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“The IB has helped me to become intellectually curious”

Eighteen year-old UNIS Hanoi student, Yu Min Choi, from South Korea is on a path to solve the paradox of humans being digitally connected but socially disconnected.

A student at UNIS Hanoi for four years, Yu Min hopes to pursue engineering, but with a difference. As one of her electives she hopes to explore cyberpsychology. “I want to study relationships between machines and people,” she revealed. “The idea came after I began observing people’s behaviours. For example, the other day, I was sitting with my friends and saw that, though we were physically together, we were not together socially because we were all on our devices.”

Yu Min believes her teachers have equipped her to continue asking the type of questions that will lead to solving this modern day challenge. “There’s a Korean word called ‘jeong’ which means emotional attachment which I value a lot but I believe we are losing a lot of that” she shared. “Emotional detachment has been exacerbated by Covid and long stretches of Distance Learning.”

Despite any challenges Distance Learning may have caused, it created further opportunities for Yu Min to use her computer skills. Last year, Yu Min became the first Head of Technology for UNIS Model United Nations. And as both MUN Conferences took place virtually this year, Yu Min and a fellow tech enthusiast were integral to the success of the events. 

She said, “Organising the MUN Conferences online was high pressure because no precedent had been set. With the help of the School’s IT team, we had to figure out how to simultaneously live-stream multiple committees and create virtual opportunities for hundreds of students across the region in order for them to connect.”

As well as a passion for technology, Yu Min has enjoyed teaching young Vietnamese children English as part of the UNIS Hanoi Service Learning initiative. She meets her students once every two weeks to teach them the fundamentals of the English language. “I know how it feels to learn English as a second language”, Yu Min revealed. “So, I’m able to draw from my own experiences to help them succeed.”

Reflecting on her time at UNIS Hanoi, Yu Min said her teachers encouraged her to ask questions, something she said she’s always loved to do. The IB programmes she took at UNIS Hanoi propelled her interests and helped her become “intellectually curious.”

“At UNIS Hanoi I’ve discovered I’m free to be who I am, and everyone embraces everyone’s differences. That’s what I love about the School.”