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An American high school experience in Seoul

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By Choe Chong-dae

For many parents and grandparents residing in Seoul, the dream of having their children and grandchildren attend an American high school on Korean soil has finally come true. This development marks a remarkable alternative to the prevalent trend of sending teenage children abroad or to Jeju Island, often accompanied by their mother. With the opening of The Learning Community International (TLCI) Seoul on Sept. 4, a perfect solution has emerged.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Mr. Kim Jae-bum, the executive director of TLCI Seoul and former Korean Ambassador to Latin America, including Uruguay. Our discussion shed light on the valuable details that parents and families have been seeking.

TLCI offers a personalized education model that provides comprehensive support and guidance directly to each student's family within the comfort of their home. This innovative approach leverages the entire world as a classroom, seamlessly integrating videoconferencing, online content modules and traditional textbooks to ensure that learning remains not only relevant but also lays a robust foundation for the future.

One of the standout features of TLCI is its commitment to tailoring education to each student's unique needs. Remarkably, for almost four decades, no two students at TLCI have ever followed the same learning plan. The institution takes a collaborative approach to craft a unique learning path for each student, aligning with their distinct visions for exploring the world, preparing for their future careers and shaping their life journeys. TLCI's customized curriculum approach provides learners with unparalleled flexibility, all underpinned by a transparent and empowering accountability process.

Outstanding educational experiences are at the core of TLCI's mission. The courses are designed with clear learning objectives, enriched content, rigorous academic standards and a strong emphasis on the production of tangible learning artifacts to substantiate the grades and credits students earn. What sets TLCI apart is its unwavering dedication to providing flexible, individualized and customized learning experiences tailored to each student's unique needs.

The TLCI team of experienced professionals serves as mentors and guides, accompanying learners on their educational journey throughout the entire academic year. Regular conferences involving the student, their parents or guardians and an assigned adviser are prioritized. These meetings offer a valuable opportunity to provide feedback, assess the learner's self-reflections and self-assessments and track progress towards their learning goals. This intentional engagement with the learning process fosters the development of crucial skills, including lifelong learning, self-confidence and personal accountability.

The commitment to excellence at TLCI is reflected in the outstanding outcomes achieved by its high school graduates. TLCI's holistic approach to learning and student development has consistently empowered graduates to attain their aspirations, including admission to prestigious institutions such as Harvard, the U.S. Naval Academy and state universities.

TLCI is not your typical educational institution; it represents a distinctive fusion of a private school and home education. Established in Columbus, Maryland, in 1984 as a private high school, TLCI has expanded its reach year by year, extending its impact beyond the United States to Indonesia, Israel and South Africa. The forthcoming establishment of TLCI in Korea is a sensational development, eagerly anticipated by those seeking a foundation to offer their child a meaningful and successful life.

TLCI Seoul introduces an innovative approach to learning through the Block Plan system, organizing classes into short, intensive blocks. This method immerses students in one subject at a time, promoting deep understanding and experiential learning. Inclusivity and support are core values, creating a safe space for students to thrive. TLCI is known for its distinctive high school experience through the Block Plan and other innovative programs, preparing students for future success.

I trust that TLCI Seoul will offer top-notch and creative educational services, aiming to captivate Korean students and provide them with an exceptional learning experience.

Choe Chong-dae ( is a guest columnist of The Korea Times. He is president of Dae-kwang International Co., and director of the Korean-Swedish Association.


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