Posted November. 11, 2005 07:51,
Songdo School aims to be Asias best-
The Songdo International School (SIS), which will be built on 12,484 square meters of land with a budget of 170 billion won, will cover all curricula from kindergarten to high school.
The SIS will be equipped with the worlds best facilities. Projected to have a museum, a library, a gym, and even a performance hall, the school is expected to look more like a university campus.
In particular, its gym will be built bigger than any other international schools in Korea. Internet access will be made available anywhere in the school. Image networks will be built not only within the school but also between the school and the outside.
On top of that, the school will pay the best salaries in order to secure competent teachers. As part of this strategy, it is planning to assign two-bedroom residences to most of its teachers. The school will have 10 to 12 students for every teacher.
In the SIS, math, science and foreign language courses will always be offered in classrooms with relevant facilities.
For its kindergarten through middle school, the SIS will adopt curricula for international schools in the United States and Europe, which are internationally accredited. For its high school, internationally-recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) courses will be introduced. IB courses are designed to help students enter overseas colleges. Currently, more than 600 schools in over 60 countries worldwide are running IB courses.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which allow high school students to take college courses in advance and earn credits for the courses at college, will also be run in the school.
The worlds best school and network-
The SIS recently entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation with the Milton Academy, a prestigious private school in the eastern U.S. The school is also pushing forward with a plan to send its students to its sister schools in the U.S. and Asia as exchange students.
It will also encourage its high school students to actively participate in summer camps sponsored by leading U.S. universities. Also, the school will invite admissions officials at American universities to its explanation meetings whenever necessary, and will also hold college admissions-related events frequently.
The Korean/foreign student ratio and tuition fees-
The Harvard Advisory Group (HAG) is planning to select 30% of the entire SIS admissions quota from Korean students so that the schools diversity can be maintained. According to the HAG, local students account for an average 37% of all students in international schools worldwide. In international schools in 12 Asian countries, including Japan, China and India, local students also take up more than 30% of the student quota.
The annual tuition fee for the SIS will be 20,500 dollars (approximately 20.5 million won) on average. All students will be living in the schools dormitories. Annual tuition fees for international schools in Asian cities are the highest in Shanghai (20,000 dollars), followed by Beijing (17,730 dollars), Tokyo (17,530 dollars) and Osaka (14,684 dollars), respectively.
Future timetables and the key to success-
The Songdo International School will decide the basic direction for its operation and start construction at least until late next year. The school aims to hire the staff basically needed for its operation by 2007 and to open the school by September 2008. The number of admitted students will be 350 in 2008 and will gradually increase to 550 in 2009, 1,000 in 2010, 1,500 in 2011 and 2,100 in 2012.
The success of the Songdo International School totally depends on the success of New Songdo City. I sincerely hope that the SIS will successfully represent the hope and values of the dynamic New Songdo City, said Mark Podrasley, who is serving as project manager of the Songdo International School.