For high school students, summer vacation may very well a busy time, occupied with responsibilities like school assignments and extracurricular activities. To take a break from the usual hecticness of summer break, going to a camp can be a nice and refreshing experience. The 2018 WLSA Student Conference was such an experience for me; I was able to enjoy knowing new and diverse people from all over the world, and truly enjoy myself.
[2018 WLSA Student Student Conference, Final group photo.
The 2018 WLSA Student Conference: The Human Condition was hosted by the World Leading Schools Association (WLSA) from July 16th to the 21st in Korea International School Jeju. The World Leading Schools Association is a non-profit that focuses on international education, and hosts the WLSA Student Conference to culturally bridge eastern and western areas together. Over 200 students came from 25 schools across from the six continents. The theme of the conference was “the human condition,” and the significance of our identities as humans. The keynote speakers, student speakers, and the small group workshops were all centered on this theme to a certain extent. The speeches and presentations gave students a chance to reflect on ourselves. Other than the activities we did inside the campus, there were days dedicated to tourism. We explored places in Jeju Island, like the Manjanggul Caves, Hyeop-Jae Beach, and the Seongsan Sunrise Peak. The weather was very hot and humid, but it didn’t stop us from having fun and enjoying the famous tourist spots.
[On the Seongsan Sunrise Peak Trail. Photo courtesy of Jaehong Min.]
One of my favorite activities was the BUILD workshops. All of the students were divided into smaller classes, and the BUILD workshops were held in those classes. The BUILD model is an entrepreneurial leadership tool used in real-world problem-solving. The BUILD stands for Build, Understand, Invent, Listen, and Deliver, which are the steps students go through when using the BUILD model to find a solution to a problem. In our class, we split up into smaller 4-person groups. My group decided to tackle the problem of people living in old houses being displaced due to their houses being redeveloped. Our final solution was to create a global law firm that can give displaced peoples legal and financial help specialized in their situations so that they have a place to live. In our class, our idea received first place. This workshop was quite a rewarding experience and taught me many things. Trying to create one final solution that includes everyone’s ideas was difficult, and this required some compromise. We tried to be completely honest and outspoken about our ideas, and in the end, this worked to our success. When I do any kind of collaborative task, I will reflect on the BUILD workshops, and make use of the communication and presentation skills which I learned from this conference.
[BUILD Workshops. Students are working in their small groups. Photo courtesy of WLSA.]
During this conference, I was astounded by the diversity in the students there. Some students were from far away areas like Australia and South Africa. I got the opportunity to meet a lot of people I normally wouldn’t be able to meet in daily life. I had some really memorable and meaningful interactions I had with friends I met at the conference. Those interactions let me reflect on myself and my relationships. I will cherish those memories for a long time. I got to appreciate my time with the people I met more because I knew the conference would end soon. I am truly thankful for the people I got to meet, the presentations I got to hear, and the places that I went to. This special week I spent in Jeju will remain in my memory for many days to come.
Korea International School
Jaehong Min email@example.com
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