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Frequently Asked Questions

Is GSIS a Christian School?   Why is this important?

Yes. Gyeonggi Suwon International School (GSIS) is a school with a Christian philosophy. The school is not affiliated with a particular Christian group. The school highly desires students and families from other faiths and from homes where religion is not practiced. GSIS bases its philosophy on basic Christian beliefs and a Christian philosophy of education that involves presenting the “truth” that can sustain and bring meaning to students’ lives. Secondly, it engages the student to consider his/her spirituality. The board of trustees expects that graduating students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the major spiritual world views; understand and be able to articulate an historical, biblically-based Christian world view; and be able to explain if God has any impact in their lives. A student will be taught to recognize that he/she is made in the image of God and that he/she should foster self-respect and self-worth as well as respect and esteem for others. GSIS strives to provide the kind of environment in which each student’s unique gifts of intellect, personality, stature, and spirit are given the best opportunities for development toward maturity. The school understands that not all students are Christians or will become Christians while attending, but an exploration of their faith and belief system will be encouraged.

Is GSIS accredited and certified?   Why is this important?

Yes. GSIS is a fully accredited institution with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) which is an accrediting commission for schools in the states of California and Hawaii, as well as international schools like ours in the East/Pacific region. WASC accreditation is important because it ensures that a school is continually reviewing its curriculum, policies, programs, personnel, and finances so standards are maintained and improved upon to create a school of excellence and one that is driven by student learning. Second, WASC accreditation ensures that your child is able to enter U.S. schools including colleges and universities and that course credits earned at GSIS are accepted by those institutions. Furthermore, GSIS is also a member of KAIAC (Korea-American Interscholastic Activities Conference); EARCOS (East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools); KORCOS (Korea Regional Conference of Overseas Schools) ; and ACSI (the Association of Christian Schools International); The College Board (PSAT, SAT, AP programs);and The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). As an IB World School, GSIS offers the IB Diploma Program(DP), the Middle Years Program (MYP) and the IB Primary Years Program (PYP). Furthermore, GSIS is certified by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Education. This certification status is important because it provides a legal status in Korea thereby providing our Korean parents with income tax waivers and permits Korean male students to remain in school regardless of age and delays Korean military conscription.

Is GSIS an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School?   What does this mean?   Why is this important?

Yes. GSIS is one of the first schools in South Korea authorized to offer the full IB programme.  GSIS offers the Diploma Program for the high school (11th-12th grade).  We are also authorized with IBO in the Primary Years Program (PYP) for elementary school (pre-Kindergarten-5th grade) and the Middle Years Program (MYP). The IB Program is offered in only 1,300 schools world-wide. The IB Diploma Program is a demanding pre-university course of study for highly motivated 11th and 12th graders. An IB diploma is received upon the successful completion of course work, examinations, and other requirements. The program has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving IB diploma holders access to the world’s leading universities. The IB Diploma students are well prepared for university work. The program is a comprehensive two-year international curriculum that permits students to fulfill the requirements of their national systems. The program incorporates the best elements of national systems, without being based on any one in particular. Internationally mobile students are able to transfer from one IB school to another, while students who remain closer to home benefit from a highly respected international curriculum. 

What is the ethnic mix at GSIS?  

Presently GSIS is 48% Korean and 52% non-Korean. In addition, GSIS is 70% ethnically Korean. The vast majority of the ethnically Korean students were born and raised in a bilingual environment outside of Korea with English being their primary language for academics.  These students are also primarily Korean-American or Korean-Canadian. The 52% non-Korean students and the 20% non-Asian students at GSIS come from over 15 other nations.  

What are the school’s beginning and ending dates and school hours?
The GSIS school year is 180 instructional days, begins mid-August and ends in early June. Classes begin at 8:00 A.M. and end at 3:10 P.M. for high school and middle school students, and 8:00 A.M. - 3:05 P.M. for elementary school students, Monday through Friday.

What holidays does GSIS take?

GSIS observes some traditional Korean and international holidays. The school takes three-to-five-day Chuseok and Lunar New Year holidays. It also takes a three-week Christmas-Semester break. Several half-days are taken throughout the school year for teacher professional development or in-service days.

Where do GSIS students go after graduation?

Most of GSIS graduates will pursue a college education and be accepted at some of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the U.S., Canada, and Korea. At college fair field trips to Seoul and at university visits to our campus, GSIS students have the opportunity to meet and interview with college representatives. Our matriculation list can be found here.

What is the school’s enrollment?    What are the class sizes?

For 2017-2018 we have total enrollment of 430 students. There is one class each for pre-school, kindergarten, with two classes in grades 1 through 5. There is a cap of 16 students in pre-school, 20 in kindergarten through grade 5. A full-time teacher assistant is provided in pre-school, kindergarten, grades 1 and 2. Secondary school class size cap for mainstream classes is 22 students except for physical education classes. ELL classes are capped at 18 students. However, most classes are well below cap level throughout the school. GSIS reserves the option to exceed its stated cap in any class if it is deemed necessary by the administration.

Does GSIS have an ELL Program?

Yes. The school has an ELL program for elementary, middle school students. GSIS has a trained ELL staff that provides content-based ELL in both a research based push-in model and sheltered instruction courses. The program’s goal is to exit transition students to mainstream classes as soon as they meet the required proficiency criteria. As a general rule, the school does not accept more than 30% of its current enrollment as ESL students. Beginning level ESL students are normally not accepted beyond 7th grade. 

Are there services available for Special Needs students?

Yes.  Special needs services are available at GSIS; however, the severe or profound most likely cannot be served at GSIS.  The program tries to implement an inclusion model if at all possible.  Staff certifications are in special education and ESL K-12 and include expertise in reading disabilities and dyslexia. GSIS is handicapped-accessible with ramps, elevator access to all floors, and handicapped accessible restrooms.

Where do most of the GSIS teachers come from?

Over 85% of GSIS full-time teachers and residence staff are overseas hire and hold a foreign passport. They are all professing Christians of various denominations who were primarily hired at overseas job fairs. They are certified or credentialed and are experienced teachers from the United States, Canada, India, New Zealand, and Australia. Many GSIS teachers have graduate level degrees of Master’s or higher.

Does GSIS have a cafeteria and lunch program?

Yes. The school has an experienced and skilled food preparation staff that offers both Korean and Western lunches for all students and breakfast and dinner for the boarding students. The dining hall is professionally managed. GSIS expects all students to purchase the school lunches. For those students who have special diets, are permitted to bring their own lunches but is usually reserved for those students who are of various religious cultures, and get permission from administration prior to the start of the school

Does GSIS require uniforms?

No. Uniforms are not required for regular academic classes. Middle school students, however, are expected to bring suitable clothing for physical education classes. Some science classes will also require students to wear laboratory coats provided for their protection. Student athletes who join middle school intramural teams must wear school-provided or team-purchased uniforms.

What kind of co-curricular activities are offered to GSIS students?

Please refer to the Elementary School After School ActivitiesSecondary School Sports and Co-Curricular/CAS sections for detailed information.

What opportunities are there for parent involvement?

Thank you for asking! There are a number of ways GSIS parents can become involved in the school. First, on numerous occasions throughout the school year parents are invited or highly encouraged to visit the school. These include Open House, PTA meetings, concerts, drama performances, sports events, parent-teacher conferences, Headmaster’s Coffees, and our International Festival. We have an active PTA that offers many additional opportunities to be involved including volunteer room mothers, library aides, lunch duty helpers, teacher aides, Christmas bazaar assistants, Teacher Appreciation Day food providers, International Festival coordinators, and fund-raisers.

Do I have to buy a laptop for my student through GSIS?

All new students in the Secondary School are required to buy Apple laptops through the GSIS purchase program. In the Elementary School, all computers are school owned and students are not required to purchase devices. Although Apple computers are accessible in stores open to the public, GSIS is able to get discounted computers for students. Purchases through the school are also provided on-site service and additional warranty and service support. It also makes sure that students are eligible to receive applicable school software on their laptop without additional fees. The school laptops allow students to have the technology tools to support their academic learning in the most productive ways. The school does not make any profit on the laptops sold.

For further information please contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@gsis.sc.kr


  • 졸업 후 GSIS에 다시 방문하니 학창시절에 친구들과 선생님들과 함께했던 하루하루의 추억이 되살아나네요. GSIS가 얼마나 좋은 곳이었는지를 대학교 입학 전까지는 정말 몰랐었어요. GSIS에 재학 중일 때에는 당연하게 여겼던 모든 것들이 대학생이 되어 그 시절을 되돌아보니 정말 감사한 일들이었네요. » 2011년도 졸업반 Tracy Kim

  • 저희 아이들은 IB 교육과정을 통해 명확한 지시문과 기준, 엄격한 마감 시간에 따른 주제별 접근방식의 과제를 수행하며 현명하게 시간을 관리하는 방법을 배울 수 있었습니다. 또한, 아이들의 성공을 위한 선생님들의 헌신에 깊이 감사드립니다. 저희 아이들이 외국인학교에 처음 입학하였을 때에는 과제를 이해하고 마감 시간을 맞추는 데 많은 어려움이 있었지만, 선생님들과의 지속적인 대화와 세부적인 설명을 통해 좋은 결과를 이룰 수 있었습니다. 이러한 과정을 통해 성적에 대한 강박 관념을 넘어 배움을 향한 단계별 접근 방식을 눈으로 확인할 수 있었습니다. 이러한 학습접근방식이야말로 아이들을 위한 최고의 교육방식일 것으로 생각하며 진심으로 감사드립니다. » 학부모 Grace Kim

  • Through the IB curriculum, the well-rounded thematic approach to assignments that came with set rubrics and criteria, along with strict deadlines, really prompted and scaffolded my children to manage time wisely. I also greatly appreciated the teachers’ dedication in assisting my children to be successful. When my children first began international school, my children struggled with meeting deadlines and even understanding the assignments. However, the teachers always reached out and communicated rationales with thorough explanations behind such result. Through this process, I was able to see the step-by-step approach to learning instead of the obsession over grades. Such an approach in learning was the best fit for my children and for that, I am truly thankful. » Grace Kim, Parent

  • Even though I don’t know English very well, people are very nice here, and so I feel like I can fit in. What makes me feel like I belong here at GSIS is the community, my friends, the nice people. It is easy to make friends here, it was hard to make friends in Japan because there was a lot of people, but there is not very many people here, so I can make friends. Also, it makes me want to be a teacher when I grow up, because the teachers here are nice and make it fun, and so I want to make learning fun for other people. 제가 영어를 아주 잘하진 못하지만, 학교 사람들은 내게 아주 친절해요. GSIS 커뮤니티, 친구들과 좋은 사람들로 인하여 학교에 잘 적응하고 있다고 생각해요. 일본에서는 학생들이 너무 많아서 친구를 사귀기가 어려웠지만, 여기는 인원이 많지 않기 때문에 쉽게 친구를 사귈수 있었어요. 또한 선생님들이 너무 좋고 즐겁게 해주시기 때문에, 저도 나중에 커서 다른 사람들이 즐겁게 배울수 있도록 가르쳐주는 교사가 되고 싶습니다. » Kentaro Ikeda, Grade 6

  • It is the outstanding community that has shaped me into who I am today : outstanding morals, principled rapport and a genuine love for learning have all imbued a sense of maturity within me. » Victor Jeong, Class of 2016

  • GSIS faculty and staff served as true role models through their words and actions which helped me shape a better perspective towards the world and to seek Christ in my life. 인생의 롤모델이신 GSIS 선생님들의 삶을 보면서 더 큰 세계관을 꿈꾸게 되었고, 제 삶의 주인이신 예수 그리스도를 바라보게 되었습니다. » Maim Cho, Alumnus Class of 2011

  • We get to learn with iPads and have fun! I love my teachers! 학교에서 아이패드로 수업하는데 엄청나게 재미있어요! 선생님들도 정말 좋아요! » Emily Minju Hong, Grade 6

  • GSIS에서 제가 가장 좋아했고 최고로 꼽는 수업은 HL 생물 수업이었습니다. 담당 선생님께서는 다양한 주제를 찾아낼 수 있도록 도와주셨고, 이는 제가 대학교 입시를 준비하는 데 많은 도움이 되었습니다. 담당 선생님께서 생명공학 및 의학 분야에서 다수의 학술 논문과 연구결과를 공유해주신 덕분에 저는 제 미래의 목표를 의학분야에서 찾게 되었습니다. » 2015학년도 졸업반 Samantha Kim

  • When I come back to GSIS, all the memories of the day to day interactions that I had with my friends and teachers come back to me. It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized how great the environment is here. It’s something that I took for granted while I was a student here but really appreciate now that I am in college. » Tracy Kim, Alumna Class of 2011

  • The teachers at GSIS are all very nice and it's easy to talk to them, which makes it fun. I like the clubs we have at this school too. Last fall I participated in the soccer program and played against other international schools at jamborees. GSIS에는 정말 좋은 선생님들만 계시고 저희와 재미있는 대화도 많이 나눠주세요. 학교에서 참여하는 클럽활동도 정말 좋아요. 지난 가을에는 방과 후 축구 프로그램에 참여하여 다른 외국인학교와 잼보리 경기도 했어요. » Lucas Lee, Grade 11

  • One of my best academic experiences here at GSIS was in my HL Biology class. My teacher has helped me discover a lot about the subject and has definitely prepared me for college. She also shared many academic writings in the field of bioengineering and medicine, and through them, I've been influenced to study medicine. » Samantha Kim, Alumna Class of 2015