Sungwoo graduated from the British International School Hanoi with a phenomenal perfect score of 45 points in his IB Diploma and is now continuing his learning journey at Yonsei University, one of the top-ranked universities in Korea.
Not only did he complete the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) with outstanding academic results, he is also a well-rounded student who served as one of our two representatives at the 2019 NAE-UNICEF Summit in New York City.
I came to Vietnam in July 2017 and began my new academic journey as a Year 10 student at the British International School Hanoi. I've completed both IGCSE and IB programmes here since then. Before joining BIS Hanoi, I spent my entire life growing up and studying in South Korea.
Initially, it was quite tough for me because of the language barrier. Before coming to BIS, I attended Korean-speaking public schools in Korea, so my English was at a very basic level. Thus, I tried my best to improve my language skills by taking part in various extracurricular activities at school such as the Model United Nations and BIS Debate Club. Furthermore, I felt that the teachers at BIS were all so helpful that I was able to easily fit into the new environment where everything was very different from what schools were like in Korea. Without the help of my teachers, I'm sure it would have taken a lot longer to adjust to this new school.
As many Sixth Form students are already aware, the workload of the IB Diploma is quite a lot. However, I believe that our efforts for the IB program have been well worth it in light of the benefits that we will receive in the future.
In the IB programme, students are assigned an 'Extended Essay' task in which they must set a research question and write a 4000-word essay in order to find an answer to it. In my case, I wrote an essay about evaluating Korea’s economic policy which has been a controversial topic in Korea for a long time. Looking back, it was a priceless opportunity for me to conduct in-depth research on a topic of my interest and conclude with a clue to my own research question. I believe that my experience writing EE will benefit me greatly when it comes to writing research papers at university.
In addition to the Extended Essay, I had a unique experience with the CAS project (Creativity, Activity, and Service) during my IB journey. CAS is a core element of the IB programme, which requires students to engage in a range of activities outside of their academic studies. Completing CAS is mandatory to earn the IB Diploma. One of my most memorable CAS experiences was working as a teaching assistant at a Korean language school every Saturday. It was hard for me at first to deal with the younger children. However, this service experience taught me how to interact with a diverse range of people as I had to interact with not only the younger children but also the teachers on a regular basis during that time.
Aside from the Model UN extra-curricular activities and working as a teaching assistant at a Korean language school, I also joined the Finance Team of the Student Leadership Team in Year 13. As a member of the Finance Team, I was in charge of overseeing all activities involving the student council's budget in order to ensure that all processes were transparent and that the budgets were not being misused or overused. It was a fantastic opportunity to put my skills and knowledge from IB Economics and Math classes to use in a real-life situation.
I will be studying Business Administration at Yonsei University for the next four years. During my IGCSE and IBDP studies, I discovered a strong interest in Business Studies, Economics, and Mathematics. As a result, I decided to major in Business Administration because it encompasses all three of my interests. I am very excited to be studying at Yonsei University, which has been my dream school since I was a child. After graduating from university, I hope to work as a finance specialist for one of the international organisations and apply my knowledge to effectively help people in need all over the world.