Is Online Learning the Right Decision for Students Living in South Korea?

Over the past two and a half years, the schooling climate has changed significantly in South Korea. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, students were ushered into the online learning system—not by choice, but by default. While many parents feared that students would have trouble acclimatising to virtual learning, they were surprised by how seamless the adaptation was.

Today, online schooling is booming across South Korea, especially in Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Gwangju, Daejeon, and Ulsan, among other notable cities, towns, and communities across the country. Despite its popularity, questions about online schooling’s efficacy remain. In this blog, we’ll dig deeper. Our education specialists will help you determine whether online learning is the right decision for students living in South Korea. Let’s get started.


All students crave flexibility. Unfortunately, the conventional (in-person) schooling system offers little to no flexibility to students. In most cases, 20+ students are taught in a single classroom. This number often reaches 35 in some cases. A high student-teacher ratio can have disastrous consequences for students. For starters, students don’t receive individualised attention from their teachers.

One-on-one learning is extremely important for a pupil’s academic growth. It has been prioritised in South Korea for centuries. Historically speaking, South Korean teachers have always conducted lessons for a handful of students to ensure that each student has a personalised learning experience. Over the years, this practice has disappeared. Today, we see more and more South Korean teachers delivering lessons to a large number of students.

It becomes impossible for the teachers to evenly distribute their attention among the students, who ultimately bear the brunt of this approach. They fall behind in class and fail to absorb and retain knowledge as well as they should. Students start securing poor grades. Over time, their academic progression across different scholastic stages is affected. The online schooling system relies on a different approach altogether.

In most online schools, students are taught in small groups. At Cambridge Home School Online, we keep the student-teacher ratio as low as possible. 8–10 pupils are taught in one classroom. We make this this number is never exceeded. This approach goes a long way in helping students have a focused, enriching, and retentive learning experience. Students don’t have to spend hours at school like they do under the conventional system. Their classes aren’t protracted. Instead, they’re well-balanced and effective.

As a result, students enjoy a healthier school-life balance. They learn more in less time as their teachers engage with them on an individual basis. On average, online schooling helps students save between 2 and 5 additional school hours. The outcome? Greater flexibility. Students can enjoy a healthy personal and social life outside of school.

At Cambridge Home School Online, we believe that academic growth is pivotal. However, it’s not enough. Students must also grow and develop personally, socially, morally, and ethically. We make sure our students reap the benefits of each of these forms of progression.

Students get ample time after their classes. They utilise this time effectively, playing their favourite sports, socialising with their friends, exploring new activities, developing new hobbies, going on excursions, and even travelling locally and internationally with their family. Students don’t feel burned out. They enjoy a healthier balance, which also keeps their academics on track.

Pro tip: Enjoy greater flexibility by creating a schedule. This is a great way to utilise your time more effectively and stay on track. Over time, you’ll free up additional hours that would otherwise be spent procrastinating. Smart scheduling goes a long way in helping students enjoy greater academic growth and improve their school-life balance.

2. Improved Grades

a child attending online school in South Korea

Established in 2002, we have been providing a quality British online education to students living in South Korea for the past 20 years. Today, we can confidently say that the online schooling system helps students secure better grades. Parents often believe that face-to-face learning is pivotal for academic growth. Over the years, this has proven to be false. We’re living in a digital age.

The large majority of students consume digital art (photos, videos, music, movies,TV shows, documentaries, etc.) and engage in digital conversations (Facebook Messenger, Instagram DMs, Twitter DMs, WhatsApp, etc.). Digital art consumption, art creation, interactions, and conversations aren’t any less effective and impactful than those done in person. Virtual lessons are just as beneficial as conventional lessons. In fact, they help students perform better. Let’s understand why.

At Cambridge Home School Online, we use an independent, well-rounded, and interdisciplinary curriculum. This approach is missing in a lot of conventional schools today. They use the national curriculum, which lacks educational breadth and depth. It isn’t as comprehensive. As a result, students don’t perform as well as they should. Their concepts are clear and detailed.

We use an independent curriculum for each homeschooling stage. Students take a deep dive into every relevant curricular topic and subtopic, thus forming a strong foundational that further cements with every lesson. We also have a team of MA/MSc/PhD qualified subject specialist teachers on board. They work assiduously to deliver engaging lessons and make the classroom as interactive as possible.

an online teacher delivering a lesson to students in South Korea

We believe that students can only learn well when they develop a genuine interest in their classes. This interest cannot be forced. It must be organic. Otherwise, students will pretend to pay attention when they’re actually fixated on something else. We make our classes fun, stimulating, and compelling to ensure that students want to pay attention. By organically building interest, we help our students perform exceptionally well.

This is one of the most notable benefits of online schooling. Teachers leverage advanced online learning tools and audio-visual technology to make the lessons as digitally exciting and palatable as possible. Our students are recognised for securing top grades.

In June 2021, 86% of our IGCSE students secured A*s and As in their target subjects. 83% of our A Level students secured two As and a B or higher, as requested by top universities. Moreover, all students who applied received offers from some of the best universities across the globe. Our track record proves that online schooling doesn’t negatively affect student performance. Instead, it enhances it.

Recommended Read: Benefits of Being Taught by MA/Ph.D. Qualified Subject Specialist Teachers

3. The Continued Learning Model

Today, some of the leading schools utilise the continued learning model. This schooling model helps established “continued” learning. This means that students don’t just learn during their classes; they also learn once their school concludes for the day. Online learning is known for relying on the continued learning model.

At Cambridge Home School Online, we go a step beyond academic growth. Instead of simply teaching academic content to students, we also build essential skills in them. One of these is consistency. Students are taught the importance of consistent studying and revision. We strongly believe that good grades are dependent on a consistent learning pattern. Students can only succeed if they continue to learn every day, during and after school. If there are gaps, the consistency is broken. Complacency may sneak in. Moreover, students may learn critical concepts.

To prevent this from happening, we teach a range of essential soft skills to students. They understand their academic responsibilities and utilise these skills to stay on track through and through. We also provide students access to a vast online library of educational resources. Our repository includes online videos, presentations, past papers, worksheets, and so many more tools. Students can utilise these after school to study, complete their homework, and revise.

This approach helps us align our school with the continued learning model. The learning process never stops. Students continue to gain new insight and cover greater academic ground—both inside and outside of school. This approach is extremely important for South Korean students. Immensely talented, students need the right teaching approach that helps them hone their academic strengths and skills.

We facilitate this by providing access to our online library, planning a range of skill-building activities, and using the individualised online learning approach. Collectively, these measures help our students succeed. While some conventional schools use this approach, most of them don’t have similar measures in place.

Pro tip: Combine the continued learning approach with the memory-building approach. As you revise for the day, go over your notes and read them out loud. The more senses that are utilised when learning, the better. You’ll retain knowledge more effectively and have an improved learning experience.

4. Mental Health

an experienced teacher speaking with a student

Student mental health is extremely important across East Asia, especially in South Korea. Teachers and education specialists prioritise collective care and mental health to ensure that students have a positive schooling experience. It’s important to note that this is the case theoretically. In practice, many schools violate basic student mental health rights, depriving them of effective counselling, support, and guidance. Students are also overworked in many conventional schools. As a result, they return home feeling drained, fatigued, and overwhelmed.

It goes without saying that academic burnout affects each aspect of their life: personal, social, and academic growth. Students often suffer in silence, sharing little to nothing with their friends and family members. According to Statistics Korea, approximately 25.2% of middle and high school students between the ages of 13 and 18 suffer from depression. This percentage is alarming. Students also experience stress, anxiety, and self-doubt. Unfortunately, there’s very little that’s done to combat these struggles.

Today, most top online schools provide counselling to students. At Cambridge Home School Online, we provide one-on-one success coaching and pastoral support to each pupil. This helps us ensure that our students enjoy good mental health and feel content about their academics and online schooling journey. If they’re struggling from anything, our counsellors work towards understanding their issues.

We use the empathetic counselling approach. There’s absolutely no judgment. Students feel safe, comfortable, and comforted as they open up to their counsellors for support and guidance. We believe that school counselling goes a long, long way in helping students perform to the best of their ability. When provided this invaluable resource, students can structure their life accordingly and navigate the ups and downs with greater ease.

Recommended Read: How Does Online School Foster Creativity and Critical Thinking in Students?

5. Making the Switch to Cambridge Home School Online

a child attending online school in South Korea

Today, South Korea is home to over 20,000 schools. Among these institutions, very few conventional and online schools provide an excellent quality of education that helps students succeed. If you’re considering making the switch to an online school, we recommend taking your time and doing your research.

Cambridge Home School Online is considered the best online school in South Korea. We provide a quality British online education to students across four competitive homeschooling programs: Primary Prep/Key Stage 2 (ages 7 to 10), Lower School/Key Stage 3 (ages 11 to 13), Upper School/IGCSEs (ages 14 to 16), and Sixth Form/AS & A-Levels (ages 17 to 19).

At CHS Online, we’re committed to helping students succeed. Our students continually impress us by securing top grades, attending some of the most prestigious universities across the globe, and enjoying successful careers as adults. We help students strike a healthy school-life balance to ensure that they can focus on the non-academic facets of their life as well: sports, volunteering, debating, the Spelling Bee, learning foreign languages, etc.

Before you start working on your application, make sure you explore the following resources:

If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call or speak with our chatbox (bottom right). We have a limited number of places available so we recommend getting a head start on your application. Good luck!

Recommended Read: How to Secure Top Grades in Your IGCSE Exams in 2022


1. How has the educational landscape changed in South Korea due to COVID-19?

Over the last two and a half years, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a shift towards online learning in South Korea. Initially, there were concerns about how students would adapt, but they have generally transitioned smoothly to this new method of instruction.

2. What are the advantages of online schooling in terms of class sizes and student-teacher ratios?

In contrast to traditional classroom settings, where the student-teacher ratio can sometimes be quite high, online schools in South Korea tend to offer more personalised learning experiences. For example, at Cambridge Home School Online, the student-teacher ratio is intentionally kept low, with 8-10 students per class, to maximise individual attention and improve academic performance.

3. How does online education contribute to a student’s academic performance?

Online education has been shown to improve student grades. Digital tools and a well-rounded curriculum facilitate more engaged and focused learning, helping students excel academically. For instance, Cambridge Home School Online has reported that a significant number of their IGCSE and A-Level students have received top grades.

4. What is the Continued Learning Model, and how does it benefit students?

The Continued Learning Model emphasises ongoing education beyond formal class hours. Online schools often provide a range of resources like videos, past papers, and worksheets that students can access for self-study, enabling them to cement their learning and continue to build upon classroom sessions.

5. How do online schools address student mental health?

Many online schools, including Cambridge Home School Online, offer one-on-one counselling services to support the mental well-being of students. This approach aids in resolving any emotional or academic challenges students may face, providing a more holistic educational experience.