SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, October 14, 2021 – According to the statistics from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, as of November 2019, Seoul has around 3,000 immigrated teenagers – children of multicultural families with one parent being Korean who grew up in a foreign country and entered school age, or foreign-born children brought to Korea by foreign workers. They often have difficulties in communicating in Korean and adapting to life in Korea due to cultural differences.
Since 2015, in a partnership with the private sector, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has provided these immigrated teenagers with comprehensive support, including teaching the Korean language and helping their naturalization tests, so that they can settle stably in Korean society.
The Seoul OnDream Education Center has offered Korean language classes, career counseling services, and other customized programs for those teenagers. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, a total of 22,543 immigrated teenagers have used the center. In the first half of this year alone, 6,331 were reported to use the center.
Through the center, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has provided immigrated teenagers with basic Korean education necessary to adapt to life in Korea as well as education for school qualification exams, and art and sports classes. On top of it, Seoul plans to provide comprehensive and customized programs to help those teenagers settle down in the country, such as programs for preparing naturalization tests, education on understanding Korean society, and cultural tours. The center aims to help teenagers who have difficulties living in Korea due to the lack of information on the Korean language and Korean society.
Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government holds an idea contest for the center’s new name from September 30 to October 22. The winners will be announced on Seoul’s official website in early November. Through the contest, the city will select eight candidate names and cast a vote so that the citizens can participate. After the citizens’ vote, the city will hear experts’ opinions to decide the final name of the center.
Kim Seon-soon, Deputy Mayor for Women & Family Policy Affairs at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, said, “I hope this contest will be an opportunity for all citizens to participate in the establishment of the center that supports various immigrated teenagers from all over the world to settle down in Korean society stably.” She added, “Holding the contest will also serve as an opportunity for citizens to recognize the immigrated youth. Seoul will do its best to help them grow as healthy members of Korea.”