Successful Korean Students

South Korean student, Sumin Jang has received an offer to study a Bachelor of Science Pharmacy at the most reputable University in Korea, the University of South Korea.

It has been an amazing journey for Sumin to achieve her goals. Sumin first came to Australia in 2008 with very limited English. “I was shocked with the result on my first test at John Paul International. I was placed in Level 2, the second lowest level of English even though my English result in South Korea was pretty good”. Along with many other international students, Sumin entered the High School Preparation Course, which is designed to help international students to meet academic entry standards and develop study, language and cultural skills. Here she advanced through each class level before graduating into the main stream classes at John Paul College.

Sumin is one of the top Year 12 students at John Paul College. In Years 11 and 12, Sumin was awarded many of the College’s major prizes such as:

  • The Foundation Teachers’ Prize (the second highest academic achievement in the College)
  • The Rob Marr Cup (the highest overall IB score)
  • Top IB score in Math and Science.

Another key element at the College is pastoral care. “Of course, I would not be in this position without my teacher’s help”, Sumin stated. “The key to success is don’t hesitate to ask teachers when you have questions. They are always there to help”. Pastoral Care is regarded as part of every teacher’s daily interaction with students. This involves setting up a warm and accepting environment in which children feel safe and happy, which in turn also helps them overcome culture shock and homesickness. It involves modelling appropriate behaviour and attitudes, and encouraging increasingly mature and responsible personal and social growth in students.

“I remember when studying Year 10, I had to make the decision whether I should take IB or OP. Without my teacher’s and the career advisor's guidance, I didn’t know which one would be more suitable for me”. By completing Year 11 and 12 in Australia, this can set the student up to do their university study anywhere in the world. John Paul College continues to strive for academic excellence and helps each student achieve their goals and excel in their chosen pathway.

Sumin was a key member of some of the elite performance groups in the College’s broad co-curricular program which complements the academic life of students. “I must say international students are often afraid of not making friends with Australian students, but by joining the co-curricular program, this helps make friends. It is quite important because it makes you more involved in the school community. It seems much easier making friends who are doing the same co-curricular because we have the same habit.”

Sumin also lived with one of the College’s registered and government approved homestay families, primarily to improve her English. As a participating member of the homestay family it also assisted her to adapt to the Australian way of life and lessened her homesickness.

We congratulate Sumin and all of our international students on their fine achievements this year.