About the Founder


Edward B. Adams, educator, author and authority on Korean history and culture, had a dream of founding an international School independent of government and religious sponsorship and affiliation. He served as a teacher and principal for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools for over thirteen years in Taiwan, Japan and Korea after receiving his Master’s Degree in School Administration from Eastern Washington University.

His reputation as an author of Korean history, culture and children’s books reached the attention of the Presidential Blue House and in 1973 the Ministry of Education granted him a permit to establish an independent international School. This was the first MOE permit granted to a school not affiliated with government, diplomatic or religious organizations.

Edward B. Adams’ roots began in the 19th century when his grandfather, James Edward Adams, arrived in Taegu as a Presbyterian missionary, the first Protestant to serve in the city. His father, George J. Adams, was born in Taegu as was Edward B. Adams, who grew up as a child in Andong. The Adams family had a special tie between Korea and education.

When Seoul International School became the first foreign school to be fully recognized by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea in 1973, it began as an elementary school with 45 students on Konkuk University campus. SIS grew rapidly to a middle and high school program and soon received full accreditation from Western Association of Schools and Colleges in 1979. Under Mr. Adams’ leadership, enrollment continued to grow, and it soon became apparent that a new campus must be found

The present land site was purchased in early 1982 and a US architect was commissioned to design our traditional Korean style with a modern flare. The move to the lovely wooded campus with its many cultural artifacts was made in May 1985. As the school continued to grow an annex building for elementary students with a second gym and swimming pool was dedicated in 1998.