CIS student enters the top “SKY” university

Does the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) prepare our students for Korean ‘SKY’ Universities? I hear parents ask this question frequently in our school community. The answer is a clear and resounding, “YES!”. 

I’m thrilled to bring you the story of Sang Hee Kim, Canadian International School class of 2020 and an OSSD graduate who is currently studying Sociology at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.



She’s passed along some advice and wisdom for students at CIS who would like to follow in her footsteps.

“I know that students and parents worry about IELTS, SAT, TOEFL, TOEIC, and other exams to submit to the universities.  However, these exams do not take up 100% of the application, so instead of worrying too much about these exams, it is better to keep good grades. Also, it is important that you appeal your activities in and out of school as much as you can in your personal statement”.

Most students and parents interested in Korean universities already know the process takes a lot of time and requires many documents. Guidance Counsellor, Melissa O’Leary, and the Toronto District School Board worked with Sang Hee to understand the application and to help her through this challenging process.  While this required a lot of hard work, Sang Hee has been successful in getting into the prestigious Yonsei University, one of the three coveted ‘SKY’ schools in Korea, which also includes Seoul National University and Korea University. We asked for her advice to others who may want to apply.

“The application process requires very many documents that have to be submitted in hard original copies, and the required documents can be different for each university. Therefore, it is important to keep a folder for every university and it also important to check the [university’s] official website on a daily basis. Certificates from activities such as internship, MUN, or school volunteer [work] are only provided with one original copy so if you have a teacher who can write a letter that briefly describes the activities you did, the letter can be submitted as a certificate”.

The Canadian International School strives to provide students with many opportunities in which they can take advantage of combining new interests with peer leadership and learning outside of academics. But high-quality academic preparation is key to successfully finishing university programming. The CIS motto is about helping students attain “roots and wings,” the development of learning skills (student habits to achieve more learning) is the practical side of giving students “wings”.  Sang Hee has shared some ways that her time at CIS contributed to her university success.  

“I [had] the opportunity to do many presentations, debates, and write essays, which came in very handy during my first semester in university. Students in Korea are not required to write essays or do presentations, but they are required to study [from] textbooks. Therefore, the experiences in CIS helped me especially during my mid and final exam season”.

We are so proud of Sang Hee and wish her continued success using and developing the skills she learned at CIS. 

The Canadian International School offers two pathways to university admissions, the Ontario Secondary School Diploma or the International Baccalaureate Diploma program. Both paths have opened the door to university admissions in Canada, Australia, Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe, Japan, Singapore, and various other countries.  With our eight cohorts of graduates since 2014, we have achieved a 100% university acceptance rate. Our College Admissions Guidance Counselor is dedicated to assisting students to achieve the right fit in a university program for them.

Written by Dr. Brenda J. Williamson - Head of School CIS

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