International Education in Seoul
Like much of Asia, South Korea’s education system is famously strong. Students regularly perform at above average levels in all areas, especially maths and sciences. So you’ll be glad to know that international schools in Seoul match and often exceed these standards.
International schools are located in all the major cities of South Korea, but the most well-known and well-reputed are found in the capital, Seoul. The upmarket area of Gangnam - yes, the same Gangnam that PSY sings about - has a cluster of top schools. The rest are scattered throughout Gyeonggi-do, the area surrounding and including the city proper.
American, British and International curricula dominate in Seoul’s international schools. Naturally, that means English is the language of instruction almost everywhere. If your child has been attending a non-English language school, they may be required to sit an English proficiency test as part of the application process.
There are also a handful of schools offering European curricula with languages to match (e.g. a French curriculum taught through the French language). Learning Korean is not obligatory, but it is offered as an additional language across the board. Mandarin is also commonly offered.
Applications for international schools in Seoul work on a first come, first served basis. Your child must meet eligibility criteria set at government level - but don’t freak out! It’s nothing crazy and is standard in many parts of the world. Some schools have their own additional criteria too, but again, it’s no cause for concern.
And you don’t need us to tell you this, but... the earlier you apply to your chosen international school, the better.
A day in an international school in Seoul will begin at 8am and run until around 3-4pm. When lessons finish, there are extensive extracurricular activities for your child to get involved in. Sports are especially big in Seoul; lots of international schools have excellent outdoor sports facilities.
You can expect all the usual bells and whistles besides all-weather pitches, however. The admittedly high price you’ll pay for your child to attend an international school in Seoul will include freshly prepared hot meals every day. In some cases, you can even avail of private bus transport to and from surrounding districts of the city for your child.
Native English speaking teachers are standard, as are much smaller than average class sizes. Even the international schools with the largest student population will have less than 20 students per class.
At the opposite end of the scale, the smallest international schools will still have small classes and a very diverse student body. You’ll find students from 10-20 different nations at the very least. In larger schools, the number of nationalities will be double that or more.
It’s not uncommon for international schools in Seoul to operate with a Christian ethos. This may include mandatory uniforms and somewhat strict codes of conduct. If that’s not your cup of tea, however, don’t fret. There’s a wide choice of schools in Seoul and you’ll surely find the perfect fit for you and your child.
Below, we have compiled our top 10 international schools in Seoul. However, there are another 18 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Seoul based on your requirements.