The purpose of this post is to help out foreigners like me who cannot browse through Korean internet sites for English pre-schools in Seoul, particularly in the Mapo area where I live. I am grateful to a friend (Ann) who really took the time to browse the net for me and to even go with me to two of these schools.
The major differences of these schools from the English internationals schools (like the Seoul Foreign School, British International Kindergarten and the likes) are the payment schemes and ownership and management of the schools. Those owned and managed by established international schools have a one school year program where parents have the option to pay one time or twice a year or thrice a year. The following international schools are paid on a monthly basis (only the educational materials are paid twice a year or every six months). It follows that if the student does not attend 1 month of school, parents need not pay for that 1 month as long as this absence had been arranged beforehand.
I visited 5 pre-schools but I can only recommend 4. The cost of these pre-schools range from 900,000-won to 990,000-won per month. This is a confirmation of just how expensive schools are, particularly English schools, in Seoul.
Sogang Language Program – 02-716-1230
I was impressed with the pride that was very evident in the head teacher for pre-schoolers exuded. She was particularly proud of the students’ output. And I have to admit that I liked what I saw when she showed some of the work of the students. I had the impression that pre-schoolers are not just being spoon-fed with English vocabularies. They are encouraged to think on their own and at a very young age, students are encouraged to write down their thoughts rather than make them copy and read sentences. For me, this is the best that I have seen.
Maple Bear – 02-318-5200
I liked the clean and airy environment of the school. It looks very conducive to learning. The place is attractive to kids and is not intimidating to learning. Native English teachers were visible when I visited. The program includes online access to some English test. This is a very good option.
Kids College – 02-716-7373
The head teacher for pre-schoolers was very welcoming when my friend and I visited the school. I was impressed with the value they give to education but she emphasized that they are concerned with the fun that the kids experience from school. The six-story building where Kids College is located in Mapo is owned by the principal. It is well-maintained and sufficient for the needs of the school and the kids. Native English teachers were in their respective rooms busy teaching when we toured the school. This is an excellent option.
Kids Club – 02-706-0566
The teacher I talked to was very accommodating but I felt that she was in a hurry to get my commitment to let my son study in their school. They have a small lobby and I could not see much space for their rooms. But one parent in the same apartment where I live has a very good feedback about the school.