Find and Compare International Schools in Seoul, Korea
All about international schools in Seoul and international schools in Korea. You have no idea what is international schooling like in Korea? The website, internationalschoolsinkorea.com, is built to offer the best international school information in Korea. Located on our website is a comprehensive set of resources about international schools in the Seoul area and all over South Korea for parents, teachers, students and any international school-related individuals. So if you are looking for an international school in Korea, don’t go further, you’ve found the right site. “International Schools in Korea” provides the best information, tips, and advice for your school-searching journey!
Pick the Best International School in Korea
With this site, parents can pick the best international school that will help their child adjust and flourish in Korea. Finding the right international school for your child in a new country is one of the most challenging tasks parents can undertake. However, with so many great international schools in Seoul, it can be difficult for any parent to figure out which school would be the best for your child.
With its booming population of expats, international schools in Seoul, Korea are varied and plentiful. Tuition can be on the expensive side, ranging from $20,000 – 35,000. However, the price matches quality: you can be assured that your daughter or son is not lagging behind in their education. This is especially true for families whose stay in Korea is only temporary or who are constantly moving back and forth between Korea and their home country. While the majority of the students are ethnically Korean, the classes and teachers at most international schools in Seoul are certified and speak English at the fluency level.
Two Types of Korean international schools in Korea: Foreign School vs International School
There are two different types of schools for international students in Korea: International School and Foreign School. While they might sound similar, there actually is a stated difference between the two, over whether Korean nationals can attend the school and receive a Korean certified high school diploma. Expats or foreign nationals can attend both types of school, and there is no significant difference for the foreign-passport holders. As a result, the distinction is mostly important for Korean nationals rather than international students. However, the distinction is mainly legal, so the term “international school” gets used often for both types of schools globally.
✔️Foreign School in Korea
Location: All over South Korea
Numbers of Schools: 40 (as of 2018) with 19 in Seoul, 6 in Gyeonggido, 5 in Busan area
Languages School Use: 26 schools for English speakers, 1 for German speakers, 8 for Chinese speakers, 2 for French speakers, 2 for Japanese speakers, and 1 for Mongal speakers
Purpose: Foreign schools cater to international families and Koreans: 1. who do not speak Korean, so they can’t catch up to a Korean public school curriculum. 2. who face a culture gap and wouldn’t feel comfortable in school
Eligibility: This type of school has very strict eligibility rules:1. Korean nationals who lived overseas for more than 3 years (limit to 30% of the total quota)2. Foreign nationals / Koreans with foreign passport parents
To gain a Korean Diploma: Foreign schools don’t give you a Korean High School diploma, so if you would like to apply for a Korean University, you have to take a Korean GED test.
✔️International School in Korea
Location: Only in Korea Free Economic Zones and Jeju Free International City
Number of Schools: 6 with 4 in Jejudo, 1 in Incheon, 1 in Daegu ( Chadwick/ Branksome Hall Asia / NLCS / KIS JEJU / Johnsberry/ Daegu International School)
Language School Use: English
Purpose: International schools are made to improve the English language skills of Koreans and to help them develop into global-minded citizens in addition to improving local city relations and economy
Diploma: A Korean high school diploma is available if the students take a certain amount of credits related to Korean curriculum, making the student eligible to apply to a Korean university
Interesting Facts: Global education during elementary and secondary school has become increasingly important in South Korea, so for those who are not eligible to get into foreign schools, they have begun attend international school despite eligibility issues. Also, international students from international schools have increasingly begun pursuing higher education in Korea rather than going overseas.
International Schools in Korea: Curriculums
Many international schools in Seoul offer a variety of curriculums to choose from including American, British, German, Canadian, International Baccalaureate (IB) world program, Advanced Placement credits, and more. Additionally, if you are looking for a faith-based curriculum, there are both religious and non-religious international schools found in Seoul. These academic programs are coupled together with art programs, athletics, clubs, language-learning, and community engagement.
Each international school differs in the curriculum they offer. But almost all international schools offer the highest quality education for a full range of ages, starting from early education all the way up to high school and university counseling. Some international schools also provide additional services for expat life, including, for example, weekday and full-time boarding for students who live far away from the school grounds. If Korean public schools don’t seem like the best path academically for your child, an international school is the next top choice.
International Schools in Korea: Fees & Tuition
As you can see below tuition is quite hefty and sometimes daunting, usually because of the wide range of academic services and programs provided. Check out each international school to see if they offer scholarships or financial aid. As most Koreans attending international schools in Korea are from wealthy families, most likely there will be scholarships targeting international students. Tuition and fees vary from school to school.
- Dulwich College Seoul: https://seoul.dulwich.org/admissions
- Seoul Foreign School: https://www.seoulforeign.org/admissions/tuition-fees/
- Dwight School Seoul: https://www.dwight.or.kr/admissions/welcome
- Yongsan International School of Seoul: https://media.yisseoul.org/docs/admissions/yiss-tuition-1819.pdf?_ga=2.36990819.2123742967.1563091610-2100933522.1562655374
International Schools Application Tips!
One thing you want to make sure to do is apply to more than one school. Applying to a few schools before your arrival to Korea will give you and your children the valuable opportunity of weighing your decision with actual acceptances in hand. Moreover, because waitlists can get rather long and entrance to some schools can be quite competitive, it is not always guaranteed that your child will be accepted to a certain school. Make sure that you apply to several schools so that you can have at least a few good offers to base your decision off of.
Top 5 Unique Facts About International Schools in Korea
1. Education is a high priority for many Korean families, so competitiveness can get pretty intense
This might mean that you have to prepare yourself and your children for a different academic culture before starting school. International schools in Korea are well known for their high standards and rigorous programs, and university acceptance is almost 100% at every international school. Some parents find a competitive environment beneficial for their child’s academic career, while other parents might feel tired of dealing with this new source of potential stress.
2. The admissions processes differ by international schools in Korea as well as by grade level
That means that the application process for a middle schooler in Korea could differ from an elementary schooler and so on. Moreover, some international schools require a varied number of documents, regardless of age, including passports and birth certificates.
3. If the tuition at an international school is too high and can be a burden to your family, there are alternative schools in Korea you could consider
For example, some families send their kids to alternative schools for English speakers, both in and outside of Seoul. Tuition at these schools is far less expensive and most schools are affiliated with a Christian background. The Korean government does not authorize these schools, but these schools do have educational accreditations from well-known institutions such as Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Council of International Schools (CIS) and International Baccalaureate (IB). Most kids attending these schools are Koreans who want to pursue international curriculum education and then enter overseas universities.
4. The line between foreign school and international school might not be as neatly drawn as we think
Foreign schools are usually schools that are mostly made up of “foreign” students with limited enrollment for ethnic Korean students. International schools are seen as being predominantly open to anyone who can pay the tuition. However, the definitions haven’t been quite so strictly enforced, so don’t be confused if you see them being used interchangeably at times.
5. The Korean and international academic calendars are different, usually
Most Korean calendars begin in March and end in the middle of July. The second semester starts in August and ends in the middle of February. The summer break is short compared to Western calendars, lasting only a few weeks. Winter vacation, on the other hand, can last over a month. Most international schools, however, adopt the Western calendar.
To help you out, here are the Top 10 Considerations parents can keep in mind when it comes to selecting international schools in Korea:
1. How far is the international school from your workplace and what neighborhood is the school in?
Seoul is a big city, maybe more than you had imagined before arriving here. There are approximately 20 million people living in the Seoul metropolitan area. Some international families live fairly far away from the school and use the school bus system. However, Seoul is a major city, and, during rush hour, long traffic jams are not uncommon. As a result, most people who find a place to stay close to the school their children go to tend to be more comfortable and less harried. It also eliminates the possibility that your child may end up spending hours on the school bus.
2. What types of curriculum does each international schools carry? For example: American, British, Canadian, German, French, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB)? How academically challenging is the school and how much homework is given?
If your child is a senior in high school, it is more important to pick the right curriculum, as they will soon be heading to college. Most international schools in Korea are academically challenging with many of the Korean students who attend international schools participating in after-school and private institution math and English classes. As a result, it is not uncommon for Korean students to be several grades ahead of most Western school systems.
3. How much do international schools in Korea cost and does the school offer scholarships and/or financial aid?
Tuition at an international school in Korea is quite expensive. If you don’t receive a subsidy from your workplace, it can take up a huge chunk of your budget. Each school’s tuition is different so check out each school’s tuition and ask them if there are any scholarships your children might be eligible for. Smaller size schools tend to have better tuition options than big major international schools.
4. How diverse is the international schools in Seoul?
Because the size of the expat community is constantly changing due to economic and other factors, most of the students enrolled in international schools are local Korean students. If you’re looking for an international school that consists mainly of international students, then you should check on each school’s website for a breakdown of the student demographics.
5. What kinds of religious affiliations does the school have?
While some of the larger and older international schools were founded and affiliated with the Christian faith, the school accepts students of all religious backgrounds and does not force their students to be involved in religious activities.
6. How big is the international school, including the total number of students and available school facilities?
Usually, a large student body means bigger spaces and facilities. Some parents and students prefer smaller-sized schools and some prefer larger-sized schools with cutting-edge facilities. We recommend you take a school tour and see which school suits you the best.
7. Does the international school offer special education support? What is their policy on bullying and how do they handle such events?
If your child has disabilities, please make sure to ask the school what kind of support system they have for your child. It is not easy to find schools in Korea that provide special education programs, especially for an English-speaking child. Nevertheless, while it can be challenging, it is not impossible to find a place that fits your child’s needs.
8. Does Korea have international boarding schools?
Most international schools in Seoul are non-profit, private school for girls and boys from kindergarten to the 12th grade. Currently, there are no boarding international schools in Seoul because of the convenient public transportation that allows for easy travel back and forth from any school. In other areas of South Korea, especially JeJu Island, which is off the base of the southern peninsula of Korea, all the schools have boarding facilities. Boarding schools allow for a greater variety of choices and locations as well as give parents ease of mind, knowing that their child is being taken of 24/7.
9. What kinds of universities do their students get into?
University acceptance can be an important measurement for choosing the right school. Most international schools in Korea are known for their successful acceptance to universities in the U.S. and all around the world. But remember, international schools in Korea are competitive by nature, so the more a school advertises large numbers of students attending Ivy League universities like Harvard and MIT, the more competitive environment there will be and the more competition your child will have!
10. Is the school accredited by the Department of Education in Korea?
The Korean Ministry of Education provides a list of schools that are accredited. Most international families send their kids to a school on that list. But there are also reasons why you may want to choose a school from a different list, including things like a bilingual environment, affordable tuition, convenient location, specific curriculums, and so on.
Please visit each website below for more info:
The Expat Schools Korea directory includes a comprehensive list of International Schools in Korea. These schools include American, British, Canadian and IB curriculum international schools as well as international boarding schools for international students and expat parents looking for an alternative to the Korean public school system. You can also check out International School in Korea Facebook Group, ExpatkidsKorea and ExpatGuideKorea for school information.
List of the best international schools in Seoul recommended by expats
Curriculum: British curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE and A-levels and IB
Fees: KRW 33,000,000 – 38,000,000
Address: 6 Sinbanpo-ro 15-gil, Banpo 2-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea.
Curriculum: British curriculum & IB curriculum.
Fees: KRW 36,000,000 – 40,000,000
Address: Yeonhui-dong, Seoul, Korea.
Seoul Foreign School the oldest international schools in Korea and the biggest and the most diverse. The school was founded in 1912 by American missionaries. SFS is a non-profit school and has a current student size of around 1,500, aged from 3 years old up to 18 years old.
Fees: KRW 30,000,000 – 35,000,000
Address: 21 Worldcup buk-ro 62-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea
Dwight School Seoul is considered one of the top international schools in Seoul. Dwight School is fully authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization. The IB Program is implemented in three stages that cover each student’s entire academic journey.
Curriculum: American curriculum
Fees: KRW 28,000,000 – 33,000,000
Address: 285 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea.
Yongsan International School of Seoul is located in the middle of Seoul where many expats prefer to live. YISS follows an American-style curriculum and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). YISS is a vibrant co-educational school of 1,000 students representing over 50 nationalities.
Curriculum: IB curriculum
Fees: KRW 25,000,000 – 30,000,000
Address: 7-16 Nambusunhwan-ro 364-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea.
Curriculum: American curriculum
Fees: KRW 35,000,000 – 40,000,000
Address: 385, Daewangpangyo-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggido, Korea.
Facebook page Click Here.
Curriculum: American curriculum
Fees: KRW 32,000,000 – 35,000,000
Address: 15 Seongnam-daero, Sujeong-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggido, Korea
Curriculum: Christian, American Curriculum
Fees: KRW 30,000,000 – 35,000,000
Address: 451 Yeongtong-ro, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggido, Korea.
Curriculum: American curriculum.
Fees: KRW 20,000,000 – 25,000,000
Address: 13 Jayangro 35gil, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Korea.
Curriculum: American curriculum.
Fees: KRW 32,000,000-35,000,000
Address: 57 Wolgye-ro 45ga-gil, Wolgye 2-dong, Nowon-gu, Seoul, Korea.
Curriculum: Christian, American curriculum
Fees: KRW 20,000,000-23,000,000
Address: 115 Dokseodang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
International school in Jeju recommended by expats
Curriculum: IB, British
Fees: KRW 30,000,000 – 40,000,000
Address: 33 Global Edu-ro, 145 Beon-gil, Daejeong-eup, Seogwipo, South Korea
NLCS Jeju, a British International School in South Korea for girls and boys aged 4 – 18. An Exceptional British Education on the beautiful island of Jeju. Our three pillars – Academic Excellence. Pastoral Care.Beyond The Classroom.
Admission Team Answers: 5 Tips on How to Apply International Schools in Seoul
1. Make a list of international schools in Seoul you would like to apply for
You can check out the international school list from our Expat Guide Korea or Expat Schools Korea website. Learn where each school is located, what their curriculums are, how much tuition is, and additional details. Compare several schools and make a final application list.
2. Send an inquiry email to the school’s admission director
No matter how much online information available there is, every child’s situation is different and you may require personalized help. First, check out the websites thoroughly. If you still have questions, send an email to the admissions team or give them a call. They’re happy to help!
3. Gather documents in advance & submit the online application ASAP
Collect any materials you may need from your child’s current school. Most schools will ask for letters of recommendation from current school teachers. Some schools have wait lists, so try to submit the online application as soon as you’ve finished preparing for it. Make sure you fill out all the information requested in the application to avoid delays.
Most international schools require a skype interview. They will get in contact with you to set up the time unless the online application requires advanced scheduling. Don’t be nervous! This is a great opportunity to show off your and your child’s best traits.
5. Make a decision
More likely than not, you and your child will be hearing good news from several schools. It’s tough to decide between them all. The best way to choose the right school is visit the schools you’ve gotten acceptance letters from. In some cases, you might be put on a waitlist, but don’t get disappointed! You can follow up with the international school and speak with the admissions team for advice.
There are 40 (as of 2018) Foreign schools and 6 international schools in Korea.
11 international schools in Korea offer IB Diploma Programme. 9 schools offer Primary Years Programme, 8 schools offer Middle Years Programme.
International schools usually come with a high price tag. Tuition and fees at international schools in Korea depend on the school, ranging between $22,000 to $36,000 per year.
Alternative English schools are an option for those who are not eligible for international schools in Korea. It’s also an option to think about when considering affordability, since they tend to be lower priced than regular international schools.
You need a valid international teaching certificate and a bachelor’s degree. Check out each school’s website for more information.