The academic talents of South Korea’s students are well-documented. But a recent story by NPR takes a look at the some of the nation’s super-elite teenagers, at the Daewon Foreign Language High School. So lofty are the school’s reputation and academic standards that it’s sending students to elite American colleges, including Ivy League campuses. The story notes that in South Korea, it’s not uncommon for students to move to the United States, attend prep school for a while, and then seek admission at American schools. Daewon allows them to skip one step, apparently.
In the course of reporting past stories on South Korean education, I’ve also heard of parents in that country moving to the United States to allow a son or daughter to attend high school, on the path to a U.S. college (space is limited in top South Korean universities.) I would guess that many countries have schools that are the equivalent of Daewon, or at least aspire to be that. They push students very hard, and market themselves to parents as preparing their sons and daughters for entry into the American higher education system (though maybe not into the Ivys). Can you think of any other schools outside U.S. borders that fit this model?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.