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Introduction

Republic of Korea(South)

Attractive and fascinating place : Korean Wave, history and culture.

  • Located in East Asia
  • 11th largest economy
  • World’s most innovative country
  • Home of Korean Wave
  • Place to live blending strong traditions and the latest technologies
  • Population: 51.47 million
  • Rich and Vibrant culture
  • High quality healthcare
  • Extremely safe country

Education System

Early Childhood Education

Korea has a split Early Childhood Education and Care system with two different authorities in charge :
the Ministry of Health and Welfare is responsible for children in childcare up to the age of 5, and the Ministry of Education is responsible for children in kindergartens between the age of 3 and the primary school starting of 6. Early Childhood Education is not compulsory.

School Education 

Schools education consists of three levels of school, elementary school, middle school and high school.
Attending at elementary school and middle school is compulsory in Korea.

  • Elementary School(Primary School)

Elementary schools consist of grade one to six(7 to 12 years of age). Usually, the class teacher covers most of subjects. However, there are some specialised teachers in professions such as physical education and foreign languages, including English. Public elementary schools are free(except for school lunches) for both locals and foreigners. Children lacking fluency in Korean might find it difficult to adjust to Korean school. Therefore, most foreigners send their children to one of international schools.

  • Middle School(Junior Secondary School)

Middle Schools in South Korea consist of three grades. Most students enter at age 12 or 13 and graduate at age 15 or 16. At most middle schools regulation uniforms and haircuts are enforced fairly strictly, and some aspects of students' lives are highly controlled. Like in primary school, students spend most of the day in the same homeroom classroom with the same classmates; however, students have different teachers for each subject. Teachers move around from classroom to classroom, and few teachers apart from those who teach special subjects have their own rooms to which students come.

  • High School(Senior Secondary School)

High schools in South Korea teach students for three years, from first grade(age 15-17) to third grade(age 17-19), and students commonly graduate at age 18 or 19. High schools in Korea can be divided into specialty tracks that accord with a student's interest and career path or a normal - state high school. For special high schools, there are science (Science high school), foreign language, international and art specialty high schools to which students can attend by passing entrance examinations which are generally highly competitive. These schools are called special-purpose high schools. For students who do not wish a tertiary education, vocational schools specialising in fields such as technology, agriculture or finance are available, such that students are employable right after graduation. Around 20% of high school students are in vocational high schools.

Tertiary education

There are colleges and universities whose courses of study extend from 4 to 6 years. In addition, there are vocational colleges, industrial universities, open universities and universities of technology.
In 2018, there are 339 universities, junior colleges in Korea. Tertiary institutions provide day and evening classes, classes during vacation and remote education classes.

  • University

Korea has 43 national and almost 180 private universities, and undergraduate programs normally last four years (six years for medicine and dentistry). As many Korean universities are keen on internationalization, approximately 30% of courses are taught in English, some universities have a Department of International Studies, which teaches all the courses in English. Compared with the US, Canada, and UK, Korea has lower tuition and living costs. International students do not have to pay higher fees and there are many scholarship programs to assist international students financially.

The Korean government has recently announced substantial support and deregulation for foreign students in areas such as scholarships, dormitory provision, part time jobs, and employment after graduation. The academic year starts in March, but many universities admit new students twice a year, in March and September. The academic year is divided into two semesters, with a summer break from July to August, and winter break from December to February. Generally, for applications by international students, the deadline for spring semester (March entry) is usually from September to November, and for autumn semester (September entry) from May to June.

  • Junior College

In South Korea, junior colleges typically provide 2-year courses of study but may also provide a 3-year course of study. Students who complete the course of study at a junior college are entitled to an associate degree. Junior colleges also provide ‘Advanced major courses’ in some study areas for their students that will lead to a bachelor’s degree. Emphasis is on practical education, including hands-on training, in close cooperation with industry through internships. Students concentrate on their specialties in preparation for the National Certification Examination.

They can major in humanities and social studies, natural sciences, engineering, arts and physical education, nursing, clinical pathology, physical therapy, radiology, dental and other medical technology, mechanics courses, or aquaculture. Junior vocational colleges emphasise practical education, but it is not necessarily an endpoint. Students who so wish could continue their education at the university level. For employed students, junior colleges provide channels for continued education.

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