Her 18-year-old son will be studying biochemistry at Yonsei University in South Korea


Despite her best efforts, Angelina Jolie couldn’t keep it together as she sent son Maddox off to college.

The mom of six, 44, admitted she let out an “embarrass-your-children ugly cry” as she said goodbye to her oldest son, 18, at Yonsei University in South Korea.

“I … had the big glasses, and the amount of times I turned and waved. I do know it was the one moment in my life I think I turned around six times before the airport just…,” Jolie recalled to Entertainment Tonight at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, on Saturday. “And he sweetly stayed and kept waving, knowing that I was going to keep turning around. You could feel he knew he couldn’t leave.”

“I am very proud of him. He is ready — he’s good,” she also told Extra.

Angelina Jolie and son Maddox
Credit: Courtesy Yonsei University

Jolie was seen dropping Maddox off at school in a video shared to Instagram in which she told students she was “trying not to cry.”

She was also seen touring the campus with officials in photos that showed her and Maddox arriving at Yonsei, where a source told PEOPLE he will study biochemistry.

The Eternals actress told ET that sending her son off was emotional, but also heartwarming, considering how his siblings Pax, 15, Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and 11-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne came together to bid him adieu.

Angelina Jolie and Maddox tour Yonsei University in South Korea
Angelina Jolie and Maddox tour Yonsei University in South Korea
| Credit: Courtesy of Yonsei University

“What was very beautiful is the way everybody said goodbye. When it was time to take him to the airport – some jumped into the car to take him – and everybody was, it was very…” she told the outlet.

Jolie continued, “When you know that your kids love each other and you see the way they all – without any kind of prompting or pushing – give each other notes, hug each other, take each other, support each other, then you feel like they’re going to be okay and they’re always going to have each other.”

Angelina jolie
(L-R) Knox Jolie-Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, Pax Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, Maddox Jolie-Pitt
| Credit: Monica Schipper/Getty

Despite the tearful goodbye, it’s just a “see you later,” as Jolie revealed she already has plans to visit her son.

“I miss him, I miss him,” she said. “Or I’ll just get out there. It’s not like I haven’t set my plane tickets.”

A source previously told PEOPLE that Maddox was taking steps to prepare for his big move, and had been accepted into other universities, but chose Yonsei.

“He has been studying Korean language,” the source said. “He has lessons multiple times a week to prepare.”

Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Yonsei is a private research institution in Seoul that was established in 1885, with its current iteration opening its doors in 1957. The university is part of South Korea’s three elite SKY universities and is regarded as one of the best in the country.

“I look forward to all he will do,” Jolie previously told PEOPLE. “[I am] nothing but proud.”