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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.

School Calendar in 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.

cation Support for Multicultural Students

Korean Education (Preliminary schools)

Elementary, middle, and high schools that are designated as preliminary schools provide Korean classes to support Korean language and culture education for students such as immigrated children, etc. who lack Korean language skills. A total of 195 schools are in operation nationwide as preliminary schools. When the school does not operate the program, you can still get Korean language education through ‘visiting preliminary school.’ You can check for local preliminary schools through Education Offices of si or do, or on the Multi-cultural Education Portal (

Bilingual Education

To encourage bilingual education, bilingual textbooks are developed and distributed. ‘Bilingual Speech Contest’ is held every year. You can visit the Edunet ( or the National Center for Multi-cultural Education portal ( to download the bilingual textbooks (○○ Language to learn with Mom and Dad*」, etc. The ‘Bilingual Speech Contest’ selects students through school and local contests to hold the national contest every October.

10 languages including Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Filipino, English, Indonesian, Thai, Cambodian, Mongolian, etc.

Global Bridge

Global Bridge provides education programs to foster global talents of multicultural families who have potentials in mathematics, science, languages, leadership, or arts and athletics. Students of 4th grade to high school can participate. The classes are at least two times a month (on weekends and holidays) during school semester, and once a week during vacation. You can find out how to participate at National Research Foundation of Korea ( (Operated by 20 universities nationwide)

University/College Student Mentors for Multicultural Students

1:1 matching with a university/college student to support the adaptation to school and basic learning skills. The university/college student mentor visits the school of the multicultural student to help with study after school or during vacation. You can get mentoring for approximately 20 hours per week (40 hours per week during vacation). You can participate in this program through school or local children’s center.

For more information, please inquire at the National Center for Multi-cultural Education or local Education Office. (See below)

다문화학생 대학생 멘토링 : 구분, 연락처로 구성된 표입니다.
Classification Contact
National Center for Multi-cultural Education 02-3780-9786, 9784, 9782
Education Office at si or do Seoul02-399-9113

Useful Information!

Multicultural Alternative 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, 서울다솜관광고등학교, 한국폴리텍다솜고등학교, 인천한누리학교에 대한 교육 안내와 문의 전화번호 안내표 입니다.
The School of Global Sarang (Guro-gu, Seoul) ( Elementary
Multi-language specialized education, learning Korean, English, and a second foreign language at the same time
Free. 02-6910-1004
Seoul Dasom Tourism High School (Formerly, Seoul Dasom School, Jongno-gu, Seoul) ( High
  • Vocational education for enhancing career capabilities, and Korean education
  • Tourism Contents major and Tourisum Service major
Free. 070-8685-7798
Korean Polytechnics Dasom School (Jecheon, Chungcheongbuk-do) ( 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
Free(Free dormitory) 043-649-2800
Incheon Hannuri School (Namdong-gu, Incheon) ( 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
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 40 international/foreign schools in Korea, 19 being in Seoul, 6 in Gyeonggi-do, 5 in Busan, 2 in Incheon, 2 in Gyeongsangnam-do, 2 in Daegu, and one school each in Daejeon, Gwangju, Ulsan, and Gangwon-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 Korean citizens who have difficulty continuing education at regular schools (review by 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 (, detailed information, such as admission procedures and tuition by each school, is provided.