SM announces next venture – ‘K-pop international school’ to launch early next year

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    S.M. Entertainment, the country’s largest talent agency, and a private institute will found an alternative international school for teenagers dreaming of becoming K-pop stars, the companies said Friday.

    S.M. signed a memorandum of understanding with Haneul Education Co. to open what is tentatively called the “K-pop international school” in Seoul’s southern district of Gangnam, possibly early next year.

    Selected Korean and foreign K-pop star aspirants will learn major subjects taught in typical Korean middle and high schools, such as the Korean language, English and math, as well as practical music and dance in the school.

    About 70 percent of the slots for enrollment will be filled with students from China and other foreign countries, and the remaining 30 percent with local students aspiring to become pop stars.

    Although the school would begin as an unauthorized alternative school, it will later seek the status of an approved international school, S.M. and Haneul said.

    They also unveiled a plan to establish a local campus in China after gaining the status so it can serve as an export base for Korean pop cultural products.

    “Many teenagers aspiring to become celebrities have been forced to quit school, and the demand for studying in Korea while working as celebrities has been on the sharp rise,” a Haneul Education official said. “We hope the K-pop international school will serve as an advance base for promoting education among aspiring stars while helping to spread the Korean Wave.”