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Jennifer from Korea, June 2019

This program filled me with unique experiences that I would use to step forward into the society and I will cherish this memory forever.


While studying abroad as an international student in Abbotsford, I have learned a lot of life lessons and achieved high academic standards at Yale Secondary. Throughout the district homestay program, there were many times where I have faced inconveniences since I was living in another family's house. I used to just swallow my feelings because I didn't have the courage to talk to the family. However, the more years I spent in this program, I have learned the most important lesson which is that I have to express how I really feel or no one will know. This lesson made me value communication more and also gave me the ability to speak up about the problems I was having and my thoughts and opinions. However, I also learned that no matter how different the cultures are, people can cooperate and understand each other. Yale Secondary also let me have a lot of great experiences. As explained above, I had the opportunity to take biology 11 and 12 at Yale that inspired me to pursue biomedical sciences. I was intrigued by documentaries about infectious diseases I watched in class, such as “Inside the Deadly Outbreak” by PBS. I was struck with how many people are affected by infectious diseases for which we do not yet have a cure for. Researchers in the documentary were driven to find an effective cure in a short period of time and were not afraid to attempt new methods. The determination of the researchers inspired me to dream of studying biomedical sciences. Many of our labs, such as observing microorganisms and dissection, let me approach biology in another way and relations between the cells and the pathogens particularly intrigued me. This biology class encouraged my basic interests in biology and helped develop my desire to become a researcher. I also participated in Yale’s annual musical project. I was the member of the pit orchestra and played the violin. It was a very unique process since everything was done by the students and I was thrilled to take a part of the production even though the morning rehearsals were a challenge to attend. The music pieces were very interesting to play and it let me discover that violin is my new passion. After the show, I was delighted to know that people thought the background music was a track from the CD. While doing extra-curricular activities and volunteering, I managed to receive the principal’s award every single year and also be the top student for junior and senior Spanish. I’ve also had a tough semester last year consisting of Spanish 12, Precalculus 12, Chemistry 11, and Biology 11 and got an average of 99% and got a certificate for Top Academic Achievement for English 12. Almost every subject closely related to my major is over 95% and I always worked hard to achieve those grades. I handed in my homework no matter what happened including the power outage. Why make excuses when you can put a flashlight on? I really cared about my marks and never stopped working to achieve my ambitious goals. I strongly hope that someday I can contribute to world health issues. Overall, my life as an international student really helped me grow as a person and allowed myself to dream big. This program filled me with unique experiences that I would use to step forward into the society and I will cherish this memory forever. 

Post-secondary plans

As an international student in Canada, I had the opportunity to take a biology class at high school that inspired me to pursue biomedical sciences. This class was always full of fascinating labs and I loved that special experience. I always vaguely thought I would go into the medical field but this experience let me solidify my dreams and narrow down my path to being a researcher. I have lost many family members to diseases and those experiences made me wonder how people can live a pain-free, healthy life. In the future, I want to work at a medical lab or at a hospital figuring out new treatments for deadly diseases so that less people have to suffer. To achieve my goals, I applied to University of Toronto (Life Science), University of Alberta (Immunology & Infections), McMaster (Life Science), Waterloo (Life Science) and Mcgill (biological, biomedical and life sciences) which is in Canada, and UCL (Biomedical Sciences), University of Edinburgh (Biomedical Sciences), and King's College London (Biomedical Sciences) in the UK. I got accepted to all of the universities above. University of Alberta offered me $8500 for scholarship, however, I plan on attending UCL for Post-Secondary education because UCL ranks at #10 according to the world university rankings and the university has a reputation for having great research programs. 


  • September 2016 - June 2017 Member of Key Club at Yale Secondary
  • September 2017 - May 2018 Gallery Attendant at "The Reach"
  • September 2016 - June 2017 Member of the Concert Band (Violin) at Yale Secondary
  • March 18, 2018 - March 25, 2018 Volunteered with GPI North America as a conversation buddy
  • March 2019 Volunteered with GPI North America as a conversation buddy
  • October 2017 - February 2018 Pit Orchestra (Violin - The Music Man) at Yale Secondary
  • October 2018 - February 2019 Pit Orchestra (Violin - Peter Pan) at Yale Secondary
  • June 2017 - Volunteered at the International Year End Event
  • April 2017 - Auditorium Assistant at the City Hall
  • May 2017 - Volunteered at the Tulip Festival (Front)