Editorial Team

South Korea’s largest island, Jeju Island, with its breathtaking landscapes and unique cultural blend, presents a compelling case for hosting an international school. Its stunning natural beauty, including volcanic landscapes, waterfalls, and pristine beaches, offers students a stimulating environment conducive to learning and personal growth. Nestled within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jeju Island, Branksome Hall Asia emerges as a vibrant community dedicated to nurturing globally-minded leaders. “Our location on Jeju Island serves as a unique asset, providing an immersive and enriching learning environment. Students benefit from firsthand experiences with the island’s natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse ecosystems, fostering environmental awareness and global citizenship,” says Dr. Blair Lee, Head of School, Branksome Hall Asia.

Since its establishment in 2012 as the sister school of Branksome Hall Canada, a beacon of educational excellence for over a century, Branksome Hall Asia has embraced a commitment to academic rigor and the empowerment of its diverse student body. Dr. Lee shares, “Our belief in providing an inclusive and dynamic educational environment led us to introduce the boys program in middle school this year, expanding into high school soon after. We aim to create a space where every student can thrive and discover their unique potential.” The eagerly anticipated addition of boys boarding in August 2024 marks a significant step towards creating an all-encompassing educational experience.

Dr. Lee’s passion for education resonates with the school’s mission: “We aim to ignite a genuine passion for learning, empowering our students to become critical thinkers, compassionate leaders, and responsible global citizens.” This passion finds expression in a comprehensive IB curriculum spanning the Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Program (MYP), and Diploma Program (DP).

Looking toward the future, Dr. Lee envisions Branksome Hall Asia as more than just a hub for academic excellence. He says, “We want to be a tight-knit community known for fostering cultural understanding and a deep respect for the natural environment.” This vision reflects the school’s commitment to holistic growth, where students not only expand their intellectual horizons but also develop an awareness of diverse cultures and a sense of environmental responsibility.

Empowering Global Minds through Holistic Education

Branksome Hall Asia offers a comprehensive and seamless education journey to students from junior kindergarten to Grade 12, with a focus on the rigorous and globally recognized IB curriculum. Dr. Lee emphasizes, “IB framework provides a consistent and in-depth learning experience that prepares students for success in a globally interconnected world.”

Branksome Hall Asia is unique for its dynamic partnership with Branksome Hall Canada, which transcends geographical boundaries. Dr. Lee notes, “Our unique partnership with Branksome Hall Canada fosters enriching academic and cultural exchanges, broadening students’ global perspectives and exposing them to diverse learning environments.”

Located on the picturesque Jeju campus, Branksome Hall Asia offers state-of-the-art facilities that support the innovative STEM-V program, which combines visual arts with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The campus also features a dedicated Performing Arts Center, including a 400-seat theater, black box theater, film studio, orchestra, and choral rooms.

At the core of Branksome Hall Asia’s educational philosophy is the emphasis on holistic development and student empowerment. The IB programs prioritize active student participation, encouraging critical thinking and the real-world application of knowledge. “We empower students to take initiative, collaborate effectively, and develop the essential skills required for lifelong learning and leadership,” adds Dr. Lee.

The school’s vibrant community celebrates diversity, creating an inclusive environment where students of all backgrounds are encouraged to share their unique perspectives. “We believe in nurturing respect for cultural differences and building bridges of understanding across borders,” pinpoints Dr. Lee. Choosing Branksome Hall Asia means investing in an educational experience that transcends boundaries, fostering a global mindset within a dynamic and inclusive community and setting the stage for a lifetime of success and cultural understanding.

Nurturing Independence and Global Citizenship

The Branksome Hall Asia campus located on Jeju Island is designed with great attention to detail and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. It’s built to enhance the learning experience, and each school division has its own dedicated building, complimented by shared spaces. The Design Lab is a center of innovation, furnished with 3D printers, CAD, laser cutters, and think tank spaces. This facility fosters the convergence of education and supports the STEM-V program.

Dr. Lee shares, “Our IB World School programs stand out by focusing on leadership, autonomy, and active student participation in academics and extracurricular activities.” The Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Program (MYP), and Diploma Program (DP) contribute to holistic development, nurturing critical thinking, creativity, and a global mindset. Dr. Lee highlights, “The IB continuum, from PYP to DP, ensures continuous development across various dimensions of learning, preparing students for a dynamic world.”

Branksome Hall Asia’s boarding program is available for both boys and girls, providing a ‘home away from home’ experience. The boys’ program caters to grades 6-8, while the girls’ program spans grades 6-12. Noteworthy benefits include access to teachers and school facilities on weekends, reducing transportation needs, and allowing for more study time and facility utilization. Dr. Lee notes, “Our boarding program is designed to foster independence, community living skills, and global citizenship, offering a unique environment for personal growth.”

Moreover, the Boarding Program provides opportunities for language development and offers drop-in sessions for counseling and academic support throughout the year. Family Dons play a crucial role in nurturing and caring for a small ‘Family’ of students in a 1 to 10 ratio. The program also emphasizes leadership opportunities through a weekly Council meeting where students discuss Boarding life and learn essential life skills.

Building Bridges, Creating Memories

In the tight-knit community of Branksome Hall Asia, building connections is more than a goal—it’s a way of life. Dr. Lee says, “Our strength lies in the bonds we create within our community. It’s not just a school; it’s a place where families come together to share in the journey of education.” One cherished event that embodies this sense of togetherness is Plaid Tidings, the school’s annual holiday bazaar. Dr. Lee expresses, “Plaid Tidings is a celebration that brings our entire school community together. It’s not just about festivities; it’s about creating memories that last a lifetime.”

On the flip side, the collaboration with Branksome Hall Canada goes beyond academics—it’s a bridge of shared experiences. Dr. Lee remarks, “When our G-9 students embark on the Toronto adventure, it’s more than a cultural exchange. It’s a journey of self-discovery, building connections that transcend borders.” Echoing this sentiment, plans for a similar program with a boys’ school in Canada are in the works. Dr. Lee envisions, “Expanding our exchange programs is about creating global citizens, fostering friendships that shape perspectives and transcend differences.”

Supporting students in their personal and academic endeavors is a testament to Branksome Hall Asia’s commitment. Dr. Lee emphasizes, “Our care goes beyond academics; it’s about nurturing the whole individual. We aim to provide a supportive environment where students can thrive personally and academically.” When it comes to admissions, Branksome Hall Asia considers various criteria to ensure a good fit between the school’s offerings and the prospective student’s needs and aspirations. These criteria include recommendations from previous schools, the last two years of report cards, student interviews (G6-12), and MAP tests. In August 2024, the school will start a boys boarding program that will expand into high school in the coming years.

For More Info: https://www.branksome.asia/

About  Dr. Blair Lee, Head of School, Branksome Hall Asia 

Dr. Blair Lee, an international educator from Canada, has been the Head of Branksome Hall Asia since August 2022. He is a versatile, dedicated, and student-focused professional with more than 25 years of experience in school administration, 18 of which have been spent working internationally. Throughout his career, he has successfully created supportive learning communities by developing a positive and healthy school culture where students, teachers, and parents work together to help students find success. He continually strives to build his school leadership reputation as an ethical, collaborative, and servant leader. He has worked in IB schools for a total of 14 years. His previous international experience includes positions at the American International School of Kuwait, Mount Zaagham International School (Indonesia), Seoul Foreign School, and Dalian American International School (China).

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