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Ye Jin, Class of 2013, Reflects on the Impact of 10 Years at ISP

Ye Jin, Class of 2013, Reflects on the Impact of 10 Years at ISP

Hi Ye Jin! Welcome back to ISP.  We know you are here today for the 10-Year Reunion for the Class of 2013.  Thank you for taking a few minutes to chat with us before you join the group!

How long has it been since you’ve been to ISP? Is this your first time on campus since graduating?

Yes! It’s been 10 years since I’ve been on campus.  And actually, I started at ISP in second grade, so I was here for 10 years.  So 10 years here and 10 years away!

It’s kind of strange to be back, but also kind of wonderful and nostalgic. As soon as I entered the building it felt like I’m back in high school!

Wow, that must be a strange feeling! What have you been up to for the last 10 years? 

After graduating ISP in 2013, I did my undergraduate degree in Music Performance (Cello) at The Juilliard School.  After that, I went to London for about four years to do postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Now I’m based in Australia, pursuing my Ph.D. at the University of Melbourne. I’m exploring the performance practice of Czech folk idioms in Bohuslav Martinů’s cello works.

You’ve been busy! That’s an incredible journey in musical studies – congratulations! How would you say your experience at ISP shaped your passion and ambition for music?

I was always very involved in music at ISP, and even though my cello studies happened outside of school, I was quite immersed in the activities and opportunities for music on campus. I was in the Band and the Choir and took IB Music. 

Having a variety of experiences with music at ISP really widened my ability to understand music and see it from a different perspective. At ISP, I was in the Band concert, and I played the clarinet.  Playing a wind instrument is completely different from the cello, so that was a really interesting complement to what I was learning outside of school.

My IB Music classes also explored world music, not just classical music, so that brought a lot of depth and a different perspective to my musical understanding. 

What are some of your best memories of ISP over the 10 years you were here?

Best memories… Oh, gosh, there are too many!  Let’s see… what really stands out to me is the diversity of people at ISP.  When I first started here, I think I was one of the very few Korean students at ISP. It actually turned out to work to my advantage because as there weren’t other Korean kids I could easily become friends with, I became friends with kids from different backgrounds and cultures. I think that has really helped me become a well-rounded person who is open and interested in learning more about various cultures. I remember the International Culture Days back in Elementary School when everyone came to school wearing traditional dress from their culture and being mesmerized by all of them!  

ISP also taught me how to be a flexible and resilient person.  Especially now in my life since moving to so many different countries, and being immersed in various cultures, I can see the positive impact that mindset has had on my ability to adapt.

Also, the teachers! Having so many teachers of different nationalities was a great experience – not just from the perspective of their different teaching styles, but from the standpoint of learning about their different cultures and languages. It was really incredible being able to experience all of that in one place.

Is there anything you learned over your 10 years at ISP that you feel is having the most impact on who you are today?

It’s hard to pick!  Being at ISP really shaped me and the life trajectory I’ve taken…

 It’s hard to describe who I am as a person without also describing ISP as a school. Having been at ISP from such a young age, immersed in such a multicultural environment, I hadn’t fully realized the impact it had on me until I left!

It made me appreciate all the experiences I had at ISP even more, and be thankful to have had the chance to grow up at ISP. ISP is kind of like my other home.