Korean Culture at Oxford Academy

December 14, 2015
Emily Kim  Oxford Academy  11th grade

By Emily Kim
Oxford Academy
11th grade

Oxford Academy, a college preparatory public school located in the suburban neighborhood of Cypress, California, stands renowned for its highly competitive academic standards and environment; with an entrance-exam admissions process and rigorous honors-saturated curriculum, the school has continually boasted repeatedly high accolades in student test performance and educational standard, consistently ranking within the top high schools on both the state and nationwide level.

Simultaneously, within the academic environment of Oxford Academy lies a student culture and demographic dominated, not by Caucasians, but by predominantly Asian minorities.

According to a recent statistic taken by NewsWeek, minority enrollment constituted 90 percent of the cumulative student body, with a 69 percent Asian student demographic; Korean students, in specificity, comprise 13 percent of that demographic.

The multifarious extracurricular opportunities and student culture at Oxford remain reflective of such a diverse demographic; culture clubs remain prevalent and well-supported, ranging from the Vietnamese Students’ Association, to the Black Students’ Association. But most intriguingly, there also exists a growing culture of enthusiasm and interest for Korean culture amongst the Oxford student body, visible in the predominance of students, mostly non-Korean, listening to Korean pop music during their lunch breaks, and discussing the latest episodes of their favorite Korean TV shows.

Oxford Academy’s rich diversity serves as a platform for this cultural exchange and interaction within the student body, demonstrated most clearly by the diffusion of Korean culture and voice. While the school’s expansive Korean language and culture classes have definitely played a large role in exposing students to Korean culture, many students confess to being influenced by their Korean classmates during their time on campus.

“At Oxford, considering the culture and demographic here, listening to K-pop enabled me to feel closer with my peers and helped me better appreciate the diversity at our school,” Jon Le, a current junior at Oxford Academy, says, “It’s helped me feel more empowered, as an Asian-American.”

Korean pop culture, as such, has played a role in fostering solidarity and friendship amongst the diverse student community at Oxford; many non-Korean students, who share mutual interests in certain Korean pop songs and idols, often congregate and find respite from academic workloads in doing so.

“There’s definitely a general air of collaboration and camaraderie,” Dongjoon Lee, a current junior says, “At this school, where we have such diversity and solidarity, I really feel as though we as students are allowed to thrive.”


  1. Nene Romanova

    December 14, 2015 at 9:07 PM


    Interest in Korean culture grows because k-pop presents koreans with plastic surgery and hair-dyeing?

    Koreans have to un-korean themselves to be cool?

    Koreans are acting like whoreans.

    Yeah, hookers in Saigon were popular too.

    As whores.

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  29. Edward

    January 8, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Schools like Oxford and Whitney are basically Asian American college preparatory bubbles. I find alumni from such schools have problems socializing with anyone who is not part of the Asian American college preparatory crowd. My sister had the test scores to go to Whitney, but we sent her to Los Alamitos High instead and I think she is a more well-rounded (and marketable) person for it.

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    November 27, 2017 at 10:52 AM

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  32. Don

    July 29, 2018 at 11:18 AM

    The article ends with stating… ““At this school, where we have such diversity and solidarity…” …how can you say that when the school is over 70% Asian and only Korean culture thrives??

    We chose not to send the kid to this school exactly because what is wrong with “extremely laborious” Korean culture. Kids need to be well rounded and not just academic focused. What good is brain power that is not able to collaborate. Here is the article in NY Times that we should worry schools like Oxford might be fermenting in American society.