What types of schools do most expats in your city choose for their children?
International schools are the most common education options for expats. The majority of these are based on either an American or British curriculum and commonly are Christian-value centered. Other options include Chinese, French, German, and Japanese Schools. Class size is limited in most of the international schools and new students will not be admitted if the limit has been reached for a particular grade or in the ESL program. Entrance is sometimes based on competence and is determined by the entrance examination. Most schools do not accept children with special needs. Tuitions range up to about 24 million won per year, with additional fees for bus transportation and supplies. School tuition fees are posted on the individual school websites, so you can get the most up-to-date information online.
To get a sense of whether or not the school is a good fit for your child/children, try to visit the facility during school hours.
What are some examples of these schools?
- Chadwick International School (CIS) - Curriculum based on the International o Baccalaureate Organization, kindergarten through year 8.
- Deutsche Schule - German curriculum, pre-school, kindergarten through grade 12.
- Dulwich College Seoul - opened for first academic school year 2010-2011; follows British curriculum and located in Bangbae-dong.
- Korean International School - American curriculum, kindergarten through grade 12. Started in 2000; now has two campuses.
- Lycee Francaise de Seoul - French curriculum, entry age 2.5 years to 18 years.
- Seoul Foreign School (SFS)- Both British and American curricula, pre-school through grade 12.
- Seoul International School (SIS) - American curriculum, junior kindergarten through grade 12. The student body is predominantly Koreans with foreign passports.
- Yongsan International School Seoul (YISS) - American curriculum with religious instruction, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
Is there a lot of competition for spots in local schools?
Several of the more popular international schools can have waiting lists for certain grades. It is best to apply as early as possible before the start of the school year in order to secure a spot for your child. Prior to coming to Korea, parents are able to go to the school websites and start the registration process online to see what is required by the school's admission office. A number of new international schools have been established in Seoul in the last 5 years, so this has helped provide parents with more options for their children.
Are pre-schools also widely available (for children approx. 2 to 5 years old)?
International kindergartens & pre-schools are available for foreign residents in Seoul. Some international schools offer pre-school programs, but there are also stand-alone pre-schools in some of the areas in which expats tend to live and work. The fees may be much higher than what you are used to paying in your home country, as not all companies cover pre-school fees. Typically, children must be at least 2 1/2 - 3 years old or older to attend these schools.
Bright Beginnings is an English Preschool in Seongbuk-dong for children aged from 3 and up. Tel: 010-9895-9331.
British International Kindergarten (BIK) is located in Hannam-dong in Yongsan-gu and offers programs for children from the ages of two to seven. Tel: 02-790-9025.
ECLC International Kindergarten is an Early Years school for children aged 2 1/2 to 6 years and is located in Hannam-dong in Yongsan-gu. Tel: 02-795-8418.
Franciscan Foreign Kindergarten is a certified international kindergarten for children aged 2 to 6 years. The school is located in Hannam-dong. Tel: 02-798-2195.
Kids of the Nation International School (KONIS) offer a Montessori Program in English in Pyeoungchang-dong. Tel: 02-3217-9030.
Namsan International Kindergarten (NIK), located in the Yongsan-gu end of Jung-gu, is a registered early years school for children aged 2 1/2 to 6 years. Tel: 02-2232-2451.
Rainbow International Kindergarten (R.I.S.), located in Gangnam in the Yeoksam area of Seoul, has provided English education for 3 - 6-year-olds since it opened in 2006. Tel: 02-571-2185.
How are most kids transported to and from school?
By school bus, all the international schools run an extensive school bus route that services the popular expat neighborhoods. It is always advisable to check out the bus routes in relation to your housing and determine the length of the bus ride for your child/children. Parents are often concerned about long bus rides for their kids, but most children don’t seem to mind them. It is actually here where they can socialize and make friends with other kids living in their neighborhood.
When does the typical school year start and end?
Most international schools start their academic school year sometime in August and end in June.
Is there anything else I should know about local schools?
Mixed in among the expat students are Koreans with foreign passports or who have lived abroad and meet certain requirements at the international schools. Since learning English is very important to Koreans and many of them wish to have their children attend universities abroad, attending an international school is an attractive option to many affluent Koreans. Consequently, a number of international schools have a large Korean population, sometimes over 90%. Although not always the case, it is sometimes difficult for foreign students to adapt to the education culture in these schools, one that is extremely competitive and where their classmates may spend hours in after-school academic institutions and/or with private tutors.
Contact the school or Crown Seoul for more details.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.