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At the high school level at Busan Foreign School, grades 9-12, all students are placed in a rigorous AP college preparatory program.Our current foundational core courses are in the Advanced Placement program in English, History, Economics, Chemistry, and Psychology. These courses are primarily for our upper-level students – grades 11 and 12.

Students are granted one graduation credit per year of either a core required or a year of an elective course. Students must successfully complete an array of required and elective courses equally 24 credits through 2016. From June of 2017 on, all BFS graduates must have completed 26 full year credits.

Families and students can refer to the Student Handbook for specific graduation requirements.

The course descriptions for the 2018-19 school year can be found here.


English Language Arts (ELA)

BFS offers ELA lessons adapted to each grade level and an “AP Language and Composition” course available from grade 10.

Grade 9 Introduction to Literature

This class focuses on expanding students’ understanding works of literature through a genre approach. The goal is to provide students with a strong foundation in literature as they progress through high school. Literature will include short stories, poetry, a young adult fiction, mythology, selections from The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet and non-fiction, among others. In addition, vocabulary, through the study of Greek and Latin roots, and grammar will be addressed. Writing skills will focus on the essay and using evidence effectively to support a thesis.

Grade 10 American Literature

This year-long course covers the central themes and movements of American Literature. Readings will involve a wide variety of forms chronologically from the Puritan through contemporary periods. Class activities will include Socratic seminars, informal small and large-group discussions, close reading strategies, webquests, presentations, research, essays, and written responses. Occasional ties to American history class may occur. Grammar and unit-specific vocabulary will also be addressed throughout the course.

Grade 11 English/Language Arts

Language Arts 11 is a thematic course that explores a variety of texts that explore narratives of the human experience. The texts include biblical stories, short stories, the Dark Knight , The Kite Runner, and Hamlet. While they read, students will practice reflection and analysis both in writing and in discussion. Students will focus on making inferences and forming arguments about texts and supporting their ideas with evidence. As the year progresses, students will work to find thematic connections between the text and broaden those connections to the real world. The final quarter of the course, students will write a synthesis essay that focuses on evaluating sources, analyzing arguments, taking a position, and arguing that position with supporting evidence. The culmination of the class will be a choice book. For this final unit, students will read a literary novel of their choice; writing literary analysis paragraphs throughout their reading; make inferences, arguments, and support both with textual evidence; tie their novel to our the class themes; make text connections to the other texts we’ve read, the outside world, and their own feelings; and as a final, they will write a paper and give a presentation on their book.

Grade 12 Senior English: College Preparation Literature and Composition

This course, specifically designed for BFS seniors, will have several purposes: successful completion of the college application process, preparation for writing at the collegiate level, and an in-depth look at upper-level literature. Literature may vary from year to year. For 2018-19, readings will focus on British and World Literature. Students will reflect and analyze timeless and universal themes and consider their place as a world citizen confronting the world beyond high school and in many cases beyond South Korea. In addition, students will formally research topics using library databases, for a variety of rhetorical purposes (expository, argumentative, and a synthesis essay analyzing a trend) and produce an appropriate paper through the entire writing process, document sources. Speaking activities may include Socratic discussions, formal speeches or informal group work.

Grades 10, 11, 12 AP Language

The expectations, curriculum, and course load are directly correlated to a college-level English course. Students come into this class with a strong background in both reading and writing in English. The skills of synthesis and analysis are key components that are addressed throughout the year. Extensive reading and writing and a high level of discipline towards these tasks are necessary for success. Writing assignments, timed writings, extensive essays, and frequent non-fiction readings are the core materials of this class. A strong commitment beyond the classroom is essential for students in AP Language.


Busan Foreign School has many mathematics lessons available and open to our High School students:

Grade 7, 8, 9 Algebra I

In this enriched class, students will investigate and explore equations, inequalities, functions and linear functions, systems of equations and inequalities, exponents and polynomials, factoring polynomials, quadratic functions and equations, data analysis and probability. For advanced students, some of Algebra II topics will be introduced (exponential, radical and rational functions and equations). Emphasis will be placed on fully communicating mathematical work, understanding mathematical notation, and multiple representations, i.e., exploring mathematical concepts simultaneously through graphs, tables, equations and written explanations.

Grade 8, 9 Geometry

This course involves the student as a problem solver, one who can reason mathematically and who can communicate and make connections among various mathematical ideas, including the following: points, lines, planes and angles, parallel lines and planes, transformations and congruence, congruent triangles, similar polygons, right triangles, circles, areas of plane and solid figures, volume and surface area of solids, organizing proofs logically and using formulae to solve problems.

Grade 9, 10 Algebra 2

In this course, students will be investigating Algebra as a tool for calculation and problem-solving. We’ll start with some review of Algebra I and Geometry and focus on quadratic functions and factoring, polynomial functions, rational exponents and functions, rational functions, data analysis and statistics, sequence and series, quadratic relations and conic sections. Students will start learning how to use graphic calculator with activities and work on research projects for in-depth understanding.

Grades 9-12 Integrated Math

In this course, students will review and investigate Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry and practice real-world problem-solving. This course integrates all math topics starting with a review of Algebra and Geometry focused on quadratic functions and factoring, polynomial functions, rational exponents and functions, rational functions, data analysis and statistics, sequence and series, quadratic equations, conic sections, and trigonometry. Preparation for standardized exams such as Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) by College Board will be covered. Graphic calculators (TI 83/84/89) are required for this course.

Grade 10, 11 Pre-Calculus

In this course, the students will review and learn more depth in Trigonometric, Geometric, and Algebraic techniques and how to integrate them to prepare for the study of calculus and strengthens their conceptual understanding of problems and mathematical reasoning in solving problems. In addition to work out problems by hand, the students will learn how to use technology such as TI 83/84/89. These standards take a functional point of view toward those topics. The most significant new concept is that of limits.

Grades 11, 12 AP Calculus AB

In this college-level math course, students will learn real-world problem solving using math and explore all aspects of single-variable calculus. Students will study limits, differentiation, applications of differentiation, integration, applications of integration and basic differential equations. The students will learn both algebraic approach and geometric approach to understand calculus with help of technology (TI 83/84/89) and graphical analysis. At the conclusion of the course, students are strongly encouraged to take the AP Calculus exam (AB).

Grades 11, 12 AP Calculus BC

In this college-level math course, students will learn real-world problem solving using math and explore all aspects of single-variable calculus. Students will study limits, differentiation, applications of differentiation, integration, applications of integration and basic differential equations. The students will learn both algebraic approach and geometric approach to understand calculus with help of technology (TI 83/84/89) and graphical analysis. At the conclusion of the course, students are strongly encouraged to take the AP Calculus exam (BC).

Grades 10-12 AP Statistics

The purpose of this AP course in statistics is to strengthen students’ understanding of the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:

  1. Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns
  2. Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study
  3. Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
  4. Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses

The AP Statistics course is an excellent option for any secondary school student who has successfully completed a second-year course in algebra and who possesses sufficient mathematical maturity and quantitative reasoning ability. Because second-year algebra is the prerequisite course, AP Statistics usually will be taken in either the junior or senior year. Students who take the AP Statistics course are strongly encouraged to take the exam.

Many are the subjects available to BFS students in the Social Studies area, whether History or Psychology, students are sure to find a subject of interest.

Grade 9 Asian History

This course offers a detailed study of Asian history, geography, and cultures as it follows the social and political development of the Asian continent. Students will be able to describe the physical geography of Asian countries. They will become familiar with the major religions practiced and how these religions shaped the development of each country. They will discover the how the past has influenced the development and present of Asian countries. Students will be assessed through tests, quizzes, homework, and group and individual projects.

Grade 10 U.S. History

This social studies course is aimed at developing an understanding of the history of the United States. The course content takes you through a somewhat comprehensive journey through U.S. History with an emphasis on the most impactful periods in U.S. history. Students will learn about the institutions, individuals, groups, ideas, circumstances, and events (both good and bad) which shaped the U.S. into what it is today. Throughout the learning process, students will work to gain an understanding of key historical, political, geographical, and economic concepts which can be applied outside the context of U.S. history. In addition to content, students will work to develop their academic reading, writing, research, presentation, and communication skills to better prepare them for future coursework. Students must complete reading assignments, notes, and participate in discussions in order to be successful. Assessment will take place through frequent quizzes, tests, and projects.

Grades 10, 11, 12 Government & Economics

In the first semester, students apply knowledge to pursue a deeper understanding of the institutions of government. They compare differences and similarities in world governmental systems today. This course is designed to prepare students to solve society’s problems, to understand and to participate in the governmental process, and to be a responsible citizen of the United States and the world. In the second semester, students will master basic economic concepts to help them make sound economic decisions in the future. They will use graphs, models, and charts to make sense of complex economic ideas. Students will also complete a personal finance unit.

Grades 10, 11, 12 Sociology

Students in this course will study human societies and social behavior. How do groups of people interact with each other and why? This social science course will ask students to observe students and adults at BFS and make inferences about why people may act the way they do. How do agreed upon values get reflected or represented in society? This class will deal with how we act towards each other and what happens if we deviate from acceptable behaviors. The course will cover a wide range of topics including culture, deviant behavior, race, class, and gender. You’ll never think about your social life the same after studying sociology.

Grades 10, 11, 12 Global Issues/MUN

The world has become much smaller in recent years as new technology increases the speed and flow of information from one part of the world to the next. In this course, students conduct inquiries into contemporary and emerging global issues. Students work to gain an understanding of how history, culture, politics, and economics play important roles in shaping many of the global issues of our time. The course will also promote and enhance research, collaboration, and multimedia presentation skills which can transfer to future academic coursework. Students will participate in the Model United Nations (MUN) competition through the South Korea Activities Conference (SKAC) and will have the opportunity to participate in a regional MUN competition.

Grades 10, 11, 12 AP World History

Explore key themes of world history, including interaction with the environment, cultures, state-building, economic systems, and social structures, from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. Learn to apply historical thinking skills including the ability to craft arguments from evidence; describe, analyze and evaluate events from a chronological perspective; compare and contextualize historical developments; and analyze evidence, reasoning, and context to construct and understand historical interpretations.

Grades 10, 11, 12 Psychology

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Students also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.

Grades 11, 12 AP Macroeconomics

Economics is a social science that studies how individuals, governments, firms, and nations make choices while attempting to satisfy unlimited needs and wants with limited resources. You and I practice economic behavior every single day, without even knowing it. The purpose of the AP course in Microeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply specifically to the functions of individual decision-makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, includes the study of factor markets, and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Whereas macroeconomics is the study of the behaviors and goals which drive the economy as a whole, microeconomics focuses on the individual units that make up the economy, such as the common behaviors of businesses and individuals.

As students progress through High Schoo, a wider variety of science-related courses are available.

Grade 9 Biology

Biology is the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. The objectives of this course are to provide students with a general knowledge of biology and to prepare students for a general biology course in university. The course topics are: lab safety and lab materials, the science of biology, the chemistry of life, cell structure and function, photosynthesis, cellular respiration and fermentation, cell growth and division, introduction to genetics, DNA, RNA and protein synthesis, human heredity, Darwin’s theory of evolution, evolution of populations, classification, history of life, introduction to animals, animal evolution and diversity, animal systems I, animal systems II, digestive and excretory systems, nervous system, skeletal, muscular, and integumentary systems, circulatory and respiratory systems, endocrine and reproductive systems, and immune system and disease.

Grade 10 Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, properties, and change of matter. The objectives of this course are to provide students with a general knowledge of chemistry and to prepare students for a general chemistry course in university. The course topics are: lab safety, lab materials, and math review, matter and change, measurements and calculations, atoms: the building blocks of matter, arrangement of electrons in atoms, the periodic law, chemical bonding, chemical formulas and chemical compounds, chemical equations and reactions, stoichiometry, states of matter, gases, solutions, ions in aqueous solutions and colligative properties, acids and bases, acid-base titration and pH, reaction energy, reaction kinetics, chemical equilibrium, nuclear chemistry, and organic chemistry.

Grades 10, 11, 12 Environmental Science

Using skills and tools that all scientists use, students in the environmental science course will study how living things, including humans, affect and interact with their environment. Based on current issues and a knowledge of all the earth sciences and social sciences, we will explore how people use natural resources and, at times, create serious issues that need attention. Based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) standards, the course will use an applied science approach to focus on real-life challenges, industry, workforce, the future, and the betterment of humanity and to investigate practical solutions to current environmental problems. Students will become aware of human interaction with environmental systems and search for ways in which they can steward their surroundings and the planet. Be ready to debate the issues, create authentic projects that improve and protect our surroundings, and discover ways we can enhance the planet we have inherited from our ancestors. A field science class, students will spend many class periods outdoors in all seasons.

Grades 11, 12 Physics

Physics is the study of the motion of matter, energy, and forces. The objectives of this course are to provide students with a general knowledge of physics and to prepare students for a general physics course in university. The course topics are: lab safety, lab materials, and math review, the science of physics, motion in one dimension, two-dimensional motion and vectors, forces and the laws of motion, work and energy, momentum and collisions, circular motion and gravitation, fluid mechanics, heat, vibration and waves, sound, light and reflection, refraction, electric forces and fields, electrical energy and current, circuits and circuit elements, magnetism, electromagnetic induction, and additional content.

Grades 11, 12 AP Biology

AP Biology is the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. The objective of this course is to provide students with the knowledge of a general biology course in university. The course topics are the chemistry of life; the cell; genetics; mechanisms of evolution; the evolutionary history of biological diversity; plant form and function; animal form and function, and ecology.

BFS offers electives in High School in the areas of Life Skills, Technology, Arts, and world languages.


Grades 10, 11, 12 AP Seminar
AP Seminar is the foundational course in the AP Capstone diploma that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literacy, and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.

Grades 10, 11, 12 AP Research
AP Research, the second course in the AP Capstone experience, allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, issue, or idea of individual interest. Students design, plan and implement a year-long investigation to address a research question. Through this inquiry, they further the skills they acquired in the AP Seminar course by learning research methodology, employing ethical, employing ethical research practices, and accessing, and analyzing and synthesizing information. Students reflect on their skill development, document their process, and curate the artifacts of their scholarly work through a process and reflection portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of 4,000-5,000 words (accompanied by a performance, exhibit, or product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense.


Grades 9, 10, 11, 12 Physical Education (PE) / Health
The best way to live a healthy life is to prevent health problems before they occur. This course creates opportunities for students to apply new skills and knowledge to experience the benefits of a physically active lifestyle. Students will be required to complete a mixture of physical activities, tests, and a research paper—and to record in their workout log cardiovascular, flexibility, strength and endurance activities. Health education using Fitness for Life will be embedded within the Physical Education course including nutrition, diet, and managing stress. By the end of the course, they will have gained the knowledge needed to begin developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime.


Grades 9, 10, 11, 12  Digital Media/Yearbook
As technology and social trends change the way that people create and consume media, it is becoming more important for corporations, organizations, and individuals to stay updated on the most effective ways to create digital media that helps us spread our ideas. In this course, students will learn practical skills that they can apply to help future extra-curricular clubs, non-profit organizations, etc. Through application within a team atmosphere, students will improve creativity, writing, photography, video editing, journalism, presentation, and promotion skills. Members of this class will create the BFS Yearbook and multiple Shark Tank broadcast videos throughout the school year.


Grades 9, 10, 11, 12 Intro to Computer Science
This class focuses on building skills in computer science and teaches the fundamentals of computer programming as well as some advanced features of the Python language. Using CodeHS, students use what they learn in this course to build simple console-based games. This course does not assume any prior programming experience. Students will learn the basics of programming, and then gradually harness the power of some of Python’s more advanced features to make games and solve real-world problems. This course is equivalent to a semester-long introductory Python course at the college level.

Grades 11, 12 AP Computer Science Principles
This class focuses on building skills in computer science and teaches the fundamentals of computer programming as well as some advanced features of the Python language. Using CodeHS, students use what they learn in this course to build simple console-based games, and this course is equivalent to a semester-long introductory Python course at the college level. This course does not assume any prior programming experience. Learn the basics of programming, and then gradually harness the power of some of Python's more advanced features to make games and solve real-world problems. Students can take this course as their first introduction to computer science or as a secondary introductory course that explores a new language, after Computer Science 1 in JavaScript.

Grades 11, 12 AP Computer Science Principles
AP Computer Science Principles introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world. With a unique focus on creative problem solving and real-world applications, AP Computer Science Principles prepares students for college and career through digital projects that showcase your creativity. It is recommended that students have successfully completed high school algebra course and have knowledge of a Cartesian system before taking this course.

Grades 11, 12  AP Computer Science A
The AP Computer Science A course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics including problem-solving, design strategies and methodologies, the organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. Prerequisites for this course are knowledge of basic English and algebra, including functions and function notation.


Grades 6 – 12 Studio Arts
These middle and high school classes are designed with the serious art student in mind. We will emphasize art as an ongoing process that involves you making informed and critical decisions while working in a number of different artistic realms: drawing, 2D, and 3D pieces. You will add to your technical artistic skills and become more aware of all aspects of visual artistic elements. Students will create projects that range from the political to the personal and whimsical by using a variety of media – for example, a collage that makes a powerful visual statement about an important issue or a Picasso-like sculpture splashed with color and pattern. A key focus is the language of art, known as the Elements and Principles of Design. Some key art movements are studied as well as the larger question: “What is Art?” Feedback and reflection are other important parts of the learning process, facilitated by our art teacher. This class will open students’ eyes to new ideas about art and creativity.

Grades 10 – 12 AP Studio Art: 2-D Design & Drawing
AP Studio Art is designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of creating an art portfolio. The class focuses on critical analysis and innovative art-making processes in which students create and submit portfolios for 2D Design and their own work, concentrate on a sustained investigation of a particular visual interest or problem, and use a range of approaches in the formal, technical, and expressive means of an artist.

Grades 6 – 12  Orchestra A/B
The main emphasis for the orchestra program is the development of total musicianship through the study, preparation and performance of quality literature and an authentic understanding of the language of music through a sequential curriculum of music theory topics. Educational emphasis is placed on the advancement of instrumental technique, further development of music reading and comprehension skills, independent musicianship, style, and a deeper understanding of small group ensemble music, and orchestral literature. Literature will contain both Classical and Popular music. All orchestra members perform in two major concerts during the school year. Students may take Orchestra A (Period 1) or Orchestra B (Period 7), but not both.

Grades 10 – 12 AP Music Theory
AP Music Theory is a college level class covering musicianship, theory, musical materials, and procedures. Musicianship skills, including dictation and other listening skills, sight singing, and harmony, are an important part of the course. Through the course, students develop the ability to recognize, understand, and describe basic materials and processes of tonal music that are heard in a score. The class also includes developing mastery in the rudiments and vocabulary of music, including hearing and noting pitches, intervals, scalesM and keys, chords, meter, and rhythm.


Grade 9-12   HS Spanish 1
This first-year high school Spanish course will introduce students to the foundation of the language and help to develop their expressive confidence. Through individual and collaborative activities, students will communicate about their family and friends, likes and dislikes, school, food, culture, and the world around them. Through songs, introductory novels, videos, and other authentic materials, students will be immersed in the Spanish language in order to build a strong base in the four skill areas of listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

Grades 9 – 12    Spanish 2
This course will build on skills learned in Spanish I, expand vocabulary, increase grammar proficiency, develop literacy skills, and give students the confidence to express themselves more fully in the Spanish language. Spanish 2 will prepare students to communicate in various times and tenses through the exploration of topics such as the body, the home, shopping, and travel. Through songs, introductory novels, videos, and other authentic materials, students will be immersed in the Spanish language and related cultures in order to improve in the four skill areas of listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

Grades 10 – 12    Spanish 3
Spanish 3 will review and build on prior skills learned in Spanish I and Spanish II, moving students closer to fluency. This level of Spanish instruction assumes a basic-intermediate knowledge of grammar concepts and vocabulary introduced in Spanish I and II. Emphasis is on communicating in Spanish through reading, listening, writing, and speaking in various contexts and aspects of time. Students also study Hispano-American and Spanish cultures, geography, and history through literary texts, film, pop songs, and other authentic materials. Students will frequently participate in individual, paired, and group activities as well as complete written and oral projects to practice and apply new vocabulary and grammar concepts.

Grades 10 – 12    Spanish 4
This fourth-year Spanish course will review and build on prior skills learned in Spanish 1, 2, and 3 and will move students closer to fluency. This rigorous AP-prep course will explore social and cultural topics through literary texts and authentic readings. Students will present on topics using composition and conversation while integrating advanced grammar. Oral and written proficiency will be evaluated frequently.

Grades 9 -12   Korean for Non-Native Speakers
This introductory course is for non-native speakers of Korean only. The class is designed to build literacy and oral proficiency with lessons appropriate for students’ level of Korean understanding. Through individual and collaborative activities, students will communicate and develop vocabulary, literacy, listening and speaking skills.

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