Voices (ISL Stories)

Meet Seongmin Park

Learn more about Seongmin Park, Alumni (Class of 2020)

Where are you living now and what are you doing?

I am currently living in Munich Germany, studying Engineering Science at the Technical University of Munich (TUM)

Do you feel that ISL adequately prepared you for this next step in your life?

Taking a step back from my life at ISL made me really realize the extent to which everyone at ISL goes to make sure all the students get the best education possible and I have become more grateful for my time at ISL.

In terms of academics, ISL and the IB program have helped me become independent in my learning, not just relying on professors and lectures but asking my friends or using other sources to add on and accompany the content if I have not fully understood it.

Furthermore, I was able to connect with people from all sorts of different backgrounds – I’ve got on well especially with other IB students as well sharing a common experience.

What has been the most challenging thing to overcome since leaving ISL and transitioning to your new environment during a global pandemic?

I think for me the most challenging aspect of going to Uni during the pandemic is the lack of social contact. This year the start of the winter semester in Germany was pushed back to the 1st of November and even though in the beginning I was able to meet friends in person to a certain extent, the German government enacted a partial lockdown closing everything at 21h00 and now in December, Bavaria imposed a stricter lockdown preventing people from going outside without a proper reason (Ausgangsbeschränkung) so mostly everything from Ersti Woche (German Freshers week) to student gatherings were cancelled.

However, the University and students in the higher semesters are doing a lot to take care of the freshmen, preparing gift bags and organizing online get-together events. I think everyone has come to lean on each other more for support and even without face to face contact I have been able to make good friends here as well 😊

Do you have any interesting anecdotes to share about your life at University in Covid times?

The transition to online learning has been quite interesting here 😂 and I heard that the servers of our competitor university in Munich the LMU crashed during the first week of semester.

Also one professor had to live stream a special lecture on Twitch (the live game streaming site) because too many people wanted to watch it and there were people making small donations to have their names and messages pop up on the live stream which was hilarious

What do you miss most about ISL?

What I miss about ISL is the feeling of a close tight knit community, such as the conversations I would have with teachers about interesting topics and the future in general.

And of course, the one to one feedback and help I could receive if I did not understand something.

If you could give any advice to ISL’s current Senior Class, what would it be?

One piece of advice that I think I would be able to give is to stay in touch with your friends from ISL and all your teachers. A lot of you have grown up together and for me a lot of lifelong friendships have been built at ISL.


  • Alumni