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.  From 
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 
the problem.

...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 differences?

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 system?

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 community will 
comfort you and give you love that will always remain in your heart 
throughout your life.


Source: Boarding Schools In The USA

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