“Many international students hesitate to apply for leadership because of the cultural gap and their English abilities. I really want to tell them: ‘Don’t be afraid. Just face it’.”
Hyewon (Chloe) Lee is in Year 13. She’s an international student who’s joined us from her home country of Korea and is studying towards her International Baccalaureate Diploma. As student leader responsible for the school’s cultural portfolio, Chloe is aiming bridge the gap between international and domestic students.
What made you choose to come to school in New Zealand?
Honestly, I thought New Zealand is safer than any other English- speaking countries. The other reason I chose to study abroad was I wanted to get rid of the exam-oriented curriculum and gain many different perspectives of viewing the world.
I personally think that adolescence is the most effective time in my life to learn to make my own decisions. Of course, a school education is very important for university entrance, but the ‘experience’ is the most valuable thing.
Experience gives me a shaft of inspiration and I can make my own future based on that inspiration.
What’s your favourite thing about ACG Senior College?
The school treats us as young adults, so we learn to stand on our own two feet. All the teachers are passionate about their classes and we have a small number of students compared to other schools so it’s easy to bring students together.
What’s it like being chosen to be a student leader?
I applied for student leadership because I am a person experiencing a different culture in a different country, and I wanted to introduce a different perspective of viewing the school. I want to hold school events to help students be part of the school culture and community. But the main reason was to challenge myself to find my potential.
What plans do you have?
I am planning a ‘multi- cultural potluck’ event this term to so students can learn about other cultures and interact with students from other countries. Food is something that’s easily accessible, so I thought it would be a good way of introducing our cultures.
The second thing is ‘Culture Night’, a cultural concert in Term 3. Students can perform whatever they want to represent their culture on the stage.
What’s it like to be an international student and a student leader?
Many international students hesitate to apply for leadership and feel afraid to participate in school events, because of the cultural gap and their English abilities. I can fully understand them, but I really want to tell them: “Don’t be afraid. Just face it.”
This portfolio really suits me because I can gather international students by understanding them and domestic students, too, by introducing them to new cultures.
Being a cultural leader means not only giving opportunities to share many cultures, but also helping all students get involved in school culture.
I want to ‘be in the middle’ and narrow the gap between international students and other students.