FAQs About Work & Life at SFS
Elementary School: The maximum class size is 12 students in preschool (half-day program), 18 in Junior Kindergarten, 20 in Senior Kindergarten, and 20 in Grade One. In Grades Two through Five, the maximum class size is 22 students per classroom. Teacher assistants are provided up to Grade Two. In addition, parents and high school volunteers may assist teachers in the classrooms.
British School: The maximum class size is 22 students per classroom in Year Reception through Year 9.
Middle School: The maximum class size is 22 students per classroom.
High School: Class sizes range from 5 to 25 depending on the course. Lower division classes tend to have more students while some specialized upper division courses can have very few students.
SFS follows the UK National Curriculum in the British Division, and a US-style curriculum in the Elementary, Middle, and High School divisions. In 11th and 12th grade, we also offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma to all interested students, and it is the curriculum of choice for the majority of our students in these grades. We are also offering IGCSE courses for students moving to our high school from the British division. More detailed information is available in each divisional section of the webpage.
Nearly all items essential to daily life are available in Korea and as each day goes by, more and more western items are entering the market. Of course, some items are different and a reasonable time is needed to become accustomed to the different brand names and alternatives. Consider carefully what you decide to ship from home. The apartment you will be living in is comfortable but small. A sofa, coffee table, end tables, beds, dining table/chairs, desk, and some other basic furniture are provided. In addition, a hospitality kit with basic cooking utensils, pillows, sheets, and towels is available until you are settled. The final decision on what to bring or to leave behind is often determined by comparing the cost of purchasing new items in Seoul against the hassle of bringing it with you. Of course, bringing your key teaching materials and some favorite things to settle in your new home would be wise.
This depends greatly on the child and the school system from which they came from. As we state, we have a tradition of academic excellence and thus this is an important point to consider for any parent. Having said that, it can also be said that teachers' children generally adjust to SFS and then do quite well at our school. We are proud of the diversity that the school can cater to in terms of strict academics and sports or the fine arts, for instance.
Teachers are given an allowance to use at the cafeteria but also have full discretion to bring their own lunch or to make other arrangements. Some of the teachers delight in heading home for a quiet meal during the lunch break. Our cafeteria uses a pre-paid finger-scan system, thereby eliminating the need for cash on a daily basis.
Apartments are provided with cable internet and a cable box is provided in each apartment. The channels are rather limited so it is wise to come expecting to watch the news and perhaps a few other shows. Many people enjoy watching their own DVDs for personal entertainment.
An eight-minute walk will bring you to a modern hospital with an international clinic. A western doctor is on staff (the SFS school doctor) and many of the doctors there are trained in western medicine. Other medical facilities also exist elsewhere in the city.
The HR office never stops the application process. That means that new applicants are continually adding to the system. We may be in touch to clarify some of your information and we will thank you for your application. Candidates that meet our criteria are highlighted as potential hires for our administration to consider. We ask our teachers to make their decisions about the following school year prior to Christmas. That means that openings become firm in the Fall and as the recruiting fairs start we are ready to start hiring. However, the hiring process can run until the end of the year as final changes are made and as needs are identified.
Yes, we hire couples with children and families where both parents are teachers. Generally we do not hire couples with one teacher or families with more than three children. Singles and teaching couples with/without dependents form the bulk of our hiring.
Yes, we hire teachers that are living here in Seoul. Predominantly we hire spouses of people that are already working here and that have arranged their visas and housing through a sponsoring company. We also hire Korean nationals for a variety of our openings. These locally hired teachers are provided virtually of the same benefits as their overseas counterparts but some items, such as housing and airfare are not included in the local package.
We do hire the various positions listed on our online application. These are generally professionals working in the school. Teaching assistants are generally not hired through the Human Resources office but are generally hired through each of the division offices.
If you desire domestic help, Korean housekeepers (adjumonies) are often available. These ladies support a range of functions from laundry to childcare. Many teachers hire someone for a day a week for household chores while those with young children may have someone to primarily watch the children.
Cats are allowed in our apartments but we do not allow dogs. We generally discourage pets as there have been issues with them over holidays and while teachers are at work.
Overseas teachers get a utility allowance which is designed to pay a significant portion of their electricity usage for the average teacher. The allowance is paid in ten equal monthly payments from August to May. Teachers also pay for cable television, internet, and phone charges. The school pays for other utilities such as heating and gas for cooking.
Most people will find food prices high here in Korea. Of course, this varies by the amount you eat out and how much of the more expensive overseas items you want to enjoy. There are a wide variety of available foodstuffs to eat. Fresh fruits and vegetables are seen year-round though availability and prices fluctuate according to seasons. However you should not expect to find all of the fruits and vegetables that you would in your home country. There are several local meat and fish markets but many teachers frequent the larger, western supermarkets.
Yes, there are many. Seoul Foreign School would like to encourage your family to maintain contact with the Christian faith by attending the church of your choice during your stay in Seoul. We will provide additional information on this topic during orientation.