Graduating High School in Korea

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by ugogirl, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. ugogirl

    ugogirl New Member

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    I am currently a high school sophomore in California.
    Yesterday I was told by my parents that my father lost his job in America. He is looking for new jobs as of now, but there is a very high possibility he may get a new job in Korea. Which means that my family, including myself, will have to follow him into that country. It is likely that the equivalent of my high school junior and senior years will be spent there.
    Although I am not so worried about what would happen to me in the new country (I have spent a considerable amount of my childhood years there, and am very well associated with the rigorous studying Korean schools are notoriously known for), I am worried that myself not graduating high school in America would effect my chances of being accepted in to the Coast Guard Academy.

    I could take the ACT and other tests required in Korea, but the problem is that I won't be taking AP classes and most likely won't be able to be involved in extra curricular activities such as school sports or clubs (Korean schools do not offer any of these activities). My school grades will look very different (not a GPA system, no weighted classes), and it will be hard for me to show the leadership skills I have as an applicant 1~2 years from now due to the lack of school clubs and sports teams.

    Ever since I was a young child, the Coast Guard Academy was my dream school without any doubts. I have worked as hard as a possibly can until now to achieve this goal: becoming a board member in two different clubs to show my leadership skills, achieving a 4.5 GPA this semester(rank #1 in my grade), being recognized as a talented athlete in my school's girls golf team. (Please don't think of me as one of those boastful teenagers easily seen online, I'm just stating the facts so you have a full understanding of my current situation.)
    I will still work hard no matter what country I am in to achieve my dreams, but the disadvantages of being in a Korean high school makes me nervous.

    How will an applicant attending a high school in Korea with these circumstances look to CGA? Will it even be possible to apply to CGA?

    Thank you so much for reading my long post. Happy holidays to you all!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
  2. rtp9799

    rtp9799 Member

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    @Objee ... do you have any advice for this young lady? My guess is she should find time to contact the AO from her area and discuss any options
     
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  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

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    ugo, you will have great stuff to write about in application essays down the road, if this comes to pass. You can only work with the academic options you are handed. Excel at those, and there will be opportunities to address those challenges in applications.

    Language skills and being flexible with moving are great strengths to cultivate.

    As for sports, you might have to get creative. If you are in Seoul, there will be an international ex-pat community, and their children. There will be club sports opportunities. A quick Google using "women's sports in Seoul" produced this link, which includes a Hash House Harriers social running group for women. When I was stationed in Naples, Italy, back in the dark ages of the 20th C., there were still so few women on active duty overseas, that there were no sports team opportunities on base. I joined a Hash group in Rome, taking the train up, and making great friends among embassy employees, US workers, Brits, Canadians, military attachés and their families. We sure had some great runs. There may be something you can find, or be surprised at what is now available, that a high schooler can be involved in.
    All kinds of stuff came up in the search results.
    https://www.angloinfo.com/seoul/directory/seoul-sports-clubs-associations-549
    Note: I am not recommending hashing in particular, as it has many social elements and customs which can be inappropriate in this day and age, but it just happened to be mentioned in this link.

    With regard to leadership, again, you may have to get creative. Depending on what works with your new school, if it comes to that, perhaps organizing a shoe drive for a charity or starting a conversational English social group - anything where you can take initiative and demonstrate your skills.

    Above all, be positive and just assume you will succeed in racking up a stellar and well-rounded HS career. This is one of my favorite quotes when I catch myself seeing all the "I can'ts" before I start something new:

    "If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." --Thomas Alva Edison
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
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  4. Ayana

    Ayana New Member

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    Hi! I am currently living in Korea. I am also a member of USCG Auxiliary and work with active duty coast guard officer in far east region who is a coast guard academy graduate. Please PM me if you have any specific questions about schools in Korea (my daughter also is in process of applying to USNA from here) or about the academy application. David
     
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  5. Nav21

    Nav21 Member

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    THIS SHOULD EASE YOUR WORRIES:

    I suggest you don't worry about it and enjoy Korea for what it is. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you should take hold of and enjoy. Not many kids have the opportunities you are being given.

    If it eases you any further, I moved to Korea between my sophomore and junior year, am graduating this year, and have just been accepted to the USCGA. You shouldn't be worried about the opportunities you will find, and if anything, the CGA will find you even more valuable.

    You shouldn't have a hard time finding sports, clubs, etc... As for me, I found one of the most unique things about Korea is the amount of service you can provide. There are so many soup kitchens, orphanages, and organizations to help with, you should definitely involve yourself.

    On my personal statements, I wrote about service in a foreign country and how it has taught me adaptability in every circumstance. You too can find this opportunity a valuable one, so if you have any questions, please pm me and I will be glad to tell you about the process I went through. You'll have a blast!

    Edit: Also, on a side note, don't trust sources that tell you there is a lack of sports and clubs. There is absolutely and abundance of clubs sports, and organizations to get involved with. You can also show leadership through service projects, Church, and family struggles. As for GPA, USCGA should be able to calculate everything for you. Korea isn't as third world as many believe (I mean, really...Samsung and all these other huge corporations..it might be one of the most advanced countries). You are in no way at a "disadvantage" being in another country. Take me as an example, I was put in a very similar situation as you, and have now been honored with an appointment. Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
  6. ugogirl

    ugogirl New Member

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    Thank you so much for all the encouragement! I will take all of the advices by heart and embrace this precious opportunity
     

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