Sorry but this form will not work without cookies enabled. Please adjust your browser settings to enable cookies to continue. For more information on how to do this please see our.

  • Ask us any question

    We can help with any query about your move abroad or just help put your mind at ease about schooling here

    VSE primary header

  • Inspiring and Passionate

    Our Teachers are all well qualified and highly experienced in what they do, they tend to stay with us for years too

    academic excel

  • Making Student Leadership Count

    We give students the opportunities they need to lead

    global family

  • Taking Learning Beyond the Classroom

    "There is more in you than you think"

    learning environments

  • We are Truly International

    With 60 nationalities represented at our school we are rich in cultural diversity

    primary hero

  • Visit Our School

    Our friendly team will meet you at your convenience and take you on a tour of the school, the classes and introduce our people


  • Inside our school

    Keep up to date with our news and connect with each other

    primary meet and greet

  • Community Connections

    View our calendar and connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


  • Successful Students

    Students at our school are caring, respectful and understand what it takes to succeed.

    IB Hero

New Best Friends

29 June 2015

Joung Jin Kim and Leon Palmgren may live just kilometres away from each other in Shanghai, but it took a Global Orchestra trip to New York City for them to meet and become friends.

  • GO
  • GO
  • GO

Two of the youngest participants in the Nord Anglia Education Global Orchestra and choir, they are students at the two BISS campuses in Shanghai, but until now had not met. However, in less than three days, they have become solid friends with Leon commenting, “One of the best things about the trip is meeting JJ. He’s friendly, fun to have as a roommate and he likes shopping as much as me… especially for food. I also like how he plays the piano; it’s awesome.”

Despite his youth, Joung Jin will play a piano solo, Debussy’s “Reflets dans l’eau” at the final Global Orchestra concert at the DiMenna Centre in New York, as well as accompany the choir for Cantate. Leon sings alto in the choir, with a repertoire of four pieces. Both are balls of energy and musical enthusiasm and their bonding took place over 16 hours on their flight from Hong Kong to New York for the week-long music workshop. Joung Jin says, “We sang most of the way… but we did get a little bit of sleep.”

Bringing students from around the world together to be immersed in music and culture is the aim of the Global Orchestra and, as Mark Orrow-Whiting explains, “It has been wonderful to see students forming friendships through the common language of music. While they have come here with friends from their own schools, it’s amazing to see them so quickly make new friends, embracing this unique opportunity.”

Joung Jin agrees, “The Global Orchestra has helped me make friends through music; meeting people who understand me.”

Both of the boys are born performers, taking every opportunity to take the stage… or whatever venue is on offer. Joung Jin can be found lying upside down on his piano stool playing with arms crossed to amuse the crowds, while Leon’s bubbly chatty personality makes him a beacon for many of the older performers.

So do the boys plan to stay in touch beyond their time in NYC? Leon says, “We’ve been very good friends from the start and I hope that friendship keeps going on.” Joung Jin concurs, “Yes, truly, we have similar personalities, we like similar things. Although there are differences between us, I still think we are one.”