Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to the most common questions relating to admissions eligibility, document requirements, tuition and fees, and student life.
Korean citizens who have lived abroad for a minimum of 1,095 days (3 years) and foreign nationals are eligible to apply to international schools. However, please note that less than 10% of Korean citizen applicants are accepted to YISS.
No, all students must live with their parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) while attending YISS. The majority of students who attend YISS are expats who are living in Korea due to their parents' job(s). YISS does not have a study abroad or boarding program for international students and cannot sponsor a student’s visa.
Category 1: Non-Korean - applies if both parents hold non-Korean passports and are not ethnically Korean
- No additional documentation is required for the application process.
- If accepted, a digital copy of both parents' Alien Registration Cards, Diplomatic IDs or SOFA stamps will be required during the registration process.
Category 2: Korean Ethnicity - applies if one or both parents hold non-Korean passports AND one or both parents are ethnically Korean
- Korean Family Registry - Digital copy of the original Korean Family Registry or Deleted Korean Family Census Register (does not need to be translated).
- If accepted, an original copy of the Korean Family Registry or Deleted Korean Family Census Register will be required at the applicant's orientation appointment. View a Sample Family Registry.
Category 3: Korean Citizens - applies if both parents are Korean citizens or dual citizens (one being Korean)
- Korean Family Registry - Digital copy of the original Korean Family Registry
- If accepted, an original copy of the Korean Family Registry will be required at the applicant's orientation appointment. View a Sample Family Registry.
- Certificate of Entry and Exit for the Applicant - Digital copy of the Certificate of Entry and Exit for the applicant. The certificate should be issued from applicant's birth date to current date. If the applicant holds dual citizenship, a certificate is required for each passport. This document is issued by the Seoul Immigration Office.
- If accepted, an original copy of the Certificate of Entry and Exit will be required before the student begins attending YISS. View a Sample Certificate of Entry and Exit.
Category 4: Transfer from international school within Korea
- Official Letter from Current School and any Previous International Schools - letter must state that the applicant was enrolled and attending prior to March 1, 2010 and what eligibility was met upon enrollment
- Prior Eligibility Documents - provide a digital copy of all documents that were used to meet former admissions requirements
To collect Korean documentation, you may visit any district (gu) office in Seoul.
Yongsan International School of Seoul is open to students of all nationalities. However, because the school cannot admit all applicants, priority for admissions is applied as follows: (1) applicants of families who are foreign residents in Korea; (2) all other applicants based on qualitative criteria to help determine the match between the students' abilities and needs and the school’s resources and capabilities.
Other criteria considered within these categories include:
- English language proficiency
- Student records from previous schools
- Parent's employment by a company with direct investment in Korea
- Teacher's recommendation
- Number of years in an English-speaking school environment
- Family language background
- Extracurricular excellence
- Any additional factors deemed relevant by YISS
YISS does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, or national origin but does strictly adhere to the laws and regulations governing the operation of international schools in the Republic of Korea and reserves the right to administer selective enrollment when deemed necessary, proper, and in the best interest of the school.
Applicants for kindergarten must be age five (60 months) by August 31 of the academic year of entrance.
|Age before September 1||U.S. System||British System||Key Stage||Australian||Indian|
|5||Kindergarten||Year 1||Key Stage 1||Kindergarten||Kinder 2|
|6||Grade 1||Year 2||Year 1||Standard 1|
|7||Grade 2||Year 3||Key Stage 2||Year 2||Standard 2|
|8||Grade 3||Year 4||Year 3||Standard 3|
|9||Grade 4||Year 5||Year 4||Standard 4|
|10||Grade 5||Year 6||Year 5||Standard 5|
|11||Grade 6||Year 7 (Form 1)||Key Stage 3||Year 6||Standard 6|
|12||Grade 7||Year 8 (Form 2)||Year 7||Standard 7|
|13||Grade 8||Year 9 (Form 3)||Year 8||Standard 8|
|14||Grade 9||Year 10 (Form 4)||Key Stage 4||Year 9||Standard 9|
|15||Grade 10||Year 11 (Form 5)||Year 10||Standard 10|
|16||Grade 11||Year 12 (Lower 6th)||Key Stage 5||Year 11||Standard 11|
|17||Grade 12||Year 13||Year 12||Standard 12|
In most cases, students coming from schools with a different calendar (e.g., Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, India) will continue in the same grade level when they enter YISS and will not be allowed to skip ahead.
Yes. YISS is fully accredited by both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and is recognized by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE). Students who attend YISS are easily able to transfer to schools and universities in other countries.
YISS offers an academic course of study based on the U.S. educational model. At the high school level, YISS has an enriched college preparatory curriculum offering a range of Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
YISS faculty are hired after completing a rigorous interview and evaluation process. Each applicant is interviewed by the principal to whom the teacher is responsible and the headmaster. Eighty-six percent of YISS faculty are from North America. All teachers possess the minimum of a bachelor’s degree, 64% hold master’s degrees or higher, and they average 12 years of teaching experience. Teachers at YISS are certified in their content area and receive two weeks of special training to help prepare them for teaching in an international context.
Yes. YISS a part of the Network of International Christian Schools. While YISS recruits Christian educators, our student body is comprised of students from many varying faith backgrounds and more than 50 countries.
No. YISS offers two programs for students. Students in the NICS program attend Bible class and weekly chapel, while students in the Oasis program attend character education and/or philosophy class and weekly assembly. Our Oasis program is reserved for students who are actively practicing a faith other than Christianity. Within the application you will have the opportunity to select which program you prefer for your child.
Elementary School: Kindergarten classes have 14-15 students and 1st-5th grade classes have 20-22 students.
Middle School: The average class size is 20 students.
High School: The average class size is 14 students.
Elementary School: Korean or Mandarin
Middle School: Korean, Mandarin, or Spanish
High School: French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, or Spanish
YISS administers the following standardized tests:
- NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Test: 2nd-8th Grades
- ERB Writing Assessment Program (WrAP) Test: 6th-12th Grades
- AP Tests: 10th-12th Grades
- PSAT: 10th-11th Grades
- SAT I & II: 11th-12th Grades
YISS graduates gain admission to many of the world’s most prestigious universities including Columbia, MIT, Princeton, Seoul National University, and Stanford. Review our complete list of colleges & universities.
English language learners (ELLs) can participate in an instructional program for non-native speakers of English. The program helps students attain a certain level of English proficiency in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, bringing them to the appropriate academic level. YISS offers the program to a limited number of students each year. Students' English language abilities will be assessed during the admissions process.
Learning support services are offered to meet the diverse learning needs of our student population, specifically those students who require additional services in order to be successful in the mainstream classroom. This includes specialized class instruction from our learning support teachers in the areas of mathematics and reading. YISS is also one of the few authorized schools in Asia, and the only school in Korea, to provide the Arrowsmith Program for students with learning difficulties and other cognitive impairments.
Students entering kindergarten or 1st grade will be invited for an initial screening. If testing results are available, they should be submitted with the application. Student entering 2nd-4th grade should provide test results if available. If not provided, but deemed necessary, you will be contacted after your application has been submitted.
Applicants for 5th-12th grade are required to provide a copy of recent standardized test results to complete an admissions application. The following are test results currently accepted: Stanford (SAT), MAP, TerraNova, IGCSE, ERB, ISEE, OLSAT, SSAT, PSAT, SAT, ITBS, STAR, US State Standardized Tests.
If a student in 5th-12th grade does not have a recent test result, we recommend the ERB ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam).
Open Test Sites are offered at many locations throughout the year in the US. You may also register online to take the test at a domestic or international Prometric Testing office. Fees range from $105 - $185, depending on the type of testing center.
YISS ISEE School Code: 682450
No. When completing the online application, you will provide the email addresses for the applicant's current teacher(s), and YISS will send an electronic recommendation form directly to the teacher(s).
Yes. For students applying to kindergarten-6th grade, please provide the email address of his or her homeroom teacher. For students applying to 7th-12th grade, please provide an email address for the applicant’s current Math and English teachers.
Qualified applicants who are not accepted due to space availability are placed in our wait pool and will be considered if spaces become available. YISS strives to maintain a balance in gender and diversity and to ensure academic success and availability of needed programs or classes.
Students may withdraw at various times during the school year. If and when a space becomes available, the admissions office considers all students in the wait pool and selects an applicant that best complements the class.
No, the wait pool does not have a chronological or predetermined order based on order of receipt of application. Consequently, the admissions office cannot provide numbers for students in the wait pool or predict availability as our numbers can change daily. However, we will try to be realistic with families about their chances of being admitted in a certain grade at a particular time.
If you continue to have a strong interest in your child’s acceptance during the school year, it is important to keep the application current by sending recent school records as they become available. In the event of a mid-year vacancy, immediate decisions can be made only on complete and current files.
No. The wait pool is maintained for the applying year only. All applicants who are interested in any subsequent year must reapply.
A comprehensive list of tuition, fees and financial information is available for the 2018-2019 school year.
Once an applicant is accepted, all tuition and fees are due by the designated due date on the invoice. A student cannot attend YISS until the invoice has been paid.
While the Korean Won (KRW) is the primary currency of operations for YISS, substantive expenses related to curriculum, educational supplies, technology, insurance, and other items are paid for in US Dollars (USD). The USD portion of the tuition allows YISS to properly plan for such expenditures.
YISS takes great pride and care of the facilities in which we operate. The capital development fee allows YISS to offer and maintain the highest quality educational and activity spaces for our students.
Technology fees supplement the costs of classroom or student-assigned devices, technology labs, software applications, internet and network infrastructure, along with continuous technical service and support.
Each year, as part of our annual budgeting process, YISS compares our tuition against that of comparable international schools in Seoul. We continue to be pleased that our tuition and fees are consistently substantially lower than those of other schools.
The academic calendar consists of 180 instructional days, made up of two 18-week semesters, each divided into nine-week marking periods. YISS traditionally begins the school year in mid-August and concludes in early-June. Our school observes nearly all official Korean holidays and American Thanksgiving. Most years, there is a Fall Break near Chuseok, a three-week vacation at Christmas, and a week-long Spring Break.
Kindergarten to 5th Grade: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
6th Grade to 12th Grade: 7:50 a.m. – 3:10 p.m.
YISS has an enrollment of 1,000 students representing over 50 different countries. The largest population of the school holds citizenship in the United States (53%) while Korean citizenship belongs to the second largest group of students (17%). About 60% of our students are of Korean heritage with the remaining 40% of non-Korean origin. Parents of YISS students include employees of international and local corporations, foreign embassies, and Korean universities.
YISS does not have any boarding facilities available for students and cannot arrange homestays or studying abroad for international students.
YISS provides over 20 morning and afternoon routes throughout Seoul for a set annual fee. Learn more at Bus Transportation.
YISS offers two set menu options daily. The meals and menus are carefully planned and prepared by trained and experienced staff and provide a nutritious and healthy option for our students. YISS also offers a variety of à la carte items for purchase by middle and high school students. Learn more at Cafeteria & Food.
Student supply kits are available for purchase at the beginning of each year in the YISS Guardian Store. Additional supplies, school uniform polo shirts, and school spirit items are also on sale during the year.
The purpose of homework is to reinforce concepts that have been taught in class through practice, review, and remediation. Teachers will ensure that the homework given is at the appropriate level of difficulty and length.
It is impossible to set exact time limits on homework due to varying student ability, understanding, and/or time management skills. If students are regularly spending more than the suggested time limits, they should communicate with their teachers.
- Kindergarten - 5 minutes
- 1st grade - 10 minutes
- 2nd grade - 20 minutes
- 3rd grade - 30 minutes
- 4th grade - 40 minutes
- 5th grade - 50 minutes
- 6th Grade - 60 minutes
- 7th Grade - 80 minutes
- 8th Grade - 100 minutes
- High School - up to 1 hour between class meetings per non-AP class, up to 4 hours between class meetings per AP class