• Have a fantastic summer break!
  • First Day of School on August 12th.
  • Don't forget your spirit shirts on Friday.
The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

Daegu International School's student news site
  • Have a fantastic summer break!
  • First Day of School on August 12th.
  • Don't forget your spirit shirts on Friday.
The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

Taiwan exchange program: Sister school visits for a week on campus

9th graders from Asia American International Academy experience DIS and the greater Daegu area
Jets Flyover Staff
An adventurous bout of rides at E-world leaves everyone winded. As they take a breather, they admire the 83 Tower and blooming cherry blossoms.

DIS freshmen welcomed their soon-to-be friends from Asia American International Academy (AAIA) with open arms on Mar. 31. Seven students from Taiwan comprised the inaugural cohort of the exchange program for a week.

Partnership formed when AAIA reached out directly to DIS and requested to jumpstart this double endeavor. “The teachers said it was a student exchange program. I got to go to someone else’s house and they came to our houses and we could make new friends. I signed up because I wanted to make new friends and to experience life outside of just Taiwan,” Andrew Song, an AAIA student, said. 

Natsuki Onuma and Peyton Tsai from AAIA watch in amazement while Mr. Lipsky shows them how to work a camera. (Leewen Wang)

Some connections stretched back long before the project. “Last year, when I went to Korea, I happened to be competing against Jio’s documentary group for NHD and that’s how we met. When I saw her name on the list of people, I was like, ‘I want her to be my partner,” said Peyton Tsai from AAIA.

The DIS freshmen also recognized some of their Taiwanese peers as well. “We didn’t talk much at all, but I definitely remember seeing the school there and their Nintendo project. I remember seeing freshmen from Taiwan and getting to talk to them about politics and other stuff,” said freshman Haydn Mangione. 

Natsuki Onuma from AAIA fills out the first page in her interactive notebook for history class with the help of her buddy Leewen Wang. (Tamara Trindade)

Although their time together in Korea was short, the DIS and AAIA freshmen revived old bonds and forged camaraderie with their new pals. “[I got to make] new friends, experience new things, and get away from my friends because they are all kinda dumb (just kidding),” Song said. Their excitement for Korean culture brought the project to success. 

AAIA freshman Andrew Song and DIS ninth-grader Aiden Huh forge a budding bromance as they watch the Kamibot presentations. (Oliver Park)

However, unexpected challenges arose as both schools never organized dual trips before. “When we were downtown, [Evelyn] said that she didn’t feel well. My mom and I took her to the hospital, and she found out that she had caught the flu. Since influenza is very contagious, I contacted Mr. Jolly right away, and she stayed with her school chaperone for 4 days. I was upset, but I couldn’t really do anything so I just bore it,” Lee said. 

But the freshmen worked around the hardships and still concluded in a blast. Lee said, “Even with [Evelyn] not there, we stayed in contact. I checked in with her, and I asked if she felt alright and some other stuff. I don’t think the absence of my partner influenced all that much of our friendship; if anything, it kind of made us bond more. We knew that we missed the four days, and we knew we had to get back to each other and get closer.” 

AAIA and DIS freshmen stand in line for the zip line at Vaunce Trampoline Park. Thankfully, none of them are scared of heights. (Leewen Wang)

As role models, the Jets provided AAIA with the best experience both on and off campus. On campus, DIS planned team activities and coordinated special schedules for both the Jets and their partners. 

With unwavering concentration, students aim for the bullseye. After extensive practice, they compete in their mini archery tournament. (Ms.Zhu)

Filled with a dab of Korean culture, the kids from Taipei relished in off-campus activities. They enjoyed shopping sprees at Shinsegae, as well as the trek to the trampoline park that sealed closer friendships with their local counterparts. The Jets also prepared cute sticker photo booth sessions to save the blissful moments to bring back home. 

Jets give AAIA students the authentic K-teenager experience and finish off their night out with a four-cut photo. With funny props, the students make different gestures. After the snapshots are over, they take their own photo home. (Leewen Wang)

Our community opened up and catered to the visitors. They gained experiences of the DIS identity, such as after-school activities and class projects. As the door opens for future travel exchanges, the Chinese department checks the 2024-2025 calendar to prioritize this transformative experience for rising ninth graders.

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About the Contributors
Jio Kim
Jio Kim, Writer
Jio Kim returns to the Jets Flyover writing team for a second year. She loves reading and almost anything that has to do with writing. With two strong leadership positions this year, Jio directs student council and NJHS. Cooperation and collaboration are her strong suits. Through Jets Flyover, Jio wants to continue writing engaging news stories and maybe even try writing a few book reviews.
Leewen Wang
Leewen Wang, Writer
Freshman Leewen Wang, an OG member of the DIS community, returns to her third year on the Flyover staff. In her leisure time, she plays sports, hangs out with her family and friends, and travels the globe to chase new thrills. This year, she represents her class in the High School Student Council and hopes to showcase her insight to fellow Flyover fans. 
Oliver Park
Oliver Park, Web Designer/ Writer
Oliver Park, a freshman at DIS, loves everything coding and app development. As a top-tier Apple Fanatic (앱등이), he jokes that he could cultivate an entire orchard with his array of Apple products. One day, he hopes to visit the iconic Apple headquarters, Apple Park, in pursuit of his tech-driven dreams. This year, Oliver plans to write informative articles on all things tech. 
Tamara Trindade
Tamara Trindade, Writer
As a person who bounces from country to country in life, Tamara thrives on people, culture, and diversity. Tamara Trindade, a newcomer to Korea, hasn’t stopped her path of self-discovery. She gains insight into the local culture and her identity on a daily basis. Her flexibility with unfamiliar places combined with her extroverted personality makes her the perfect new member of the Flyover staff. Her interests include tennis, action and sci-fi movies, and of course travel. She looks forward to a strong finish these last few months on staff. 

Comments (4)

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  • Y

    yujunMay 22, 2024 at 7:27 pm

    i love the four cut photo

  • E

    EstherMay 22, 2024 at 7:26 pm

    I saw them in DIS! I hope that they had fun at DIS!

  • J

    Joseph BeckMay 22, 2024 at 7:24 pm

    I wish I could go to ride some rollercoasters!!

  • S

    SolaMay 21, 2024 at 8:59 am

    Hope you guys enjoyed your stay in DIS!!