Three KTJ Sixth Form students tell School Advisor what makes KTJ unique for them and what you, too, can expect at KTJ.
What is it like to learn and hang out together at Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ)? What about the boarding experience?
To find out more about the Sixth Form experience at KTJ, School Advisor spoke to three Upper Sixth Form students: Izzati, a former government school student who now resides in Jawahir house; Jieun, a South Korean who resides in Irinah house; and Ashar, KTJ’s Head Boy from Imran House.
From left: Izzati, Ashar and Jieun.
When you initially joined KTJ, how did the KTJ community guide you through your journey?
Izzati: Fortunately for me, the people at KTJ were very friendly and welcoming. I would always have someone to walk and eat with me and ask how I was doing. Now, my friends and I sit with new people on Fridays in the dining hall and it is very fun. This makes KTJ very special: we celebrate our differences and we are respectful towards each other.
Jieun: I love being here with friends who inspire me every day. We treat each other like family and now that I am in my fifth year at KTJ, we have gotten closer than ever. My Houseparent has also made so much effort to get to know me, and I truly appreciate that. Even though she is strict, she means well and does her best to accommodate us.
Jieun, what was the motivation behind attending a boarding school in Malaysia?
Jieun: My family and I were visiting family friends who, at the time, had just moved to a place in Klang Valley. I visited their school and it left an incredible impression on me. The atmosphere was totally different from the schools back home. I thought, “Maybe I could blend in here in Malaysia.” So, I told my parents that I wanted to go to a school here.
My parents were really supportive and wanted me to experience new things and meet new people. We figured that Malaysia was a good place to start. It is only six hours away from home so I did not hesitate to attend school here.
Being a Sixth Form student at KTJ, life here is pretty hectic, so it is a great distraction for me from feeling homesick. I learnt that keeping myself busy is really important and helps me structure my day and keep myself motivated.
KTJ Boarding broadens students' horizons and ensures that all students have a holistic learning experience.
Ashar, we learned that you came from a line of KTJ alumni. How does your experience compare to your siblings?
Ashar: For the most part, the experience we have is very similar, such as the daily routines, the core elements and values of the school and KTJ Boarding.
Some of the differences lie in KTJ’s infrastructure and the people we are friends with. The WiFi improved over the years and we now have unlimited WiFi access at certain times of the day. The group of friends we mix with do have some differences. My sister is very academic inclined and the people she interacted with reflected that. My brother is sporty and plays football every evening before rushing to the dining hall to get ready for prep. I fall somewhere in between.
However, I have had a completely different experience at KTJ due to Covid-19. I do feel safe here. But, for a time, sports were cancelled and online classes became the norm. The KTJ community is now moving forward more positively.
Izzati, you were in a government boarding school. What does KTJ offer that other schools do not?
Izzati: Definitely the facilities at KTJ. It might seem normal to some, but I would never imagine having a gym in our boarding houses! This is a new level of luxury for me. We also have a swimming pool and there are a number of fields for different sports such as athletics, cricket, football, hockey and rugby. Back in my previous school, we only had one field and we did everything there. Besides that, the activities helped us to bond. We recently had an inter-house picnic and that was fun!
The Sixth Form students were involved in the inter-house picnic event.
What are some of the activities that you are actively involved in at KTJ?
Izzati: KTJ allows all students to highlight their strengths in their own way. I discovered that I enjoyed singing and acting after I was cast in the house singing event, which is a massive event here.
Many students participate in house sports tournaments, such as football, netball, basketball, swimming and more. We have house quizzes, singing and drama. There are many fun events that every student can join and showcase their talents.
KTJ encourages all students to get involved in sports.
Jieun: We had house football recently and it was a lot of fun. Everyone can participate even if they are not interested in sports. The first inter-house activity after I enrolled at KTJ was the house singing event. It helped me bond with everyone in my house.
Ashar: There is definitely something for everyone. The house singing event had to be held via Zoom for the past two years. So, we needed people within our house to plan the production, and to edit the videos too. The whole process had brought everyone together.
You are nearing the end of your Sixth Form journey. How does KTJ assist you in preparing to enrol into your desired university?
Izzati: I submitted my application through UCAS during the first term of Upper Sixth in October. I chatted with my friends from different schools and I was surprised to hear that they were expected to send in their applications in December. The fact that KTJ encourages students to apply as early as possible shows how much support it offers students.
We were divided into mentoring groups and were mentored by Mr Mark Disney. He helped us with our personal statements and resumes to send out during the summer holidays. His guidance contributed to the success of my applications because I have been accepted into my two top choices!
Ashar: The Sixth Form support team is very experienced. If you are unsure about what to do, they can help break it down for you. Mr Disney, in particular, is a very knowledgeable person. It was a great experience for us to pick his brain during the sessions and I am very thankful for that. My application would not be what it is without him.
Jieun: KTJ helps students through the application process, including what to do, how to plan and how to expand our interests and potential. That was one of the reasons why I do not regret choosing KTJ. My application has since been successful, and I have received an offer from one of my dream universities.
KTJ’s excellence in guiding students through their Sixth Form journey leads students to the top universities in the world.
Which university will you be attending?
Izzati: I am going into accounting and finance, but I am still unsure of which university I will be attending. I received offers from the University of Leeds and the University of Lancaster.
Jieun: I received an offer to study Biochemical Engineering at University College London. I did not expect to hear from them so soon!
Ashar: Hopefully, I will be attending Durham University, studying Ancient History and Archaeology.
Any advice for students who are interested in joining KTJ?
Ashar: KTJ is a place where you can be yourself and pursue what you like. The school caters to your interests and offers a bit of everything through extra-curricular activities, such as the Korean drama club or debate club. You will get the opportunity to discover new interests and talents that can further benefit you for future endeavours.
Izzati: I would say go for it! KTJ will offer you a new perspective and room for you to grow. My advice is to interact with new people as much as you can.
When you eventually leave KTJ, what will you miss?
Izzati: I will miss the events we have here. The events have been amazing.
Jieun: When we part ways, it will be really hard to meet up with each other on a regular basis. I will cherish the memories I have created with my friends while living together on campus.
Ashar: I am inclined to say the community but truthfully, I will miss the campus. You cannot replicate the KTJ campus!
To learn more about KTJ Sixth Form and KTJ Boarding, please visit ktj.edu.my.
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