The Korean school year calendar (today’s the last day of school…kind of)

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful day with friends and good food. And now, 2 days later, it is the last day of school for the year! Kind of. Let me explain.

Up until pretty recently, I just assumed all schools around the world went from September-June. Nope. In Korea, the school year goes from March-December. So, today we are done with the year. But then we will teach Winter Camp for 10 days. During Winter Camp, a small group of students will come to school and we will teach lessons that are not from the standard text book (aka a little more fun). Then we will take an 18 day trip to Vietnam (stay tuned for some pics!). The interesting part comes next.

Students will come back to school for 2 weeks in February. They will come back to the same class they were at for the previous school year. Since we are done with our textbooks, we will probably be playing games/ working on phonics/ doing some artsy, singing type activities. Then we get a week off (in which, we’ll be going to Thailand!). Then the new school year begins on March 3. Phewf! Each school is slightly different, but this is the case of our schools.

During next school year, there will be a few 3,4 and 5 day weekends sprinkled throughout the year and then a few weeks of Summer Camp and vacation during August. The Korean school year goes for about 200 days (give or take), compared to Washington state, which is 180 days.

You might be wondering, “Why are they having the last day of school when they just moved there?” Well, here in the province of Jeollanamdo, the English teachers are staggered on contracts that begin during various times during the school year. We just so happen to have begun a contract with less than two months left!

It feels slightly strange wearing sweaters, gloves and scarves on the last day of school… but hey, no complaints here! As Alice Cooper once said,  “Schools out for… winter?”

Please leave us a comment below and let us know how your Christmas went!

And now for some of the latest photos…



My co-teacher and I at a teacher's dinner

My co-teacher and I at a teacher’s dinner

Light display in Turtle Park, Yeosu

Light display in Turtle Park, Yeosu


4 thoughts on “The Korean school year calendar (today’s the last day of school…kind of)

  1. Alison — you got Kenny to the Nutcracker?? Congratulations!!! Is it similar to our Pacific NW Ballet presentation here in Seattle?

  2. The Pirtle Family Christmas was wonderful, except of course we missed you and Kenny! But I wasn’t sad — I feel blessed and am grateful for my lot in life. My children are loving, smart, confident, caring people and I cannot ask for more. (I know this sounds corny, but you asked!!)

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