This student reached the top of SKY castle

Published October 26, 2020, 10:17 AM

by Kerry Tinga

This Southville International School and Colleges alumna graduated summa cum laude from the prestigious South Korean university Yonsei

Underwood Hall at Yonsei University / Photo from

Only last year were we gripped by the sensational K-drama SKY Castle. It offered a peek into the lives of the South Korean elite. There were parents who would do just about anything to get their children into one of the prestigious SKY universities, an abbreviation of Seoul National University (SNU), Korea University, and Yonsei University. In the show, there was a lot of deceit and duplicity. But was it just added drama for television?

Getting into these top-ranked universities is by no means an easy feat to accomplish, but this Southville International Schools and Colleges (SCIS) alumna proves you don’t necessarily need an intense K-drama eomoni (mother) to get in and excel.

Minkyoung Kyeong recently graduated summa cum laude in international studies from Yonsei University. She cites her international exposure from living and studying in the Philippines as a great motivator.

“I took international studies in Yonsei because I am interested in working for international organizations,” says Minkyoung. “Southville helped me adapt to my course’s environment, which has a great mix of international teaching staff and students.”

Minkyoung Keyong started as an English as a Second Language (ESL) student at Southville / Photo courtesy of Southville

The recent graduate expressed a desire to pursue work in the education sector in order to alleviate poverty. A product of prestigious education, she understands its power in our world.

“I hope to work in the education sector because I am a firm believer in education-for-all,” she adds. “It is even more crucial for those living in poverty as [education] serves as an opportunity to get out of the situation that they are trapped in.”

Minkyoung started her Philippine education as an English as a Second Language (ESL) student. Coming to a foreign country and having to learn a foreign language right away can be daunting, yet she persevered. In high school, she honed her critical thinking skills and was awarded the Portfolio Assessment for Southville Students (PASS) Excellence.

Reminiscing about the young girl she once was when she first came to the Philippines, she has some few choice words she would share with that younger self:

“I would like to tell her that although she has much more room to improve, she has been growing and developing well as a woman. The road she has to go through will not be as easy as she thinks, and there will be a lot of obstacles along the way. The world will be more difficult as she faces reality, including social hurdles like the glass ceiling. Seeing where she is now, however, I am hopeful she will conquer all challenges.”