The Concordia Korean Alumni Association (CKAA)

The Concordia Korean Alumni Association (CKAA) was established in 2021 with the vision of fostering lasting connections among Concordia Korean alumni. Concordia International School Hanoi started the association with the aim to cultivate an active alumni network that spans across the various graduating classes. Over the past three years, CKAA has held regular gatherings in Seoul, providing opportunities for alumni to dine together every semester and strengthen the bonds that were established during their time at Concordia.

Throughout the past three years, SeYoung Byun, a member of the Concordia class of 2020, has served as the President of CKAA. SeYoung is currently enrolled at Korea University, pursuing a double major in English and International Relations, with an expected graduation date of 2026. As she now passes the leadership onto a more recent graduate, SeYoung reflected on her time guiding the association and her satisfaction in watching CKAA grow over the years.

Concordia Korean alumni association students with high school counselors

What do you enjoy most about the CKAA?

“What I enjoy most about the CKAA is that we get to keep in touch. Even though Seoul is a small city and most of us live here, once we transition into a new community it can be hard to see each other. Every semester, we come together to see everyone again, update each other, talk about university life, and reminisce about the good old times. It is very special that we get to see everyone once every few months. Through this, we are all able to grow from each other.”

Have you enjoyed connecting students across multiple grade levels?

“After graduation, I was able to reconnect with multiple alumni who were a few grades below me at Concordia. Although I remember them as lower classmates and we were never close, I now have the opportunity to build a friendship with them. I assume they feel similarly about reconnecting with seniors they were not in touch with before. This new opportunity allows us to grow as a new community and expand our friendships.”

Have you found benefits from connecting with alumni from Concordia?

“The alumni network has only been in place for three years, but I expect it to grow more in the future. Over the years, we have been building this network, and I anticipate it becoming a larger community in Seoul. Students from Concordia who are ten years apart or even more can help each other, both within school and beyond. If someone is pursuing a similar career path, they can seek advice and mentorship, which would be special and beneficial.”
“This hasn't fully happened yet because we only have a few college graduates, as Concordia is relatively young. However, these are the kinds of opportunities and benefits I foresee developing in the coming years. The goal and purpose of the Concordia Korea Alumni Association (CKAA) is to take the opportunity now to reconnect, stay in touch, share our experiences, and help each other transition.”

Concordia emphasizes the “Concordia family.” Do you feel this is an extension of it? 

“Throughout our years of studying at Concordia, we learned about the importance of community and how to build and sustain it. This alumni network demonstrates the extension of that community, even without adult leaders. The core values and sense of community are ingrained in us, allowing us to carry that forward independently.”

Korean students apart of CKAA

I understand these events are mostly in Seoul, what universities in Seoul are people attending that go to this event?

“People are attending Seoul National University, Korea University, Yonsei University, Sungkyunkwan University, and Sogang University.”

Have you enjoyed watching the CKAA grow in your term of Presidency?

“Watching the change has been really special because when it first started, everyone who showed up to these events were people I saw every day back in Hanoi. We were like family. As time went on, more underclassmen started joining in. I am grateful that I still get to stay connected with Concordia and receive updates about how the kids are doing there, including which schools they are getting accepted to. If they come from my school and we end up at the same college, I get to share this connection with people here in Korea.”

Are you sad to let go of CKAA?

“It's been four years since I graduated, and while I would love to invite more underclassmen, it's difficult because I have never met them and we didn't attend school at the same time. This network is more for underclassmen who are transitioning back home. I'm happy to pass it on to someone who can help the newer alumni feel more comfortable. However, I plan to continue attending these events to say, “hi” and meet new alumni.”

Korean students wearing letterman jackets from Sogang

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