, Unit 3, 13/F, Eastern Centre, 1065 King’s Road, Hong Kong, 2576 7622
More Dance Courses:
Baking & Cooking
This is another area where you’ve had plenty of practice! Some of you may find baking creative and cooking therapeutic, while others are just looking for innovative ways to feed the fam. Here are some of places you can improve your culinary skills.
The Mixing Bowl believes that everyone can learn how to bake. It wants to show how fun and rewarding baking your own bread and desserts can be, regardless of your space or appliances. The instructors come from illustrious baking backgrounds and offer three-hour classes, with a focus on making a set dish (check each month’s calendar to see what’s new and different). With classes teaching you to make a variety of cakes, desserts, homemade pasta, traditional Hong Kong delicacies and speciality bread, it has your baking education covered.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to bake Instagram-worthy cakes, then you need to check out Complete Deelite. You’ll learn how to make a variety of flavours of cakes with phenomenal décor by one of Hong Kong’s best cake decorators. Jacinta Yu has been in the cake business since 2011, inspiring and educating people from all over the world on the art of cake decoration. Being certified herself, Jacinta also offers Wilton and PME decoration certification courses if you’re aiming for a career change or that next level challenge.
More Baking Classes:
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cook traditional Hong Kong Chinese food, you need to visit Martha Sherpa. She’s a native Hong Konger with a professional Chinese cooking background. She teaches everything from dim sum to Chinese roast, vegetarian cuisine and Thai cooking. With the course schedule available online, you’re only an email away from learning how to make scrumptious Chinese meals for yourself and your family. If you would like to send your domestic helper for these classes, Martha will help her learn all the typical meals that a Chinese family would eat at home.
Hong Kong New Oriental Culinary Art
Professional instructors, team building, group classes, and themed courses on a variety of diverse ranges of cooking are just a fraction of what Hong Kong New Oriental Culinary Art has to offer. From international cuisine, desserts, baking, bread, dumplings and coffee art, the learning and cooking opportunities are endless. What’s more, if you sign up for 12 or more classes you’ll get special membership-only offers.
More Cooking Classes:
Looking to take your schooling to the next level or maybe start a new career? Hong Kong has a ton of places where you can further your education, from certificates, diplomas, degrees (under-graduate, post-graduate and nano) and more, even if you are pressed for time.
Part-time & flexi-time
Do take a look at what the City University of Hong Kong has to offer. Its Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, for instance, is a part-time course, normally completed in two years. However, busy parents may need to take it a bit slower and thankfully, the maximum period of study for this degree is four years. HKU SPACE courses are also ideal for busy parents and working mothers. If you’re looking at a professional degree in a language to open career doors for you, consider its part-time Bachelors and Masters programmes in various languages.
Looking to start or re-enter the exciting dining business in Hong Kong? International Culinary Institute (ICI) offers a Professional Diploma in International Culinary Arts and Management (QF Level 4). The classes include one full-day session every Thursday, for one year. This programme aims at strengthening in-service practitioners’ culinary skills, knowledge and capability in improving operational effectiveness as well as management skills.
Needless to say, depending on your area of interest and preferred learning times, you can also look online for some of these courses. The Savannah College of Art and Design Hong Kong (SCAD Hong Kong) offers 22 world-class undergraduate and graduate programmes in 15 disciplines. The good news is that a large number of these are offered online. From an M.A. in Design Management to an M.F.A. in Photography, you can take your pick.
While looking online, you can cast your net wider and look at acquiring degrees from all over the world. Look at Future Learn and Coursera to get your Masters from reputed global universities, while picking up nanodegrees, diplomas and certifications from Udacity, Udemy and General Assembly.