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  • Living in Korea
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  • Education of Children

Education of Children

Educational System of Korea

Overview of the Educational System of Korea

The educational system of Korea consists of six grades of primary school, three grades of middle school,three years of high school and four years of university (or two years of college). The six-year curriculum of primary schools and the three-year curriculum of middle schools are operated as mandatory education,and tuition is free during this period.

Operation of the Educational System of Korea

In Korea the school year is divided into two semesters. After the first semester, there is about a month of summer vacation. After the second semester, there is about a month of winter vacation, and a term-end holiday of one to two weeks (after an end-of-year school ceremony) before the start of the new grade year (the next March). Generally, the first semester starts in early March, and the second semester starts between late August and early September. The education curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school is divided into two sections: curricular and extracurricular called creative experiential activities.

Useful Information

International Schools

International schools (foreign schools) are for non-Korean children and children of Korean parents who lived abroad for at least three years with their children and returned to Korea. They are designed to provide education for those who are not able to continue their studies at an ordinary Korean school due to the lack of Korean language skills. There are 42 international/foreign schools in Korea, 19 being in Seoul, 7 in Gyeonggi-do, 5 in Busan, 2 in Incheon, 2 in Gyeongsangnam-do, 2 in Daegu, and one school each in Daejeon, Gwangju, Ulsan, Gangwon-do, and Jeollabuk-do.

Entrance Qualifications
  • At least one of the prospective student’s parents is a foreigner
  • Korean citizens who have lived in foreign countries for over 3 years (including people with multiple citizenship)
  • Children of naturalized parents who cannot continue their studies at an ordinary Korean school due to the following reasons (deliberation by the school steering committee required)
    • · Students not capable of keeping up with classes due to the lack of Korean language skills
    • · Students having a hard time fitting into Korean school due to cultural differences
    • · Students not being able to continue studies in their school due to other reasons
Screening for Admission
  • Admission screenings are carried out by schools. Detailed methods for screening vary by school, but many emphasize document reviews and interviews. It is usually possible to apply any time throughout the year.
  • Required documents for admission differ by school, but required documents typically include: immigration certificate, passport, medical records register, certificates of enrollment from previous schools, academic transcripts, and official language test score from corresponding country, etc. Please check with your school of interest for more detailed admission information.
Overall guidance homepage for international education institutes and schools
  • At the overall guidance homepage for international education institutes and schools (http://www.isi. go.kr), detailed information, such as admission procedures and tuition by each school, is provided.

Useful Information

Educational Institutions for students from multicultural families
  • Multicultural kindergartens: provide tailored education (language and basic learning) for children from multicultural family as well as programs for all children to enhance their multicultural understanding. There are currently 111 centers in operation nationwide.
  • Multicultural preliminary schools: provide intensive Korean language and culture education to help students from multicultural families that lack Korean language skills or have a hard time with the Korean culture. A total of 165 schools are currently in operation nationwide (105 elementary schools, 50 middle schools, 2 high schools, 8 integrated elementary, middle, high schools).
  • Multicultural intensive schools: some schools with multiple multicultural students are designated as multicultural intensive schools. Multicultural-friendly education programs are operated to enhance the cross-cultural awareness of all students. A total of 313 schools are currently in operation nationwide (265 elementary schools, 41 middle schools, and 7 high schools).
  • Multicultural alternative schools: support multicultural students who want to receive personalized education or who have stopped school education. The school’s achievement is recognized officially.
다문화 학생을 위한 교육기관 : 지구촌학교, 서울다솜학교, 한국폴리텍다솜학교, 인천한누리학교에 대한 교육 안내와 문의 전화번호 안내표 입니다.
The School of Global Sarang (Guro-gu,Seoul) www.globalsarang.com Elementary
Multi-language specialized education, learning Korean, English, and a second foreign language at the same time
Tuition: Free (02-6910-1004)
Seoul Dasom School (Jongno-gu,Seoul) www.sds.hs.kr High
Vocational education for enhancing career capabilities, and Korean language education (Tourism Contents major and Tourism Service major)
Tuition: Free (070-8685-7798)
Korea Polytechnics Dasom School (Jecheon,Chungbuk) dasom.kopo.ac.kr High
Vocational education for better career education and technology acquisition (Computer machine major, plant facility major, smart electric major) All students live in the dormitory
Tuition: Free (Free dormitory) (043-649-2880)
Incheon Hannuri School(Namdong-gu,Incheon) www.hanuri.icesc.kr Elementary, Middle, High
Operate Korean education courses and various specialized programs (improving academic ability, career course, field activities) Students in grade five or higher can live in dormitory
Elementary,middle : Free High : charged (additional expense for dormitory)(032-442-2104, 032-442-2109)

For more information on educational institutions for multicultural students, call the relevant metropolitan or provincial office of education and the National Institute for Lifelong Education (National Center for Multi-cultural Education). (National Center for Multi-cultural Education: : 02-3780-9786, 9784, 9782)

For more information on transfer and admission for students of immigrant families and/or foreigners, please visit ‘Sending Our Child to School’(National Center for Multi-Cultural Education www.nime.or.kr) or contact your nearest Si, Do Office of Education (9 languages available: Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, English, Vietnamese, Mongolian, and Russian)

Location of the Office of Education, contact information : Contact information of the Office of Education in Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Gwangju, and Daejeon.
Office of Education Call for Inquiry
Seoul02-399-9058,9067
Busan051-860-0275
Daegu053-231-0515
Incheon032-420-8368
Gwangju062-380-4371
Daejeon042-253-7588,520-5996
Location of the Office of Education, contact information : Contact information of the Office of Education in Ulsan, Sejong, Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Chungbuk, and Chungnam.
Office of Education Call for Inquiry
Ulsan052-255-8182,8183
Sejong044-320-2034
Gyeonggi031-820-0653,0654
Gangwon033-255-1980
Chungbuk043-290-2228
Chungnam041-640-7233,7234
Location of the Office of Education, contact information : Contact information of the Office of Education in Jeonbuk, Jeonnam, Gyeongbuk, Gyeongnam, and Jeju.
Office of Education Call for Inquiry
Jeonbuk063-239-3348
Jeonnam061-260-0384
Gyeongbuk054-805-3316
Gyeongnam055-268-1512
Jeju064-784-9040

Useful Information

Supporting the growth of children in multicultural families

The Healthy Family Support Center and the Multicultural Family Support Center offer various support programs so that children of multicultural families can grow to become talents that contribute to Korea’s competiveness.
Support programs include a variety of experience opportunities such as family camp, leadership development program, career experience, etc. in addition to psychological counseling. Through these efforts, the programs aim to stabilize the emotions of children and help them to become talented members of our society. The support centers also offer professional services such as psychological, emotional support on children of multicultural families, parent education, and family counseling, etc.
In addition, the centers have established networks with relevant institutions in the region to provide systematic and integrated services to the children and parents of multicultural families.

Program target

children and parents of multicultural families, and immigrant youth

Relevant centers

81 centers, including The Healthy Family Support Center and the Multicultural Family Support Center, etc.
(newly established in 2016)

Main content
  • Program to promote a better relationship between parents and children: Self-identity establishment, family counseling, parent education (parent role, communication skills with children, conflict management, etc.), family camp operation
  • Program to develop social skills: Diagnosis of social skills, youth club (self-help group), voluntary works, leadership camp, field activities, etc.
  • Program to design the future: Encouragement of motivation, aptitude test, career path education, career design, job experience activities, etc.
  • Program for support to overcome crisis: Counseling of youth, parents, and individuals, psychological and emotional treatment, art/music/play treatment
  • Regional community network: Connect with relevant institutions such as the youth counseling welfare center, rainbow school, youth training center, youth support center outside the school, etc.
Support system
Multicultural children development subsidy program is offered. Eligible applicants are selected=
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