Starters Preschool (Yongsan)

Editor’s Note: This information about Starters Preschool first appeared on this post about Yongsan preschool options. In order to keep the conversations more coherent, we’ve closed comments on that original post and separated all school reviews to their own posts. If your child has or is currently attending this program, please feel free to leave your input here so other parents can make an informed decision. Thanks!

CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY GARCIA

Starters Preschool

The Japanese program at Starters is the most well-known part of this school, but they just introduced an English language program about 2 years ago.  The cool thing about this school is it’s the only one I’ve seen that offers a bilingual Korean/English education.  Actually, for the younger kids it’s Korean only and the older kids (I think 4/5yo) they get half of their instruction in Korean half in English and reinforcement in the weaker language.  It’s also really close to base, about 5 minutes from the Ichon Visitor’s Gate.  I haven’t met anyone who goes there yet, but my friend’s friends apparently love it.  (They’re in the Japanese program.) No outdoor playground, but a rooftop terrace where kids play in the snow, etc.  Bus to Yongsan available.  There’s also a little parking so you can drop off/pick up kids there.

Contact: Soo (Sue):  soo.kim85@gmail.com
Phone:
 02-749-8247
Email: tktmatktma@hanmail.net

Website: http://www.starters.kr

Address: 302-61 Ichon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

GPS Coordinates: 37.52092966278321, 126.96829630608215

Map

Ages:  3 years old to 6 years old

Hours:  3/4yo:  10am-2pm, 5yo+ 10am-3:30  After school programs available to 4:40

Cost: You can’t get the cost until you make an appointment, but I was told less than 1,000,000/month (about $900/mo) for older kids and younger kids would be cheaper than that.  If anyone has something more concrete, drop me a line.


For all you parents looking for a preschool that suits your kids, we’re hoping to add a little something to aid in your search. Parents of children who attend various preschools here in Korea have filled out a series of questions about the schools for the benefit of the rest of us. We welcome more than one voice on each school since everyone has a different experience, so please feel free to add in your two cents in the comments.

If your child attends a school that has not been reviewed on this site, please contact our Submissions Manager for the template.

9 thoughts on “Starters Preschool (Yongsan)

  1. Shin Jeung Han-Trotter says:

    My daughter goes to Starters which has children between 3-6years old (for American age). This school is little more expensive than other Korean/English schools, but not too expensive like the international schools. I feel like it is worth every penny. There are three things that I love about this school.

    First, since the school has Japanese & English and Korean & English classes, kids seems more comfortable with the multi culture environment. My daughter couldn’t speak Korean at all before she entered this school, however, after 5 months, her Korean has increased amazingly. Her classmates are very nice to her and always try to help her out, and during English class, my daughter tries to help her classmates. So it evens out. She didn’t stress out as much as I had worried she would. After her first 2 weeks, she was pulling my hand and asking to go out quick so she could go to school. I like all of her classmates, and there doesn’t seem to be any bullies. They all get along very well and help each other out.

    Second, I especially like the school programs. The school doesn’t focus on only one or two areas, they teach subjects like Language, Math, Science, Social Studies, etc. They also have extra curricular activates such as Ballet, Taekwondo, Korean Traditional Music and PE once a week. Every month there is a cooking lesson based on the month’s theme (the older kids 6/7 year olds have it twice, one in Korean and one in English every month). There is also another special class at this school. For education about nature, the 6/7 year old kids go to the forest once a week during the months of March-July and September-December. For the months of July-August there is a swimming class at a nearby pool. During holidays or special school days, the school prepares many events (Flea Market, Harmony Sports Day, Halloween Party, Pajama Party, Mountain trip, Science Fair, Open Class, Christmas Party, Winter Blossom, etc.) for both the students and parents. The school has a large variety of high quality programs so the kids don’t get bored.

    Last but not least, I absolutely love all of the teachers. All of the teachers, Korean, Japanese, and English teachers, are all very kind and professional. We went the school science fair, and even though the Japanese teachers had never taught my daughter, they all called her by her name and treat her like she was one of their own students. Her Korean and English teachers can be strict yet at the same time they are very kind and concerned for their student’s welfare. My daughter cannot stop talking about her teachers when she comes back from school. During the science fair, there were lines of kids waiting for each area, and amazingly, all the kids were lined up and waiting very patiently, including my daughter. I soon found out why the kids were very patiently waiting. When it was their turn, each of the teachers smiled and focused on that child and didn’t rush them at all. Each of the teachers made sure the kids were having fun, yet they learned something about science. So the kids knew, when it became their turn, they would have fun.

    This school may not have best building or facilities like some of the other (far) more expensive international schools. It may even cost more than some of the other Korean/English schools, but the quality and variety of programs and the kind and professional teachers who teach here make all the difference in the world. One other thing that I like about this school is that they don’t use my daughter to advertise the fact that they have English speaking students like many of the other schools do.

    Of course the school is not perfect and this is my personal opinion, so some parents may not agree with me or have different opinions. As a parent, my experience with this school has been very satisfactory because my daughter is very happy. This school earned my trust, so as long as we stay in Yongsan, we’ll continue to send our daughter to this school. I hope my experience helps other parents.
    The school contact info got changed. This is the updated school contact info, email: tktmatktma@hanmail.net Phone: 02-749-8247

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  2. Content Editor says:

    Thank you SO much for your feedback. I’m sure this will be very useful feedback for other parents looking for a personal review of this school! I’ve also included your updated information in the post.

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  3. Bryan says:

    Thanks so much for the info about this school. We will be arriving in Korea in June and will be looking for a pre-school for our soon to be 4 yr old. You’re right, the international schools are very expensive, so we’re looking at all options. I like what you’ve described about Starters. I believe the exposure to a multi-ethnic/lingual environment would be great for our child and give her the confidence to interact with others during our 3 or so years in Korea. Do you happen to know if they have a website? Thanks again for the valuable information you offered.

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  4. Content Editor says:

    Bryan, I have not been able to find a website for this preschool. Hopefully one of our readers can give you a bit more information!

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  5. Shin Jeung Han-Trotter says:

    The school website is under construction..I’ll let you know when the school finish the update. 🙂

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  6. Bryan says:

    Thanks for the info about their website. Do you happen to know if there are any registration procedures/deadlines that we should be aware of or begin before we depart the US for Korea?
    Thanks,
    Bryan

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  7. Shin Jeung Han-Trotter says:

    http://www.starters.kr
    Got the website address. For secure and privacy reasons, people cannot see kids or class pictures. some parts of website are only for the parents and kids who attending the school. But you can still able to see some general info regarding school.

    Answer for your the other questions: Most of Korean preschool and kindergarten start new year during March. So most of parents apply during Dec through Jan. But don’t worry. We got station in Korea during Aug, and luckily they have opening. We had wait two weeks, but we got in. When you get in Korea, do house hunting. You will have time. Call around, just walk around, talk to people. Make bunch of appointments, and take kids with you. After all, it’s their school. If they have opening, you will be able to get in right away. If they don’t, then put name on the waiting list. Eventually, they will call. Oh! school bus is free. But if you leave too far away, you cannot use school bus system. So when you find a school you really like, it might help you to decide where you want to find your house.

    Personally, I absolutely love this school and so as my daughter. My daughter just starts a forest program (she is 5yr sky class now ya!, and they only offer forest program for 5-6yr classes for safety reason so last year, she couldn’t get in the forest program), and once for week, they go hiking with forest expert and learn about nature. She LOVES IT!!!! But again, every parents and kids are different. ( for example, my daughter’s friend who is very girlish didn’t like the program too much.) So please look around. If you are both working, you might have a good chance to get in the program on YongSan base. Good luck and Enjoy Korea.

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