The primary interest I had in this Korean Studies Program and traveling to South Korea was the opportunity to visit and teach students in South Korea about economics concepts from my classroom in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. So I was very excited when the day arrived for us to visit Daeil Foreign Language High School, where I would be teaching in Seoul.
Some background on Daeil Foreign Language High School, the school was founded in 1983 to help students excel in French, German, Spanish and Japanese. The concept behind the school is to help these students succeed globally by having a firm foundation in global languages that will help students utilize their language expertise to build upon that by gaining a global education at colleges and universities around the world, that will ultimately lead to global business opportunities and job leads in the global community.
Today, students at Daeil are required to learn English as a mandatory language, and the school has additional full programs in German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and Chinese for the 1,500+ students who attend this three-year high school before attending some of the world’s top schools, including Yale, Harvard, Penn, Oxford, Texas, Princeton, Boston, and many more.
This is not your ordinary public school. It is VERY competitive to get accepted to attend school here at Daeil and only 1,500 students are accepted each year to attend, which means about 500 new students each year are competing among thousands for a spot in their prestigious sophomore class (high schools in Korea are three years, typically tenth through twelfth grades).
Being accepted could make the difference between going to an Ivy League school in the US, going to the coveted Korea University, or else attending the equivalent of a community college, if any college at all. So the stakes are very high. I’ll talk more on the experiences of some of the students at Daeil when I share later in my blog about my conversations with my host student, Dasol Son, and her brother and parents about their experiences with Korean education.
More in the next blog post on my students and my class at Daeil. What an experience to teach here in South Korea!