Written by: Shinwon Kim
Throughout the school year, there are numerous activities open to ISM students which are held abroad and require students to miss several days of classes, such as IASAS, Dance Exchange, Jazz Exchange, BEIMUN, GIN and many other conferences and competitions. Though it would seem like the students that go on these trips are the only ones affected by the travelling, in reality, students that stay in school are also influenced by the absence of their classmates. The following are myths that are common amongst ISM students and the travelling culture.
MYTH: Teachers are more lenient about deadlines with students that travel than with those who stay in school.
REALITY: Teachers take into account how absences affect the fairness of assessments, and try to balance deadlines with the rest of the class.
Sophomore Liana Lopez understands this point of view, saying that during days when people were travelling, “presentations were usually delayed because [they] can’t present if there are several people away from travelling events.” Senior Ji Min Park agrees that he had the same experience in 9th and 10th grade, but comments “in IB it’s a whole different story,” as the workload in IB is significantly higher and “teachers clearly classify the travelling students from the others.”
MYTH: When students leave to participate in their respective events, the school atmosphere is suppressed and less lively.
REALITY: When students leave to participate in their respective events, the school atmosphere is generally livelier, if not the same as it always is.
Junior Jun Woo Jang believes that during interscholastic events, “non-travelling students are able to talk about [the traveling events] and watch live streams, especially for IASAS. Students cheer their fellow bearcats on, which creates an even livelier mood.” Ivi Ilaya, another junior, thinks that when students go abroad to participate in these events, “there’s a certain buzz around school” possibly due to “the fact that our school is being represented somewhere; there’s that sense of pride that makes a mundane schedule all the more exciting.”
MYTH: Teachers give you study hall when students are out for travelling events to make it easier for them to catch up when they get back.
REALITY: As great as this sounds, this is actually the exact opposite from the truth. From my personal experience, teachers keep giving you work no matter what, probably due to the busy and tightly-packed nature of the curriculums, especially in the IB.
In Jun Woo Jang’s words, “Extracurricular activities are extra commitments, not excuses”.
So whether you’re traveling or not, don’t expect to have a smaller course load and be ready to do some work for your classes!