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Education System

What is Korea’s 6·3·3·4 Educational System

  • Elementary school (6 years) and middle school (3 years) are provided free of charge for all as compulsory education in Korea. Students should pay a tuition for their high school education (3 years) and decide whether or not to go to college. College education is divided into two or three-year junior college programs, and four-year college programs. Korea’s school curricula mainly consist of elementary school, middle school, and high school. In addition, students may choose other types of education, such as special-education schools and technical schools. Higher-education institutions are divided into colleges, universities, graduate schools, and other types of educational institutions include junior colleges, universities of education, and vocational schools. Before entering elementary school, many kids receive a kindergarten education.

Korean school

  • In principle, the children of foreigners can enter a Korean school. If a student cannot speak Korean well enough, he/she may have difficulty adjusting to school in Korea. Therefore, it should be decided carefully after consulting with the educational institution. Korean schools can be classified into public schools and private schools. Tuition is free in public elementary schools. On the other hand, the tuition at private elementary schools makes them much more expensive than public schools. Contact the Office of Education for your area for further information on entrance qualifications.

    ※ Seoul Education Call Center : 02-1396 / Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education :

Educational institutions for foreigners

  • International schools are educational institutions for children of foreigners, children of Korean nationals who have returned to Korea after residing abroad for a certain period of time, and children of naturalized Korean citizens who have difficulty continuing their studies at a normal school.
  • The tuition at international schools is generally more expensive than regular schools. To enter an international school, applicants should meet at least one of the following conditions.
    • Be a Korean national who has resided abroad for over three years.
    • One or both parents is a foreigner.

Educational institutions for multicultural students

  • Multicultural kindergartens
    • Multicultural kindergartens aim to provide equal opportunities for children of multicultural families by supporting their language education and basic learning. Multicultural kindergartens provide education adapted for the special circumstances of children from multicultural families, such as learning stage, multicultural characteristics, etc.
  • Multicultural education schools
    • Multicultural education schools plan and operate a variety of multicultural education programs to raise all students’ (both regular and multicultural students) multicultural awareness. These schools aim to stimulate multicultural education by sharing and widely promoting excellent cases of multicultural education.
  • Multicultural preparatory schools
    • Multicultural preparatory schools provide educational programs focusing on Korean language and culture for multicultural students who have difficulty adapting to school due to language and culture differences. Multicultural students should undergo a six-month educational adjustment period at a preparatory school near their domicile before going to a regular school. Visit the website of the National Center for Multi-cultural Education ( for further information including multicultural statistics, etc.


  • Homeschooling sees the children educated at home instead of school. As a wide range of educational content is easily accessible thanks to the internet, homeschooling is emerging as an educational option for parents to choose.
  • Foreign parents who want their children to be homeschooled instead of paying the high tuition fees at international schools can receive help from the Homeschooling Community (, United States Distance Learning Association (, etc.