Foreigners with children in Busan

I have a 9 year old daughter and I am unsure if I should send her to Korean public school this year. Last year she attended public school in Siheung and the level of English was very poor in the school. I would like to hear from parents in Busan who have young children. I would appreciate their advice about schooling. We live in Seomyeon. Unfortunately the Foreign and International schools are too expensive.

Advice from a foreigner.

I am a foreigner who's been in Korea for 11 years and have 2 boys, 8 and 2.5 year olds. As far as English education is concerned I can assure you that there is no school that offers a good English program for foreign kids in the country( inculding the expensive and low-quality intl. schools). I send my 8 year-old to a korean school. At least he has the opportunity to become bilingual. The truth is Korean education is ok. Just foreigners like to complain about everything and anything. Also, the location of your residence doesn't help you at all. Most foreigners live in either Namcheon or Haeundae area where rich Korean people live. There, you have the opportunity to find schools specialized in educating and mainstreaming returning Korean kids who lived abroad. these schools offer decent English classes. Most foreigners send their kids to these schools for two reasons No.1 the kids come from different parts of the world so your kid is not gonna feel social pressure as in ordinary public schools.No.2 You ((parents) will get updates from English speaking staff about your kid's progress and also have the plus of meeting other foreigners and Koreans who can speak English, and developing your social network in the city.

Good luck to you.

Well I don't know what

Well I don't know what options you have as I don't have any children here but I do take exception to your jab at the international schools. 

I work for one, and while it is expensive the quality is not low.  We send kids to universities all over the world and have kids taking advanced placement classes and getting high scores on the SAT.  I just take exception to the jab unless you feel that way after your children have attended both of the schools and can make a fair assessment.

I do recognize that is it not cheap however and is not accessible to everyone.  My school does offer grants and payment options to people who can't always make the full payments.  Other than the foreign schools, I have worked at a Korean middle school for a while and the quality of English education was not great since there are 30+ kids trying to learn a few phrases at a time.  Teaching any subject to 30+ students is tough because as a teacher you need to aim for the middle, leaving the low to struggle and the high level to be bored.

I imagine it is tough finding a place for your kids so good luck. 

moving to busan soon


I'll be moving over to Busan at the end of June and was thinking what you said about grants for international schools? I'm working for myself and will find it tough but not impossible to pay the huge fees with having my son attend an international school. Could you be so kind as to supply any more information as possible. Hope to hear something that might be of  help.Thx



korean schools

mark is pretty positive. the reality is the education system here is not good. it is very korean based meaning very acute in nature. the focus is very narrow and the english-forget about it. i have taught at public schools all over and the english programs are terrible. really, they are using english time or lets go books. grade 6 here or even higher is like grade 1 back home so it is really not a great way to go. i have 6 friends with kids and right now none are in school with 5 of them leaving before grade 1. jsut the reality. mark does a mke a good point in that enrolling a foreign kid into a korean school will help with becoming bilingual but the flip side is, as most know, mixed blood children are no really accepted all that well here. sucks but reality.

as for the international schools-expensive! it is like a grand a month to send a kid to one. crazy crazy!!! i almost think home schooling is the way to go here for a foreigner-with the help of a tutor or two. teaching elementary kids at home i think would provide a more rounded education than would a korean school. look into the stats on home schooling to. kids who are taught well actually achieve better results later on in life (with regards to their education).

the reality is there really are not any great alternatives for foreign kids here. i think a lot depends on how long you are here for. if short term it may be okay. korean kids study hard so your kid may pick up some great skills. the flip side, if you are here for a long time, well, is a education at a korean school really the best thing for your child. sitty reality but there it is. good luck.


Re: Foreigners with children in Busan

My daughter spent 2 years in a Korean public school. The teachers were good to her but her education suffered ! She is 2 years behind her western peers. Although she she did learn some basic Korean(she was never against leaning) she was mostly left alone to educate herself, and suffered discrimination a great deal. The kids called her "stupid" as she could not speak Korean and therefore write the tests. The teachers obviously could not translate all her work into English.

At the time I had no other choice except leave her home alone. Now she is in an international school and her whole life has changed. She has made friends, mostly Korean, but they can speak English to her. Having been in education for 30 years and been part of curriculum development on a national level in my country I can honestly say the education she is getting in her school is of a very high level! I am all for children being educated in the public schooling system and learning the language and culture BUT, discrimination is still a huge problem and the public system will have to up their game. Why do you think so many kids attend hagwons in Korean society? The public school curriculum is not sufficient to prepare them for universities.

Re: Foreigners with children in Busan

You can send your child to school free.

Asia Community school, it is very near Seomyeon.

Asia community school teaches your children Korean and other languages as well, preparing them for regular Korean school.

It is located near Munhyeon station,

Re: Foreigners with children in Busan

I am going to travel to busan with my 2 kids (6 and 3 years old) from 1 july to 30 sept 2012.

Is there any comments to send them to an international school?


Re: Foreigners with children in Busan

You're going to be in Busan for three months, two of which are summer vacation months. Why bother with school? If you are looking to unload your kids for the day so you can go do something, enroll them in a yuchiwon (nursery school).

Re: Foreigners with children in Busan


Now I am In Busan and send my son to " Isponge English kindergarten ".

I was very looky that I found this english (kindergarten) institute( 문단열 아이스펀지 ).

my son is 5 years old and he likes his kindergarten ,teachers and classmates very much.I like also their teaching system ,because my son,s english is really improved  during last month  .

The teachers are excellent because their first language are english.They have also a school bus ,lunch services and good place(1114-3 JasongDong Haeundae Busan ).



Re: Foreigners with children in Busan

Excuse me but there is a little something which I do not understand about this post.  If someone is a native speaker yourself then it seems like you could take on this responsibility yourself and teach the children at home what they may lack in school.  Of course it may take a little more of your time but this is something which children do no matter what.

Re: Foreigners with children in Busan

hi moving to busan a week ago..i have a son 27 months..can u give me information about english nursery/pre school in busan? international and foreign school are very expensive..thank u

Re: Foreigners with children in Busan

I'm a parent also looking for a school for my children. They have been rejected by a number of elementary schools since they are "englishy" kids. They just don't have any experience handling foreigners. Fortunately, I found this wonderful organization, Busan Foreign Workers Support Center ( in Sasang. They offer free consultation to almost about anything. I am now in the process of getting detailed information on how I could send them to school. With the initial information I got, Asia Community School in Busan offers free schooling for foreigners.

I will be glad to hear from other parents as to how they go about their child/ren's education here in Korea. There isn't much (english) information available in the internet, so I'm hoping that this thread will be active once more.

Re: Foreigners with children in Busan


There is a small school located on the grounds of Busan Global Village in Seomyeon called International School Canada that may be of interest to some of you.
The curriculum is provided by the Manitoba Ministry of Education (Canada) and all the teachers are certified to teach in their home countries (All are Canadian or American).

The school is small. There are 6 teachers (No Korean teachers) and about 60 students from grades 1 to 5.
This is an afternoon school program that teaches language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, visual arts and physical education. Some students are/were foreign child that either studied solely at this school or supplemented homeschooling with this program.

Here is a number to call to learn more:


(051)980-8614, 8615