▲ “It’s important to get the right fit for the school,” said Principal Radojkovich about the rigorous application process. Photo byKim Jinmi
Branksome Hall Asia (BHA) opened its admissions for Sept. 2014 on Oct. 1 as it enters its second year of operation at the Jeju Global Education City, Daejeong-eup, Seogwipo City. Speaking at the school on Oct. 16, Principal Glen Radojkovich praised the school’s quick progress.
“We have 570 students this year; we started last year with 304 so we have almost doubled in size over the last year which has been positive in terms of the school’s growth,” he said.
Radojkovich said that with Claire Dobson, the head of admissions, now based at the school, parents are able to arrange preliminary interviews at the Daejeong site, whereas previously they would have had to travel to Seoul: “She is very amenable … and happy to have a conversation with an interested parent,” he said.
Prospective students undergo a rigor-ous screening process before being admitted to the school, essential to choosing the right candidate. The school looks for the self-belief that makes a child stand out from their peers. It’s someth-ing, Radojkovich believes, that cannot always be taught.
“For us attitude is priority number one. We look for students who have a desire and passion to learn and where possible a track record of application in their previ-ous schools,” he said.
“[Students must] come in with confi-dence and freely talk about themselves; sometimes a student can be very shy and that’s a big hurdle. I think it is important ... to come in and feel that confidence to be able to share openly and talk with confidence,” he continued.
Prospective students are given plenty of opportunities to display this inner drive.
“We do an interview with a student and find out about their character and find out about their goals and aspirations, and have an interview with their families, as well. So it is quite a comprehensive proc-ess, but it’s important to get the right fit for the school,” he said.
Radojkovich expressed his pride at the progress his “fantastic students” had shown over the last year and stressed that students coming from Korean state schools - unused to the rigors of inter-national school life - might find it hard to adapt. The increased applicants from international schools across the globe would have less trouble, he said.
“We have a lot more interest coming in, particularly China, but ... I am talking more about students that are Irish returning from Singapore, or American coming straight from Texas, or Russian. We are getting a pull of international students that ... are coming here because they want a solid international educa-tion,” said Radojkovich.
Expanding on his philosophy on education, Radojkovich recalls Margaret Mead’s famous quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
“It has always resonated with me,” said Radojkovich. “I think the power of people working together collectively on a project to make a difference is something that has always stuck with me. [As a school] we are making a significant impact nationally and internationally and it has been a pleasure to be part of that process.”
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