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Alumni Reflect on the College Application Process


The high school counseling team invited recent KIS graduates to reflect on the college application process and share their insight with current grade twelve students via Zoom. Alex, Emma, Michael, Sean, and Sejoon joined from their universities in the US. High School Counselor Jennifer Dorn facilitated the session, inviting current students to ask anything.  

One of the first questions was whether university life is better than KIS. As you transition into a new part of your life, you want some reassurance that it’s going to be great! The alumni highlighted the opportunity and autonomy you have as a college student, encouraging social and academic exploration. Get to know people during your first year! Take classes that interest you! Moving from Korea to another country is a challenge too and the alumni remarked on the privilege we enjoy at KIS – the school is a safe bubble. Expect to be excited and nervous when your world expands. 

Grade twelve students also wondered about the academic rigor of university. Are the AP courses really preparing them for university classes? Short answer: yes. The skills students develop in AP courses are the same skills needed at university though class structure and assessment schedules are different. At KIS, you learn how to learn and how to connect, transfer, and apply your knowledge and skills so you’re set to keep learning.

An unexpected piece of advice from the alumni is not to worry about finding the “perfect fit” university. You can know yourself and what you want while also trusting that you can grow in many different places. KIS counselors work individually with students and families through the college application process to identify potential good fits as students design their future. 

Jennifer Dorn and other counselors see the value of students hearing firsthand accounts of the college application process from KIS graduates. “Hearing directly from peers who’ve just gone through the application process gets students excited about their own future,” Ms. Dorn says. “Students hear good things, learn some tips, and identify what to avoid.” She also hopes that the session was valuable to the alumni. She says, “It’s a really important opportunity for alumni to reflect on their own process and what they took away from the experience too.”

Admissions and Alumni Relations Director David Lindberg also appreciates the connection our school has with alumni. KIS welcomes the alumni perspective and the support they extend to current students. “Our alumni are individually and collectively impressive,” Mr. Lindberg says. “Their willingness to participate and connect builds the whole community.” Once a Phoenix, always a Phoenix!