Developing Language and Music Skills at YCIS

Rachel Kim, Class of 2015, Gubei Campus

I’m from South Korea, and I have attended YCIS for more than five years. When I first came to YCIS, I wasn’t fluent in English yet because I previously attended Korean school. YCIS helped me not only to achieve fluency in English and Chinese, but also to develop my love for music, which is a universal language.

There are many opportunities to be active at YCIS, with a wide range of activities especially related to music. I played flute in the school’s orchestra, sang in the choir, and I participated in many musical performances, such as the Battle of the Bands, Christmas Concerts, and Summer Concerts. During Years 10 and 11, I studied Music in the IGCSE programme and I was required to perform in front of my classmates each week and in front of a large audience a few times each year. When I first came to YCIS, I only had beginner skills in music. As I participated in the school’s music activities and classes, I gained confidence as a performer and a musician. Last year, I even performed a flute solo at one of our big concerts in a Shanghai music hall.

I also achieved a lot academically at YCIS. I’m most proud of the fact that I became one of the top five students in my class for IGCSE. Even though I came to YCIS with little English ability, I studied hard and I had ample support from my teachers, which was very motivating for me.

When I first came to YCIS, the school assigned my classmate, Alice, to be my “buddy”. Alice helped me a great deal in terms of getting used to school life, English, and even homework, and since then we have been best friends. It’s really nice to have made such wonderful friends at YCIS. I’ve gotten to know my classmates from many different countries, and it’s a great opportunity to learn about different cultures from around the world. For example, my Italian friend shares a lot about Italian culture with me, and I share about the traditions and life in Korea with her.

I’ll miss everything about YCIS, including my teachers, friends, and the study environment that the school provides. I love that I could discuss anything I wanted in class and that I could approach any teacher. Additionally, Shanghai is a great city to live in, and I’ve come to love it as much as my home country. Although I am excited to start studying at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) this fall, there is no question that I will definitely miss YCIS!

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