On May 30, 2016, four HAFS students, who are graduates of Bundang Middle School, visited their past middle school as part of the “Alma Mater Visit.” The purpose of this program was not only to promote HAFS, but also to give advice as returning alumni. Despite it being lunch time when the event started, 48 students gathered in the Student Council Room to attend in the event. There were four students in their first year, twenty-seven in their second, and seventeen seniors in their third year present. The program started with an introduction of the students, school, and its course and programs, and ended with an open Q&A session.
During the Q&A session, there were two major questions that Bundang Middle School students asked. First, they asked if it was alright to change one’s dream occupation written in the student record. Apparently, there had been rumors going around that doing so would put the student at a disadvantage when applying. Hong Jimin, currently enrolled in the Humanities Course, replied by saying that the change itself isn’t a problem but that it should be done with a reason. Students should be able explain clearly when asked by a teacher during their interview. A HAFS student in the International Course further elaborated that “[her] dream occupation was different for each grade, including hotelier, management counsultant, and policy expert.” She stressed that many students in HAFS changed their future careers but had specific motivations. Another question that came up was what students should prepare the most as a middle school student. Shin Hyeri of the Natural Science Course pointed out two things: being passionate and learning how to manage one’s time. According to her, having passion about a certain topic or career helped her when writing the high school application. And time management was essential as a high school student because with club activities and performance assessments, it was difficult to find time for studies.
Both Bundang Middle School and HAFS students expressed happiness from the experience. For HAFS students, it was a nice time to recall the memory of their past middle school. Also, they felt proud to give advice as a returning graduate. The majority of Bundang Middle School students responded by saying that it was of great help to them. One student said, “Usually, the things I hear about HAFS are vague; however, the true and specific stories and advice I heard from HAFS students helped me set my goal more clearly. Also, it was nice to meet the graduates.” This program showed the importance of alumni connection and the interest of many middle students of HAFS.
BY Han Goeun ’19