Hey there! If you're reading this you're probably thinking about or planning to moving to Korea. Moving to Korea for the first time can be an incredible cultural experience; one of the most exciting aspects of Korea is its mixture of tradition and modernity, from the contrast between modern skyscrapers and ancient architecture to the blending of traditional values with globalized cultural attitudes.
But there are of course challenges that come with international moving as well. If you're a student and your Korean language skills aren't the greatest, finding a school or adjusting to the Korean education system can be difficult. On this page you will find some introductory information about the different kinds of schooling options available in Korea.
This is the most straightforward option for most families. Public schools are free of tuition and even provide free quality
lunches for students until 6th grade. However, it may difficult to deal with language and cultural barriers
at first. Click here for more information on local Korean schools, including private schools.
Foreign and International Schools
If you are looking to continue your education in an English-speaking environment following the US or a British
curriculum, there are several international and foreign schools in Korea available.
There are two different categories of international schools. Foreign schools (외국인학교) admit students who have a non-Korean passport or have lived overseas for at least 3 years. International schools (국제학교), however, have no such criteria in the admissions process. Another major difference between these two categories is that the Korean Ministry of Education only recognizes diplomas from international schools. In practice, this means that a student who graduates from a foreign school must take a Korean GED (검정고시) in order to apply to Korean colleges whereas an international school graduate does not need to. International schools have several Korean core subjects such as Korean History in its graduation requirements. Annual tuition at most international schools is quite costly, typically running anywhere between 20-35K USD. More information on international schools can be found here.
For some of you, online schooling might be your best bet for various reasons. First, you can choose to be a single-
course or full-time student at an online school based in the US (or other countries). There are largely two types of
online schools: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous means taking live, interactive classes with your teachers
and peers whereas asynchronous means working on academic materials at your own pace. Online school tuition
varies on your enrollment status as a single course, part-time, or full time student. You can find more information on
online schools here. For information about taking standardized tests such as SAT, ACT or AP, please see the homeschooling page.
In practice, you can homeschool but the ministry of education will not provide a support system. The homeschooling population in Korea is quite small, so it is difficult to find support groups. Homeschooling is particularly challenging in Korea if your main language of education is English. While homeschool students following the Korean curriculum have access to a variety of online and offline education resources (workbooks/문제집, online lectures/인강, hagwons/학원), resources for those following the American/British curriculum in Korea are scarce or quite expensive. As academics become more rigorous, most homeschoolers will make use of online schools. Check out this page for more online school and home school information.
*If you find that any information here needs updating or would like to add information, let us know through the Contact page or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!