Relocating Korean Expats in Singapore

Singapore Boasts a World-Class Education System

Singapore is a cosmopolitan country that is proud of its multicultural community. There are expatriate families who live in Singapore from across the globe; in fact, approximately one out of every five residents in Singapore is an expatriate. Currently, more than 21,000 Korean expatriates live in Singapore, and most of them feel right at home in this country. This is because there are fewer language barriers in Singapore than in other countries. Korean parents will find that Singapore has a robust educational system that includes public schools and esteemed international schools. For many expatriate families, international schools are the ideal fit for their students.

Korean Expat Parents Want World-Class, 21st Century Education for Their Children

These are the priorities of Korean expatriate parents when they’re looking for an international school in Singapore for their children:

Pathway to university

The school must offer a future-forward path to the most prestigious universities. Korean parents value higher education, and nearly 70 per cent of Korean graduates go on to some form of post-secondary education.

21st - century skills

The school should focus more on 21st-century skill development than knowledge acquisition. The revised national curriculum in Korea has reflected this shift, and expatriate parents often search for schools with a similar approach when they relocate to Singapore.

Exposure to languages

English is taught as a subject in Korean schools. Students in middle and high school also learn Hanja or Chinese characters. While English is a global language that will benefit children, some Korean parents might also prefer that the children continue their study of Chinese as well. A good international school should offer language exposure to both the Chinese and English languages. Fortunately, both languages are spoken frequently in Singapore, and many schools provide language support for students who require it.

Student-led learning

While experienced and passionate teachers are a must, the school should allow for student-led learning experiences rather than prioritise teacher-directed learning. Many Korean parents want their children at an international school in Singapore in which open discussion is a regular part of the learning experience and there is a personalised learning experience.

Holistic development

The school should prioritise personality development, as this allows students to become confident learners who are ready to be learners. They are accustomed to a school system that balances mental health with academic development. Further, Korean parents also want a well-rounded curriculum for their children in Singapore.  

Why OWIS is the Right Choice for Korean Parents in Singapore

If you are relocating to Singapore from Korea, OWIS is likely the best fit for you and your child. Here's why:

Criteria for Choosing an International School in Singapore
How OWIS satisfies these criteria for Korean expat parents and students
Pathway to university

OWIS offers the IGCSE and IB DP pathways for secondary students, which are globally recognised qualifications. The IB DP at OWIS prepares students for higher study in any country that they choose. Students who graduate from the IB DP at OWIS are capable of taking any entrance exam with success, giving them a path forward to the university of their choosing. Moreover, for children who have lived overseas for more than three years, IB DP results are typically taken into consideration for the application process for universities in Korea.

21st-century skills

Our emphasis on skill development ensures that students can compete in a global economy. Students at OWIS learn how to collaborate and communicate effectively while simultaneously using technology in innovative ways.

Our students are confident learners who are poised to be future leaders. Our kindness-driven culture creates a positive environment for all students and reduces the instances of bullying in our school. This helps students feel good about themselves and allows them to become confident naturally.

Exposure to languages

At OWIS, your child will enjoy exposure to both the English and Chinese languages. In addition, if they require assistance in language skill development, we offer an EAL programme that will help them become proficient in reading, writing and speaking English.

Student-led learning

At OWIS, we follow IB PYP, IGCSE and IB DP curricula pathways. All these curricula foster inquiry-based learning, not rote or memorisation.

Further, your child will interact daily with skilled and dedicated educational professionals who understand the importance of student-led learning and giving student agency. We firmly believe in making learning engaging, not monotonous, and adopt the best practices to cater to the personalised learning styles of our students.

Holistic development

Along with the academic process, we believe in whole child development. We offer co-curricular activities as part of our curriculum, and students enjoy several special days and celebrations in our school calendar.

At OWIS, we value kindness and diversity, and we take pride in our multicultural student body. Our students celebrate one another and learn to appreciate the differences in culture and perspective. We celebrate International Day as a community as a way of highlighting the beauty of diversity.

Here are some more reasons to consider OWIS as the right international school in Singapore for your child:

  • OWIS has earned the EduTrust Certificate, which means that it has been recognised as an international school with quality education standards in place.
  • Our moderate fee structure does not compromise on providing a world-class education that will develop global citizens. Our school parent community frequently voices their satisfaction with our value-based, world-class international school education for a tuition fee that is rare to find in Singapore’s expensive international school landscape. 

Your Child Can Receive English Language Support Through the OWIS EAL Programme

At OWIS, our administrators and educators understand that Korean parents want their children to be exposed to the English language and learn to speak it well. English language skills are particularly important in Singapore, where English is one of the national languages. It is spoken often by local residents as well as other expatriates who currently call Singapore home.

We recognise that expatriate students from Korea have unique needs and may need additional support when learning the English language. Our innovative English as an Additional Language programme provides all students with a personalised learning experience. This programme utilises games and interactive activities that provide students with the support they need to speak, read and write in English. This programme has been very successful in helping expatriate students from Korea become proficient in English.

How OWIS Compares with Local Schools in Korea: Tips for the Transition

For students who are coming to OWIS from the local school system in Korea, here are some pointers for Korean parents to keep in mind to plan the transition:

Korean schools

Korean schools vs OWIS

Korean Schools

Korean local schools follow an academic year that begins in March and ends in February


At OWIS, our academic calendar year starts in August and is completed in June. Please note that we are happy to accept new admissions throughout the year based on spot availability.

Korean Schools

Korean schools introduce English from Grade 3 onwards.


At OWIS, English is the primary language of instruction, so this builds competency in this global language that is needed for growth prospects.

Korean Schools

Korean local schools have an average class size of 32 students.


At OWIS, our average class size is about 24 students.

Korean Schools

Korean local schools follow a national curriculum framework.


OWIS follows the IB PYP, Modified Cambridge, IGCSE and IB DP pathways.

Returning to Korea from Singapore: The Impact on Your Child’s Education

As expats, your family might return to Korea at some point. While an IB education at OWIS will sustain a lifelong love of learning in your child, here are some other considerations in case your family returns to your home country: 

  • As per current guidelines in 2021, in order to attend an international school in South Korea, Korean nationals have to have been outside of the country for at least 1,065 days (three years). So if your family’s stay in Singapore is of three years or more, you can be reasonably assured that you can continue your children’s international school education at a private school in South Korea as well. 
  • Generally speaking, students who earn an IB diploma would also need to take the CSAT exam for admission to universities in South Korea. Fortunately, the IB DP adequately prepares students to handle this type of entrance examination. Furthermore, there are special circumstances in which Korean universities can recognise an IB diploma. For example, if your family has been living outside of Korea for more than 12 years, but your child plans to return to attend a Korean university, it is likely their IB diploma will be recognised by the university, as per current guidelines.

What Korean Parents are Saying About OWIS

One World International School is a great school because it teaches primary school students how to be kind and respectful to each other. We’ve found that kindness as a value is prioritised by everyone at the school. We’re also happy with the teachers for the attention they give our children and for encouraging them to improve all the time. On the academics side, we have been satisfied with the programme where each theme holistically covers various subjects.

YooMee Kim
Parent of two children in the primary grades at OWIS

Allow Your Child to Benefit From the Multicultural Environment at OWIS

OWIS is known for its inclusive atmosphere and its welcoming multicultural environment. We have students from a wide variety of nationalities, ethnicities and backgrounds, and our students form friendships with others who are both similar and different to themselves. Ultimately, this allows our students to develop a global perspective that will carry them into the future. If you would like to know more about our multicultural international school, please schedule a virtual tour. 

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