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Study and find schools in South Korea

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Cities to study in South Korea

The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, is a sovereign Asian country located in the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula.  The country has a total geographic area of nearly 39,000 square miles and shares borders to the west with China, to the east with Japan, to the north with North Korea and to the south with the Korea Strait.  The name Korea is derived from the ancient Goryeo, a dynasty which ruled the area during the Middle Ages and the country’s capital, and by far its largest city by population is Seoul.

The Republic of Korea (South Korea) has a population estimated at just over 50 million, and because of its relatively small area it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with approximately 487 inhabitants per square kilometer, or roughly 10 times the world average in terms of population density.  Most of the population now lives in the country’s urban areas, primarily due to the economic expansion that occurred in the latter three decades of the 20th century.

South Korea is one of the most ethnically homogenous countries in the world, with over 99 percent of its population being of ethnic Korean heritage.  Other ethnic groups in the country include small numbers of Chinese, Japanese and other Asian ethnic groups.  Korean is the official language of the country and is used in government administration, commerce and education.  It is also spoken as a first language by nearly all of the Korean people.  Just under half of the population expresses no religious preference whatsoever, with most of the remainder practicing one of the Christian religions, particularly Roman Catholicism or one of the many Protestant denominations, or Buddhism.  Islam is also practiced by a very small minority of the population.

Education in the Republic of Korea

Education in the Republic of Korea is supervised and overseen by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.  The system of education, much like the systems in most of the western world, is divided between five distinct levels:  kindergarten, primary education, middle school, high school and tertiary or higher education.

Kindergarten education in the Republic of Korea is not compulsory, nor is it publicly administered.  Only private schools offer kindergarten education, where students receive basic instruction in important pre-reading and writing skills, most of it delivered in the Korean language, although several school offer instruction in English.

Primary education is administered by elementary schools and is free and compulsory, beginning at age 8 and culminating at age 14, together representing grades one through six.  Subjects taught at this level include Korean, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, English (from the third grade on), physical education, moral education, practical arts and music.

Secondary education in the Republic of Korea is divided between middle school and high school, each spanning three years and representing grades 7-9 and grades 10-12 respectively.  Middle schools offer a purely academic program, with instruction offered in most of the same subjects listed above.  In high school, however, students can choose between the general or academic educational track, featuring university preparatory instruction in a wide range of academic subjects; or they can opt instead to enroll in the vocational education high school, where they’ll receive basic academic instruction along with focused occupational training in one of many careers important to the South Korean economy.

Most Korean secondary students go on to pursue education at the tertiary level, with graduates of the general high school usually attending one of the country’s many universities, and graduates of the vocational track typically enrolling in a junior college, where they can continue their vocational studies at a more advanced level.