|Danny Yoo, from Korea, attends the Harker School in
San Jose, California.
"When students have
worries, the teachers are there to
discuss the problem."
Why did you decide to attend boarding
school in the U.S.A.?
I heard about many Koreans who had come to the U.S.A. to
seek a better education who were very successful. I looked
up to these people, rather than popular American celebrities.
My ultimate goal was to attend a top college, and show the world
that a Korean student could compete among native students.
To carry out my dream, I realized that I had to get used to the
American curriculum and culture.
How did you choose your school?
When I found out about Harker's strong academic program and
environment, which would allow me to be involved in extracurricular
activities by attending the Harker summer program, I knew at once
that it was the school for me.
What do you like best?
I love being able to make friends from all over the world.
Asia, Africa, America and Europe, There are students from all around
the globe striving for one goal - to learn.
How has your English improved?
From the time I first arrived as a sixth grade student
until now, as an
eighth grade student, I have learned to express myself to others.
Before I came to Harker, I always hesitated to even say "Hi" or How
are you doing?" since I wasn't sure what I should say when they
responded! Now I can greet people with confidence. The Harker
academic program has taught me not only English, but also how to
learn. It taught me skills such as note-taking and budgeting my time,
which is essential for studying at a University.
What was your biggest surprise?
At Harker, students view teachers as more than just
"smart people who
give us tests and quizzes." Teachers are seen as friends. When students
like the same sport as a teacher, they can share their opinions about who
is better. When students have worries, the teachers are there to discuss
...your biggest disappointment?
We have to go to bed even if our homework isn't finished.
I guess it is
our responsibility to finish work by then.
How have you handled: Language
When I would come across a word that I was not familiar
with in literature,
I would always look it up in the dictionary. During lectures, I would raise
my hand and ask what the word meant.
...adjusting to a different educational
I think the American system of teaching is very effective
since students get
to discover what they are learning instead of memorizing random facts that
do not mean anything to them.
What are your activities?
During school hours I am currently on the Spirit Committee.
We meet once
a week to plan special events for the school. After school, I play sports.
I have received the "Most Outstanding Lineman" award in football and the
"Most Outstanding Player" award in basketball. Also, in the dormitory,
I served as office assistant and student guide for the summer camp fair
and open house. On the weekends, I practice playing the flute. Playing
the flute soothes me and helps me get rid of all the stress I had during the
How easy or difficult is making friends
in the U.S.A.?
Everyone can make friends very easily. Someone might
have black hair
and brown eyes, and the other might have yellow hair and blue eyes, but
there is nothing that sets them apart. Nobody eliminates anyone because
of race, religion or appearance.
What will you remember the most?
I will always remember all of my friends who have taught me
how to care
for someone I am not related to. Most importantly, I will never forget my
parents' and grandparents' support and love which has allowed me to receive
an outstanding education in the United States.
What is your advice to other students
from our country?
Living far away from home is not so easy, but the whole
comfort you and give you love that will always remain in your heart
throughout your life.