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Differences between global and international high schools
Written by Yuna Hong | Published. 2022.05.08 10:38 | Count : 82

  [View of Seoul Global High School’s sports field. Photo courtesy of Yuna Hong]


There are many differences when it comes to global and international high schools. The programs at each type of school are different, and both receive funding from different sources. Each type of school has characteristics that make it unique.

Global high schools are usually funded by the government in Korea, as they are special-purpose public high schools. This means that students do not have to pay tuition fees while attending these schools. Not having the burden of high tuition fees makes the students’ lives much easier. 

To enter a global high school, you have to have straight As in Korean language, English, and social studies classes. You also have to write a personal essay about yourself. Some examples of things that you must write about are the ways you study, your personality, and the extracurricular activities you did during middle school. The essay is very important as it is what the teachers will read about the student. 

In addition to the personal essay, you must also do an interview. The interview is much harder than the essay as students do not know what questions the interviewers will ask. The questions are divided into two types: common questions and private questions. Common questions are questions asked of all students, usually answered in the beginning of the interview. Private questions are specific questions prepared especially for each student based on teachers’ evaluation of the student’s personal essay. 

Global high schools prepare their students for domestic colleges. Some examples of colleges that students prepare for are Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University. These are the top three universities in Korea, referred to as the SKY universities. Some special global high schools have a special class for students who wish to study abroad. An example of this kind of school is Seoul Global High School. 


[Photo of college banners at Seoul Global High School. Photo courtesy of Yuna Hong]


International high schools are private schools, which are expensive to attend. Since the school is funded by the students, the students have to pay a certain amount of tuition every year. The high tuition of these international schools is the reason why they have such good facilities. Some international schools even have swimming pools. Some famous international schools are Seoul International School, Yongsan International School of Seoul, and Chadwick International. 

To get into an international school, you must take a specific test to prove that you are fluent in English. Some international schools also require citizenship of another country. If you attend an international school, you cannot take the Korean SAT (called “sooneung”).

International high schools prepare their students for college in other countries. The main country that students study for is the United States, and these students study hard in the hopes of getting into an Ivy League school. Some examples of Ivy League schools are Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Yale, and Cornell. These universities look for students who have earned high grades and participated in a lot of extracurricular activities. 

Both international and global high schools have their own unique characteristics. It is all up to the student to decide which type of school they want to go to. If the student is thinking of going to a college in Korea, they might consider a global high school. On the other hand, if they want to go to college in the United States, they might consider an international school. It is also important to keep in mind the tuition fees.










Yuna Hong

11th Grade

Seoul Global High School



Yuna Hong  hsr@dherald.com

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