Luke Carberry

Luke Carberry is an American actor and graduate of Western Academy of Beijing. Though born in the USA in 1996, he moved to Beijing when he was 5 years old in 2001 with his family to study mandarin Chinese. He studied at Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) for 12 years, starting in Grade 1 in 2002 until 2014 when he graduated at age 18. His mother is Ellen Carberry and his younger sister is Chloe.

The main thing that he has loved about the Western Academy of Beijing is that it has instilled in him is his love of learning. He has liked all of his teachers because they like what they do, and that attitude is contagious. Many of his classmates studied hard and have been respectful and he enjoyed working and being around them. He have developed some great friendships at WAB and those can never be replaced.

While it may sound strange, perhaps the thing he is most proud of is that he did not stay up past 11:30 pm on any school night over the two years of IB Diploma (DP), and still received great grades. He was involved as the leader of the Student Ambassadors, played sports year round, and even then he was able to manage my time well to get enough sleep.

He enrolled in the IB DP in High School. He did not find the DP as difficult as everyone says. He had good study habits. Luke took notes in class, He planned out his homework time schedule and he did his work effectively and efficiently. The main thing he did when he studied is that he focused on learning, rather than memorizing. He needed to understand why, not just how, a process takes place and know how to apply it to other situations.

He loved the international school education, and he felt that it is more rigorous and more applicable than the average High School education. He would recommend the IB DP to anyone he could, because he thinks that it prepares you for college and work life. To do well in IB anyone must learn effective study and work skills as well as how to think critically and write well.

After completing Grade 9, Luke was 14 years old when Dutch-Norwegian director Harald Zwart approached him and offered him a small role in the movie The Karate Kid. Luke was amazed and excited so he applied for it and was looking forward to meeting and starring with actors Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. He had never acted in a movie before.

The film was shot from July to October 2009. It was shot through summer vacation so kids would’t miss out in school as other real school children also participated in filming. However, filming stretched into early October 2009. But Luke wasn’t worried. He brought his homework, notes and books on the set and didn’t miss any homework or tests. His teachers were able to email him assignments and he effectively did his Chinese homework. So Luke was out of school for two or three days in a row on three occasions. Luke’s teachers at WAB gave him homework and he worked on a computer. He did written math and Chinese homework, and didn’t have any trouble rejoining his classmates once filming was over.

Luke got the full Hollywood treatment when he walked the red carpet for the world premiere of Karate Kid at Fox Westwood Village in Los Angeles. “It was my first time in LA and we were staying in the Venice Beach area, which was very cool,” says Luke.” They sent a driver to pick us up in a really nice SUV and took us to the red carpet. There were a lot of cameras and reporters asking questions like: ‘What was it like to work with Jayden Smith and Jackie Chan?'” The entire Carberry family was stunned to see Luke and Chloe meters high on the silver screen. “It’s a cliche, but it was unbelievable,” Luke recalls.

Ellen Carberry remembers watching the movie for the first time. “Nobody had seen the movie until that moment. Very quickly into the movie, they [main characters] are in Beijing, arriving in a taxi in front of their apartment building. As they’re pulling up, there’s this blond boy coming over to help get the luggage out of the trunk. I suddenly realized ‘Oh my God! It’s Luke!’ A couple of minutes into the movie, there’s our son on the screen, larger than life, and our jaws hit the floor. Chloe’s also in the movie, in the school, in the cafeteria, among the extras. She was three or four times onscreen. It was amazing to see them both up there.”

“One of the best outcomes of the movie is that it captured Beijing at a particular point in time,” says Carberry. “Will Smith’s [film] captured some of the transitions going on in Beijing: that a black American family [would move there], that there would be a school where Western and Chinese families would [come] together. [It’s] actually much more sophisticated than we expected. For Luke, for his contemporaries, for all of our friends and family, that part of their lives will always be captured in that movie. They’ll always have a souvenir of what was their life was like in Beijing.”

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