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In the New School
Written by Hayeon Shin | Published. 2020.12.21 17:43 | Count : 275

Jeju airport is famous for being crowded with tourists, family visitors, and photographers throughout the whole year. However, in a typical season between autumn-winter, teenagers in uniforms carrying 2 or 3 luggage, can be commonly spotted at Jeju airport. There are many international schools in Jeju, such as Saint Johnsbury Academy Jeju, Branksome Hall Asia, Korean International school, and North London College School. Each school has their own education system. 

I recently moved from BHA(Branksome Hall Asia) to SJA(Saint Johnsbury Academy) and am doing my best to adjust to my new school. The biggest difference between the two schools is that students choose to enroll in elective subjects, where each class is not fixed with the same students all the time. Some new students struggle to make new friends in such a learning environment because students cannot interact and mingle with the same group of classmates. When switch schools, they have to adapt to new ways of learning, teachers, and friends. However, there are always some new students who have trouble adapting to a new school.

Dana Heo is also a new 8th-grade student at SJA. She attended a Malaysian international school before she came to Jeju. Dana Heo said she felt sorry for her parents when she changed schools because there were many things that her parents had to take care of, such as filling out her application form, and providing her school expenses. Dana knew this so she studied extremely hard, and she passed her entrance examination.

[Interviewing Dana Heo, Photo taken by Subin Lee(SJA Student)]

She expressed that it was always challenging to make new friends in new schools, because students are not only new to the school but also have different ways of thinking. Students new to international schools are especially likely to think this way for there are many new students in each grade, sometimes of different ages, enter the school every year. According to my interview with Dana Heo, she tries to be polite to her friends. Because she used to see some mean students, in the past, who said wear words, didn’t pay borrowed money back, talked behind friends’ backs, or ordered other students around.

The happiest experience that Dana felt after she came to her new international school in Jeju, is that she doesn’t have to worry about her friendships. She explained that students are very kind, are academically driven. However, she pointed out that there are still problems she wanted to fix. She said that there are no snack breaks and too many students using Korean or Chinese during English classes.

[Hugmom office in Jeju. Photo credit: Jihye Lee]

To learn more about school maladjustment problems, I interviewed Jihye from Hogmom Jeju, a counseling office for teenagers in Jeju island. According to my interview with Jihye Lee, the youths coming for counseling are mostly dealing with problems of rebellion, school maladjustment, electronic device addiction, and friendship problems. Treatment methods include music therapy, art, sand play, poetry or novel writing, and counseling.Jihye Lee said school maladjustment occurs when students feel psychological anxiety, and it likely happens when they face problems with friends or family members or experience trauma caused by the death of a close person. 

In general, most school maladjustment problems are caused by psychological, friendships, or family relationships, so society should actively help new students and respect their opinions. There are some ways to help new students quickly adapt to their new environment, such as putting in a buddy system or having a teacher who can translate different languages during classes. I hope this article has allowed you to gain an understanding about students’ maladjustment problems to new schools, and of ways these problems can be resolved.


Hayeon Shin
Middle (8th Grade)
Saint Johnsbury Academy Jeju

Hayeon Shin  student_reporter@dherald.com

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