Life after SAS: Why NOT America?

Why go to an American high school but not apply to an American university? Seniors, Hiroto Kozue, Feng Pan, Anya Parekh and Lucia Garcia Velasco discuss the reasons why they aren’t applying to colleges in the U.S. .

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Senior Hiroto Kozue

The most asked question to them is, “why are you not applying to America?

The four students were divided into two groups when answering this. Hiroto answered, “it was a unanimous decision with my family because it was the best for my future. Since I am thinking of living in Japan, graduating from a Japanese university would give me an advantage for job opportunities.” Furthermore, Feng is applying to Canada. When asked why he is going to Canada he said “not only do I love the weather, but also because of how safe it is. My parents thought campuses in Canada were safer due to the U.S. having a more public stance on college accidents with guns and racism and more. Payment in Canada is cheaper but the education is  similar to that of the U.S..” On the other hand, Anya’s main reason for not going to America is because of her major and she is definite with her choice. “Schools in The UK have a more direct way to pursue my goals in studying law rather than studying for a longer period in the U.S.; not being an American citizen also gives me less of a reason to apply there… it offers no advantage.”

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Senior Feng Pan

Lucia had the same reason where The UK has a faster system to achieve goals but another reason is also because she is taking a gap year; “I have more time to think about what I want to do and decide on the path I would like to take.”

I wondered:  How has SAS helped these students decide to go to countries other than the United States for college?” Isn’t it more reasonable to go college in America when they have followed the rigorous college preparatory (and in some cases, Advanced Placement credit-earning) curriculum of Singapore AMERICAN School?

Hiroto used to go to Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS), another school that is a part of the IASAS tournaments. Hiroto explains, “I chose to attend SAS because I wanted the similar experience from JIS and also because it was an international school. However, if SAS was not connected with JIS I probably would have gone to another international school.”  Feng added: “I used to go to a local school but my parents thought going to an American based system would widen my perspective for my future which is why I came to SAS. Although English is a struggle for me, SAS has made me push my limits and learn English in a new way which will help me in the future when I live in a country where the core language is English. SAS has given me a variety of options to help me with what I want to do and Canada is pretty similar with the education system.

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Senior Lucia Velasco (courtesy of Lucia)

Anya responded similarly: “A significant difference between the UK and U.S. university systems is that the UK requires applying students to know exactly what they want to study. SAS has played a huge part in helping me to identify my passions, thus making me a good candidate for UK. Here, I’ve been given many opportunities to tailor my school experiences to my interests.” Anya mentions a class that has impacted her the most about applying to UK, “Last year for AP Seminar, I wrote a paper about injustice within the American criminal justice system which was where my passion for law first started. This year for AP Research I chose a topic that has allowed me to deepen my understanding of how laws work in society. The culmination of taking classes that have allowed me to continually build on my existing interests, making me confident in my decision to apply as a law student to the UK.”

Which leads us to the last question: “Did you always know you would be applying to schools that are not the U.S.?”

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Senior Anya Parekh (courtesy of Anya)

Hiroto said he always knew he would go to Japan. “My parents were the ones who told me that they would like me to pursue the typical Japanese life after SAS.” Feng said he had no idea he would end up going to Canada. “So it was a last minute decision made with my parents. I thank them for supporting me no matter what choice I make. The influence from previous friends who are there also helped in that decision, and I personally liked the vibe of the campuses.” Anya responded “I was pretty set on applying to the U.S. throughout high school because that’s just the norm at SAS. But I only changed my mind when I considered my future in studying Law at the end of junior year.”

In the end, the choices we make about higher education post-SAS are made independently.  They are the culmination of many factors and just because we go to an American high school definitely does not mean we have to go to an American college.  Quite literally, as seniors about to embark on the next steps of life, the world is within our reach.

Author: Julie Chung

Julie Chung is a senior and it’s her second year as a reporter of the Eye. She is Korean and has been living in Singapore for 13 years and it’s her 7th year at SAS. Her hobbies include listening to music, watching TV shows going to either GongCha or Koi. She can be reached at chung35753@sas.edu.sg

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