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SEOUL — When the morning bells ring Tuesday, kindergartners through high school seniors will head to their first classes of the year across the Korean peninsula.

For Robert Lilley-Sneed, Tuesday isn’t just the start of a new school at Camp Humphreys Elementary School; it’s the first day of school ever for the 5-year-old.

Robert said he’s eager to enter kindergarten at Camp Humphreys and when asked why said, “Because.”

School, he added, is a chance to “have fun and play and listen to our teacher and, and that’s it.” Then he added, “And learn, too.

“Like books,” he elaborated, "like everything, like letters.” He’s got a head start on working with the alphabet, he volunteered. “I know how to write my name.”

At nearby Osan American High School, Kara Kitchens, 15, will enter 10th grade. She moved to Osan Air Base about a month ago from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

“I am very excited. Since I just moved here, I’m looking forward to going to a new school, meeting new friends, and just living here in Korea,” she said.

“I just want to try to keep a 4.0 … I want to go to college and I want to succeed in what I want to do,” which is to pursue a career in marketing, she said.

“I’m looking forward to cheerleading … I’ve done it almost my whole life … traveling, meeting new friends all over the Pacific.… Really, just having a blast.”

Paul Russell Jr., 14, is looking forward to his first day at Seoul American High School on Yongsan Garrison. The freshman, who attended Seoul American Middle School last year, said he’s a bit nervous.

It’s “just that it’s just a new year … and I’ll get a different education than what it was in the eighth grade,” he said.

Six-year-old Matthew Fredley, who’ll enter Seoul American Elementary School’s first grade, found a silver lining in the end of summer. Not only does school offer recess and lunch, but he won’t have to spend the day with his two younger siblings.

“I don’t like my sisters,” he said.


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