Thursday, December 9, 2010

Schools of One - Preparing for Boarding School

Jung-Min Ku is studying American History, earth
science and math so he can join the 8th grade
at his new school
Tens of thousands of Korean primary and secondary students study abroad each year. They scatter the globe, some going for a quick English-language immersion course in the Philipines over winter vacation, others applying for international schools in China. Some young children move with their mothers to New Zealand or Canada to attend school for a year or two.

American boarding schools are a popular choice for an elite group of Koreans, who can afford the annual tuition and expenses, which can run up to 70k a year.

I wrote a story for the Global Post about how one student is preparing for the transition from his public middle school and late night academies in Seoul to English literature classes and basketball games and at a Baptist boarding school in Texas hill country.  Take a look.

These are some photos that did not make the story.

Ock-Kyung Chun, an educational
 adviser working with Ku.
A sidenote: Ms. Chun was an early leader in South Korea's booming English language industry, opening her own hagwon (cram school) shortly after graduating from college more than thirty years ago.  She was a female entrepreneur at a time when many Korean women identified more with their husbands' careers. She has written several books about English education, including one describing her path from $500 dollars to $5 million.

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