As the time for a regional basketball tournament for Asia Pacific international schools drew near, it was impossible to miss the excited buzz around the Seoul host school.
From Jan. 27 to Jan. 31, Seoul Foreign School (SFS) hosted the Super Asia Pacific Activities Conference (APAC) Boys Basketball tournament. Every year, APAC member schools take rotations in hosting different events, thus allowing students to travel to other countries “to not only compete in sports and in the visual and performing arts, but also experience new cultures and destinations,” according to the APAC website.
A distinctive element about any APAC event is the homestay experience. Unlike other school-related travel events, APAC allows for the chance to harbor relationships with students from other schools on a personal level. Rather than staying in hotels and limiting the chances of making new friends, homestays create not only a cozy environment, but also give off a sense of security and hospitality. David Pang, co-captain of the boys varsity team at SFS, claims it “itself is a unique experience,” and he is glad to have had the chance to meet new people through this way.
Grant Hyun, the other co-captain, revealed that he “made quite a few APAC friends from [his] sophomore year that [he] keeps in touch with to this day.” Grant also mentioned that through the multiple APAC events he has been a part of, he was able to create a “temporary family” that he always looks forward to seeing.
The Super APAC Boys Basketball tournament being held at SFS this year meant that a majority of the high school students, regardless of whether they were participating in the event, were required to homestay, for 150+ boys were flying overseas to compete in the 3-day tournament.
As the three-day sports event came to a close, David said, “This was my last APAC event, ever, and it being hosted at my own school was very meaningful. It was something I had always dreamed about. If you were there you would have seen our fans cheering on for us. It was the best experience I’ve ever had playing in these jerseys.”