Preview Day – An Eye-Opening Look at IMSA

On Saturday, November 9, 2013, over a thousand people surged through IMSA’s front doors for the spectacle of Preview Day. The crowd contained prospective students and their families, guided throughout the day by an army of Student Ambassadors.

Preview Day gives visitors a chance to learn about life at IMSA through informational sessions about topics including residential life, college and academic counseling, IMSA curriculum, service learning, athletics/activities, SIR, and admissions. Teachers offer mock classes in English, social science, wellness, world language, math, and science. Visitors can also take 40-minute Student Ambassador-led tours around campus, including a visit to the dorms.

“The best part is meeting people and seeing what kind of interests they have coming to IMSA,” says junior Aquila Ryu, who joined Student Ambassadors this year. “At the same time, I don’t want people at IMSA to just think of it as an opportunity for college, so they’re learning for the wrong reasons and nobody’s sincere about what they do. I want people to come to IMSA for the right reasons, and Preview Day helps with that.”

The day is a great opportunity for people to learn more about IMSA and consider whether it is a good fit for them. “It was really interesting,” says 13-year-old Steven Fan about Preview Day. “I would consider coming to IMSA.”

Haein Sung, a Loyola University graduate, has brothers who are considering applying, which she’s happy about. “Personally, having gone through public high school, IMSA seems really different,” she says. “And I actually graduated from college, and IMSA really does mimic it, and it prepares you for that. So I’m excited that my brothers are looking into it.”

For some, though, IMSA is not just a consideration but a dream. “My daughter’s dream is to come to IMSA,” says mother Silvia Ledezma de Bugarin of her daughter, Daisy. “They teach things here differently than any other high school. I really hope my daughter comes here, because that’s what she wants.”

There’s another Preview Day on Sunday, January 26th. In addition, there are several 2-hour tours on Saturdays, and on Wednesdays, Student Ambassadors and Kids Institute collaborate for FUSION, a program that introduces middle school students to IMSA. But for Steven, Haein, and Silvia as well as the other thousand visitors on Saturday, this Preview Day is a valuable glimpse into IMSA life. And worth those forty minutes of walking.

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