NATIONAL

KIS: Nurturing globally talented students

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jul 10, 2012 - 19:50
  • Updated : Jul 11, 2012 - 10:36
 


Korea International School has developed several programs that ensure students’ future success as they experience the competitive and supportive atmosphere that the school provides.

KIS opened its very first campus at Seoul (PK-G5) in 2000, and currently has a Pangyo campus (PK-G12) and Jeju campus (G1-G9). KIS counselors do not simply send their students to university ― they also care about them having a balanced skill-set for their future career. This focuses on KIS’ one-on-one smart education system, its high academic standards, extracurricular activities and tailored career counseling.

One-on-one smart education

KIS implemented a one-on-one smart education system that uses the latest technology to help teach students while training them to become more technologically savvy. Since the school fostered the smart education environment, students’ academic achievement has greatly improved.

The majority of parents would agree that students these days prefer digital screens to textbooks. This is because students these days prefer more visual images such as pictures and graphs that more easily explain material, which can be made more readily available on digital devices. Students do not only use this technology to read books and complete assignments, but also to interact with their teachers. If students at KIS have inquiries about their assignments or homework, they use their laptops to ask for help. Students are able to connect into the school’s smart education system, using tools such as Facetime and Skype. KIS students can get help from their teachers real-time, and also debate or discuss a ssignment issues with their classmates. By doing this, students are able to manage their word-processing and presentation skills, and become IT experts. In this way, KIS students can learn these skills, on which universities and society put a premium. 



Of course, many parents voiced concerns before adopting the one-on-one smart education system. Parents were worried that their children might use the technology to play Internet games and search for other content unrelated to academic work. But KIS can supervise students’ networking log, and provides proper restrictions on what students can do with the technology. By the 2012 school year, KIS will be providing Tablet PCs for elementary school students.

High academic standards and extracurricular activities

KIS offers a variety of opportunities for students to volunteer and participate in overseas activities, nurturing students to become global citizens. These kinds of opportunities are important factors when they apply to competitive universities. The school has been participating in “Habitat for Humanity” projects that build houses in countries such as Sri Lanka, Philippines, Thailand and Bangladesh. KIS also has hosted international high school debate competitions on its campus and students have taken part in the Model United Nations Conference and Korea-American Interscholastic Activities Conference as well.

Above all these activities, students at KIS are strict when it comes to their academic scores. The recent average of KIS students’ SAT scores is 2,066, compared to the United States average of 1,500. 



On May 25, KIS’ seventh graduation was held at its Pangyo campus, and most students were accepted by one of the top 40 universities in the world, including Harvard. The rate of acceptance into universities was 100 percent, and 56 percent of the 200 graduates went to top 40 universities.

There are several reasons behind KIS students’ notable success in college admissions. One major reason is believed to be that KIS students were able to consult a counselor from an early age to prepare for entering university.

Tailored career counseling

Firstly, KIS counselors encourage their students to do many other activities. Many parents believe that their child can gain acceptance into competitive universities if he or she gets good grades. However, the reality is that students who don’t display unique characteristics are not accepted, as stereotypical applications are often rejected by many universities abroad.

To avoid being stereotyped, KIS offers three college counselors who can help students develop unique characteristics. When KIS high school students start their freshman year, counselors advise students on which college they should choose, based on the student’s aptitude, picking out 20 universities. Most of them are top 40-ranked universities in the United States.

Then counselors classify those universities into three categories: “Reach,“ “Likely” and “Safety.” Under this counseling system at KIS, students receive tailored college entrance information, and counselors lead them through the process, including sending applications to universities and writing recommendation letters.

When KIS students reach their junior year, each student goes through a college application simulation with real applications so that students can receive feedback. Also every year, college fairs are held at KIS with as many as 30 famous universities from the U.S. participating. Students are able to receive more feedback and support from these fairs, and admission officers from universities such as University of Pennsylvania and University of Michigan are eager to visit KIS.

In conclusion, the KIS program, with its high curricular standards, technologically-advanced method of teaching, and tailored counseling, helps students to develop into global citizens who can compete successfully both at home and abroad.