Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to some of our most common questions
Question: Is my child eligible to attend TCIS?
Answer: If either parent holds a passport from a foreign country (not Korea), the child is eligible to apply. If both parents are Korean citizens, then the child must have lived 1095 days outside of Korea, based on an official Certificate of Exit & Entry, or have school records showing 3 years of study abroad.
Question: How are admissions decisions made?
Answer: Admissions decisions are based on whether or not the school feels that a child can be successful in our rigorous educational programs. We examine a number of factors, such as previous school records, teacher recommendations, admissions testing results and others before making a decision.
Question: What if my child is still learning English?
Answer: Each student will be tested for English proficiency when applying for admission. TCIS accepts beginning English Language Learners (ELL) in elementary school; however, secondary students must demonstrate a certain level of English proficiency in order to be successful in learning content. Students who demonstrate a sufficient level of English proficiency but need a bit of support to be successful may be given access to support through our ELA Program. Click here to learn about the English Language Acquisition (ELA) Program at TCIS.
Question: Is TCIS a good school for students who want to go to university in the United States, Canada, or Great Britain?
Answer: Absolutely. TCIS delivers the IB curriculum according to US and international standards, and we are fully accredited by WASC in the United States. As such, our school and student product are recognized by universities all over the world. Roughly 80% of TCIS seniors apply and are accepted to universities in the United States. Fewer TCIS students choose Canada, Great Britain, and Australia as their destination of choice, but those who do are accepted to top universities in those countries. In fact, a significant number of our total acceptances are to Top 100 National Schools in the U.S. and Top 100 Global Universities around the world (assessed according to the annual U.S. News and QS University rankings.)
Question: Can TCIS graduates attend universities in Korea and other places in Asia?
Answer: Yes they can. We typically have a handful of students in every class who apply and are accepted to top schools in places like Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Those students are eligible to apply as any international student would. Students applying to schools in Korea would apply as an international student or they would apply
Question: Is the IB program very difficult?
Answer: It may be better to think of the IB program as 'comprehensive' rather than 'difficult', and it generally comes down to preparedness. Students are, more often, required to practice and show their learning through writing, research and creative projects rather than multiple choice style assessments. This makes learning an involved process, but also a deeper one. Some students who are unfamiiear with such a system may find that it takes a little bit to adapt to the format, yet TCIS and the IB are all about personalized learning, and our teachers are trained and experienced in helping students through their IB learning. Ultimately, students are holistically educated, with the knowledge and soft skills to be capable people who are very well prepared for higher education.
Question: How long does the admissions process take?
Answer: This largely depends on how quickly documents are submitted and interviews/testing can be arranged. Typically, it takes about two weeks to process an application once all documents have been submitted and testing is finished (barring special application circumstances.)
Question: When does the TCIS school year begin and end?
Answer: The school year generally begins in early August and finishes in early June.
Question: What is the minimum age to begin school at TCIS?
Answer: Generally, four years old is the earliest that a child can begin in elementary classes. Our elementary programs begin as follows:
- A child who is four years old by August is eligible to enroll in Kindergarten One (K1).
- A 5-year-old can enroll in K2.
- A 6-year-old can enter first grade.
After this, students are enrolled based on previous school records.
Question: What grade will my child enroll in? Will it hurt to skip a semester or repeat a semester when transferring from a different school system?
Answer: Most students currently enrolled in schools that begin in August or September will follow the same progression at TCIS.
- If a student is transferring from a school system that begins in January or March, we strongly recommend repeating a semester rather than skipping to a higher grade.
- Universities are very understanding of a student who repeats a grade or semester due to relocation to a different school system.
Question: Do you accept late applications after the May 1st or Dec 1st deadlines?
Answer: We accept late applications if there is space available. Applying by the deadlines helps us to ensure that you receive your acceptance response in a timely manner and that your child can begin on the first day of the following semester.
Question: Can students transfer mid-term or mid-year?
Answer: Many students do start in January, which is the beginning of the second semester. Students may be able to enroll mid-semester depending on their grade level and how late they are applying. Generally, younger students can transfer at any time, but high school students may find it more difficult to transfer mid-semester. Beginning in grade 11, we generally do not accept students after the semester has begun due to the rigor of the IB DP program. Please contact the Admissions Office for personal guidance.
Question: Are there any scholarships available?
Answer: TCIS offers Merit Scholarships for outstanding students in grades 10-11.
You can read about the Merit Scholarship Program here.
Question: Do all students have to live in the dormitories?
Answer: No. Students in grades 6-12 have the option of living in the dormitories as a convenience for families that do not live locally. Many students in our school live in or near Daejeon, and they commute to school daily. Students not in the Boarding Care Program are expected to physically live with a parent(s) or guardian, and never on their own.
Question: How do I apply for entrance into the residence program?
Answer: Families interested in applying to the residence program should contact the admissions office. The process is very simple and involves filling in a questionnaire and a personal interview with the Boarding Care Coordinator.
Question: TCIS is a Christian school, but what if a student (family) is not Christian?
Answer: TCIS accepts students of any faith background as well as those who do not associate with any faith. About half of TCIS students are Christian. A respectful attitude is expected in community settings where Christian topics are referenced or observed, but it is not expected that a student profess a Christian faith or engage in acts of worship. Also, student faith never affects matters of grading or academic preference.
Question: What is the best international school in Korea?
Answer: This is a very subjective question. Every school has its own unique community, offerings, and focus. Look at the mission statement and what makes the school unique. Think about the community and how the learning environment will support your child holistically. That answer will tell you which is the best school for your family. It can be easy to get lost in names, lists, and all of the colorful photos, but really look at how the school will shape a student overall.
TCIS has a continuous history of academic excellence going back to 1958 and further roots going back to around 1900. Our academic programs are the equivalent or better than most options in Korea, and our students go to top universities all around the world. The TCIS community is known for being closely-knit and our students are known for BOTH their academic learning and their outstanding character. The TCIS campus is large and one of the most beautiful in Korea, and with some of the nicest facilities in Asia, and it is set in a safe, quiet, and healthy part of the country – a setting that is unlike any other. One of our biggest differentiating factors is our Christian community that focuses on cultivating character as well as academic growth. Our boarding program furthers that holistic mission in the school, making our programs available to families from around the world.
While the answer is subjective, thousands of families for more than 60 years have chosen TCIS and been very happy with their entire experience. We work hard every day to create the kind of academic experience that makes TCIS the best international school in Korea.