The Korea Herald


BIFS recognized by international accrediting agencies


Published : Aug. 22, 2011 - 19:31

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Busan International Foreign School, which marks its first anniversary Tuesday, has been jointly recognized by two international accrediting agencies for its high academic standards and excellent performance.

Busan city officials said Sunday that BIFS has become the first foreign school in Korea to be awarded joint accreditation from both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council of International Schools.

The school runs high-quality education programs offered by the International Baccalaureate, so the curriculum is coherent and consistent with an international educational framework. This aims to ensure that students will feel as little difference as possible in school work when they move countries.

Students who graduated in June this year, the school’s first graduation, won places at 37 universities and colleges including ones in the United States, Britain and Hong Kong. They also won a combined $135,200 in scholarships. In a recent evaluation test of more than 53,000 students attending 274 international schools, BIFS students outperformed the world average in all three academic fields and in all grades from third to ninth years.

BIFS’ enrollment has increased from 280 students in 2010 to 317 as of June, this year. The figure for the next 2011-2012 school year, which begins in August, is expected to top 400, in anticipation of a likely surge in applicants from Ulsan and other regions.

The school shows its excellence in extracurricular as well as curricular programs. Its students in higher grades volunteer to teach English at nearby elementary schools. Students and parents open flea markets to raise funds to donate to disabled people, orphans and charity groups. They also visit a center for mentally disabled children every year and help them build necessary facilities.

BIFS also is active in exchanging classes, athletic events and other academic activities with nearby schools. It invites students of other foreign schools in and around Busan to friendly sports meets. It also hosts workshops for teachers of the schools which implement International Baccalaureate education programs. With the number of foreigners living in Busan on the rise, city officials said that they will back BISF efforts to gain more international recognition and draw more students. The second largest city in Korea recorded 44,726 expats in January, this year. In Busan, there are two foreign schools for English speaking students, including the BIFS.

The growth of the schools is expected to spur Busan to become a city where people from overseas feel more comfortable to live and do business and also to help attract more foreign investment, city officials said.

By Lee Woo-young (