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Educational System of Korea

01 Overview of the Educational System of Korea

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

02 Operation of the Educational System of Korea

In Korea, the school year is divided into two semesters. The first semester is from March 1 to the dateset by the school principal, considering the number of school days, holidays, and the school curriculum.The second semester starts the day after the last day of the first semester and ends on the last day ofFebruary the following year. Generally, the first semester starts in early March, and the second semesterstarts between late August and early September. The education curriculum for elementary, middle,and high school is divided into two sections: curricular and creative experiential activities.

03 Educational Assistance for Multicultural Students

Korean Education (Visiting Korean Education)

Designated kindergartens, elementary, middle, and high schools provide Korean classes to support Korean language and culture education for students such as immigrant children, etc., who lack Korean language skills. A total of 284 schools (as of 2021) are in operation nationwide for 387 Korean classes. When the school does not operate the program, you can still get Korean language education through “visiting Korean education.” You can check for local Korean classes through the Education Offices of si (city) or do (province) or on the Multicultural Education Portal (

Bilingual Education

To encourage bilingual education, bilingual textbooks and e-books are developed and distributed. The Bilingual Speech Contest is held every year. You can visit the Mirae Asset Park Hyeon Joo Foundation ( or the National Center for Multicultural 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 early December.

  • 10 languages including Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Filipino, English, Indonesian, Thai, Cambodian, Mongolian, etc.
University/College Student Mentors for Multicultural Students

1:1 matching with university/college student to support 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. Mentoring is available for approximately 20 hours per week (40 hours per week during vacation). You can participate by applying through the school or local children's center.

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.

Multicultural Alternative Schools
School NameLevelFeatureTuitionInquiry
The School of Global Sarang Elementary
(Guro-gu, Seoul)
  • Multi-language specialized education, learning Korean, English, and a second foreign language at the same time
Seoul Dasom Tourism High School
(Formerly, Seoul Dasom School, Jongno-gu, Seoul)
  • Vocational education for enhancing career capabilities, and Korean education
  • Tourism Contents major and Tourism Service major
Korean Polytechnics Dasom School
(Jecheon, Chungcheongbuk-do)
  • 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 dormitory)
Incheon Hannuri School
(Namdong-gu, Incheon)
  • 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
tary ·
: Free
: Charged
(Additional expense for dormitory)
Hae Mill School
(Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do)
  • Small dormitory school (20 students per grade
  • Integrated education for multicultural and nonmulticultural students
  • Korean education and bilingual education (Chinese, Japanese)
  • Work-oriented activities such as tending kitchen gardens, etc.
(including boarding expenses)
International Schools

International schools (foreign schools) are for non-Korean children and children of Korean parentswho lived abroad for at least three years with their children and returned to Korea. They aredesigned to provide education for those who are not able to continue their studies at an ordinaryKorean school due to the lack of Korean language skills. There are 40 international/foreign schoolsin 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 timethroughout the year.
  • Required documents for admission differ by school, but required documents typically include:immigration certificate, passport, medical records register, certificates of enrollment fromprevious schools, academic transcripts, and official language test score from correspondingcountry, 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.
본 저작물은 '한국건강가정진흥원'에서 '2020년' 작성하여 공공누리 제4유형으로 개방한 '한국생활가이드북'을 이용하였으며, 해당 저작물은 '한국건강가정진흥원,' 에서 무료로 다운받으실 수 있습니다.