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We Are Graduates - 2010

June, 2010
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bcis-chiao-yu1-sChiao Yu Tuan is a graduate of Beijing City International School and plans to study Psychology at Lawrence University.

After graduation, I feel relieved, but not as much as I thought I would.

I really enjoyed my high school life at Beijing City International School. Ever since I started attending BCIS, the welcoming environment made me feel at home instantly. These days, I am still touched by corridor conversations with my teacher on how I’m doing. Every time, it starts with something as simple as “how’s everything going”, but it is things like this that makes BCIS such a friendly environment.

The rich experiences of BCIS teachers and their values of life also inspired and encouraged me to explore life, go after my dreams and be myself.

I’ve been studying at an international school for two years, but I went to international student sections since elementary school, so I am used to being surrounded by foreigners. My most memorable thing is that almost all teachers been to many different places so they are full of interesting experiences and stories. I also like the degree of freedom here.

Time flies. I’ll say keep an eye on what’s happening on campus, and if you find anything interesting, get engaged. If not, think of something you like and start doing it. Be open-minded. You don’t need to agree with other people but should be prepared to get culture shocks. Share your experiences and ask other people about their cultures, and about the stories behind them.

Words for your fellow students or friends:

Keep thinking of the things you have instead of those that you don’t. Enjoy and make good use of what’s available to you.


isb-aurora-sAurore Nedellec is a graduate of International School of Beijing and will study Politics with International Studies at Warwick University

To graduate from high school, I feel happy, naturally, but it all seems quite surreal. I don’t feel older or more mature. It is a bittersweet sensation because I know I will be leaving China soon, a country which has been my home for over 16 years now. Nonetheless, I am excited to begin this next chapter of my life.

Honestly, I don’t think I could’ve gotten a better high school experience. I.S.B provided me with so many fantastic opportunities in terms of extracurricular activities (such as sports, MUN, YLI), theater), quality education, international trips and a network of people to support me. Most of all, the friends I’ve made here are not only open and accepting, but they are interesting, funny and talented. During my 4 years of high school I’ve been to the Beijing Olympics, MUN conferences, rugby competitions, a range of cities in China - and with all of that was able to hang out with friends, go out to parties like any other teenager and receive a great education. I can’t think of any other place that can offer such a memorable high school experience.

I’ve been attending I.S.B since the first grade. Prior to that, I was in Shanghai at the Shanghai American School. It’s safe to say that China has been my childhood home.

It’s difficult to pin point one memorable thing in my international school experience, but if I had to choose, it would have to be the people I’ve met here. I’ve got friends from all corners of the world, and it’s opened my eyes to the diversity in culture and customs that exists. If I had grown up in France and attended a typical French school, then my global awareness would be a lot more limited. Having grown up in this environment, I don’t feel like I’m just a French citizen. I’m taking with me pieces of Chinese, American, and European culture which makes it so much easier for me to relate to anyone, no matter their background or nationality.

To make best use of your international school time, then just get involved. Join groups and activities that your school offers, because there are such a wide range of things to do here. In my 4 years of high school I was involved in Model United Nations (including BEIMUN), the Thespian Society, Youth Leadership International, Student Council (freshmen year), Girls’ Rugby, High School Musicals, and I.S.B’s Strategic Core Planning Team. On the other hand, be careful not to over stretch yourself. I’m one of those students that tried to do everything, and as a result have had a very stressful last year. If I have any regrets, it would be to have spent too much time with I.S.B affiliated events, and not get to know Beijing as well I could have.

Words for fellow students or friends:

Cherish your time here, because it flies by so fast. Oh and take lots of pictures to capture those precious (and sometimes embarrassing) moments!


isb-helena-sHelena Haamann is a graduate of International School of Beijing. Helena will be studying either medicine at the University of Copenhagen or International Business at Copenhagen Business School.

Graduating from high school, a part of me feels proud and relieved because of the achievement, and because I realized that I have finished an important part of my education. I also feel a little bit twisted as I have to leave Beijing, friends and family, who I have shared the last two years with.

I hope the university experience will add new perspectives to me as a person, and I am looking forward to meet new people who share the same interests. I am sure the next few years will be remarkable, and I like the fact that I will be able to focus throughout my courses on the areas of knowledge that I like the most.

My high school experience in Beijing has been amazing. It has been a journey for me to explore the culture of China, and at the same time through the international community to experience many interesting and amazing cultures from all over the world.

I was born in Thailand, and after three years I moved back to Denmark. I have always been curious and wanting to explore new cultures, and one of my dreams has always been to study abroad. This dream came true when I got the opportunity in 2008 to move to Beijing. I have studied at the International School of Beijing (ISB) for two years, and ISB has given me many unforgettable, incredible and astonishing experiences. The most memorable things to me in my international school experience would be the International Baccalaureate, the people surrounding me and the art spaces at ISB. The IB course gave me many extra curricular activities, like CAS, which allowed me to dive into the local community of Beijing and do volunteer work, such as teaching English to Chinese migrant children. The art spaces at ISB will truly be a lasting memory, and I have had many creative and fun hours with my fellow art students in those spaces.

In order to make best use of an international environment, I believe that as a person you must be open minded. It is important when meeting new cultures to always be able to face challenges and never give up, even though things may seem a little bit tough. Through the international environment I have learned by being positive, focused and strongly directed towards achieving my goals that nothing is impossible. I believe by having friends and teachers from many different countries, students are able to build cross-cultural relationships from which they can gather the best and most unique qualities from many cultures, giving them a broader perspective of our world.

Words for fellow students or friends:

Don’t become frustrated because the beginning seems a little bit tough - everything is possible in the end, and always remember that “a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet”, as once said by Will Rogers.


Moly Fang is a graduate of International School of Beijing and will study at Boston University School of Management and College of Arts and Science.

Graduating from high school, I’m really excited! However, there is still a sense of anxiety and uncertainty about leaving high school. After graduation, my family/friends and I will be separated physically…Luckily we have advanced technology that can help us to keep in touch!

I’ve been studying in an international school for 4.5 years. I am very thankful for the opportunities offered in ISB, as well as the international environment. Meeting different kinds of people is also a ‘reward’ of my high school experience. In ISB I made a lot of friends, from elementary school students to administrators, from the same nationality to the international population, and from musicians to scientists. The school trips (esp. APAC orchestra, GIN conferences) are imprinted in my mind because of their uniqueness and the passion I have for them!

The most memorable thing? Being able to develop my leadership skills and join a lot of extracurricular activities such as the orchestra, quartets, global issues group, future’s committee…and more. 

I think to make the best use of the international school environment is to have an open mind. Don’t be afraid to try new things, meet new people, and find new passions. An open mind not only means to respect what others do and their cultural traditions, but to seek change. Changes are not always bad, and you will find the world is full of interesting ideas and people!

Words for fellow students or friends:

Follow your passion, and follow your heart! Never be limited by resources or worries! If you have the heart and the eagerness to make a change, you will be able to overcome all challenges. 


bwya-yei-sYei Young Choo is a graduate of Beijing World Youth Academy and will be studying Political Science at  UC Berkeley.

First of all, since UC Berkeley has a huge school society compared to BWYA, and I’m expecting a wide range of extracurricular activities. I know that academics are significant in any university/college, but I think extracurricular activities are what really shape the society of its students as they mingle with one another; breaking the boundaries set by their academic majors.

I was busy every day during my high school life at BWYA, either because of studies or other extracurricular activities. I didn’t give myself enough time to think about how my life was like at BWYA. I just had to finish what was in front of me, because there was another thing coming up soon. Reflecting upon the past few years now, I think I enjoyed my high school life, even though there were times I found my tasks too burdensome. At BWYA, I had my first opportunity to be friends with students from different countries, to study subjects in English, to have responsibility as a club leader and to realize that I cannot survive if I’m alone, no matter how hard I study and work. 

I have been studying at BWYA for five years. Before transferring to this school, I was in a Korean school from grade 1. The most memorable and precious experience I had as a student in an international school is being able to be friends with students from different countries.

Going to an international school is not an easy opportunity if you were in your home country for a long time, so appreciate it, and enjoy your life with people from a lot of countries as much as you can. Students are just students. In the end, you may acknowledge your success in being able to interact with people from various countries.

If there is any conflict between you and a student because of cultural differences, try to understand r and look at yourself from his/her perspective. You are representing your country, so if you try to win over the other with bigotry, you are forming a negative impression of your country.

Lastly, don’t let your country’s culture get dominated by another culture within you. If you emulate the students from other countries, you have failed to contribute to the international society of your school. You just have to understand diverse cultures. If you do this while retaining your own culture, you have made good use of the environment.

Words for fellow students or friends:

I want to take an extract from my valedictorian speech at BWYA Graduation Ceremony:

“Don’t be who you are. Be the person who knows who you are. There are so many things that you don’t know about yourself. By being a DP student in BWYA, you will see a lot of different aspects of yourself that you thought were never part of you. Maybe you will see weakness by exposing yourself to new crises. But if you can weather these crises, you will see a further degree of bravery in you. In what way, or by doing what you try to truly know yourself—that is up to you. Meanwhile, do not forget that there are your colleagues, teachers and parents/guardians who can help you. ”


bwya-bintang-sBintang Meilita is a graduate of Beijing World Youth Academy and will study journalism at Renmin University of China.

Graduating from High School after three years of hard study was great! I’m so excited. But, at the same time, I feel sad too because I have to say goodbye to my High School teachers and all of my friends. It will be hard for us to find time together again.

My expectation for  university life isn’t that complicated. I hope university life will be more exciting than High School life. More things to learn, more experiences, and even more friends.

I loved my high school life at BWYA. The teachers were really helpful, and the students were lovely. Even though we came from different countries, this brought us together. I’ve been studying here for two years and those two years were amazing.

I think the most memorable thing to me was the senior year. That time we were really studying hard together, and helping each other so we can graduate together. That time I saw the connection between us was very great.

The students of an international school come from different countries. I think it helps us to know more about their culture and we also can make social networks with them that are very useful for our working lives in the future.

Words for fellow students or friends:

Focus on what you really want to do and work hard on it. Believe that you will get what you want. Don’t ever give up when you fail, because failing is one of the keys to success. Don’t forget to have fun too, because when everything feels fun, then everything will seem so much easier. Jia You! I know we can do it!


harrow-wings-qi-sShuangyu (Wings) Qi is a graduate of Harrow International School Beijing. Qi has confirmed two universities (Oxford and UCL), among the five that had offered her a place. The results that will be released in August have a final say on which university she will attend. But she will be majoring in Human Science.

By the end of this June, I would have drawn the last full stop for high school life – finishing all my examinations. I am delightful to meet the next phase of my life.

Harrow is a rather small school. It lacked the ‘big environment’ my previous school had—thousands of students, big campus etc… but this ‘small environment’ isn’t a bad thing. None of my classes have more than 15 students, so the attention each student gets from the teacher is enormous. At first, the feeling the teachers gave me was that you have to ask something. Later, it turns out that whenever I encountered any problem, I would seek help. In my previous school, people who do not have sport talents like me can only sit in the spectator area watching others play. In Harrow, because there are not enough people, everyone has to be involved in a few sport games. I had never played so many sports until this year’s sports day. And I realized then that I actually love to be on the field, to play in a team, rather than being a spectator. Harrow, in a way, had provided me some opportunities to explore myself more.

I’ve been in Harrow BJ for the two-year A-level course, and this is my only international school experience. Most memorable thing? I think it is a very exciting thing to think about the fact that every part of the world you travel to in the future, you will have some best friends there.

I think that to be open to other cultures is a good thing, especially in an international school where the students here are from different backgrounds. Another thing I felt about international school that is quite different from local schools is the access to the information of good universities around the world, regardless of regions and countries. As many good universities in the world accepted these qualifications, we have more choices of where to go and would be able choose the best among them based on different interests. Many of my friends in this graduating class are going to different countries for their college study.

Words for fellow students or friends:

Not really advice, but rather some personal experience. In terms of examination, the exams are the devils. If you are strong, they appear weak; if you are weak, they appear strong. So just be prepared and do not care about them. In terms of school life, I think trying new things is not harmful. It might turn out that the things you did not like previously or never tried before are things that you are talented in or enjoy. Who knows?!


cisb-vanessa-sVanessa Bonomi is a graduate of Canadian International School of Beijing and will focus on Chinese study in China next year.

Well on one hand I’m happy to graduate because in grade 12 we have a lot of study to do. On the other hand I’m also sad because I really like my school - Canadian International School of Beijing, so it is sad to go away. I have a lot of good memories here; memories that I will keep with me for my entire life.

In my opinion it is a really good opportunity to be in China and going back to Italy without knowing Chinese will be sad. I’m not sure which university I will go to but I will concentrate only on Chinese for the next year. After that, in 2011, I will go back to Italy and I will probably study for a diplomatic career.

I came to CISB last year. But in these two years I had wonderful experiences. Everyone was really nice from the beginning so I really enjoyed these two years. The teachers are really nice so I really can’t complain about anything. I also joined a lot of extracurricular activities, such as the student council, social committee, newspaper, global issue network and others.

From grade 1 to grade 4 I studied at an international school in Saudi Arabia but once I got back to Italy I went to an Italian school. I moved to China in 2008 and completed my Grade 11 and 12 here at CISB. The most memorable thing is my experience in the Global Issues Network conference. I joined the Global Issues Network last year and it was just fantastic.

There are a lot of positive things about international school. Firstly you meet people from all over the world with different cultures so it is a good opportunity to learn things about different cultures. Since there are students from all over the world you have the opportunity to learn different languages and different traditions. It is really interesting and a unique opportunity.

Words to the following students:

Well first of all I really hope you will have the same experience that I had. If you have the opportunity to go to an international school, try to learn all the things you can about different cultures because you will find a lot of interesting things. Good Luck!!!


ciss-deana-sDeana Dain Kim is a graduate of Canadian International School of Beijing and will study film at the State University of New York in Buffalo.

Graduating makes me feel a little bit sad because this year will be the last year in high school, but except that, I’m very excited about going to university.

I’ve been studying at CISB for 3 years. I absolutely loved my school life at CISB. I’ve met amazing people that I could learn many things from.

The most memorable thing to me in my school experience was the play my class performed as a team. We practiced so hard almost every day, and it was a great experience that bonded us together like a family. 

One of the greatest aspects of studying at an international school is that you get to meet people from different countries. You get to learn not only new cultural things, but also other valuable lessons from them that no one else can teach you in your life. 

Words for your fellow students:

Sometimes you feel overwhelmed and overloaded with assignments in high school, and you might think high school life is pain in your life, but studying is not what high school is all about. Study hard, but have fun at the same time, otherwise you are going to regret it. 


dcb-anne-sAnne-Claire Wang is a graduate of Dulwich College Beijing. Wang will be going to Princeton University in the USA.

I’m going to Princeton as an undecided student, and I have absolutely no idea what will be my major (or "concentration", as they call it in Princeton). I hope that university life will be exciting and full of surprises, and I hope to meet a lot of people from all sorts of backgrounds and with all sorts of opinions. I’d like to take part in many clubs or activities, maybe a chamber music group or a choir, and maybe even the orchestra. What I’m looking forward to the most is having a roommate.

I loved pretty much everything about Dulwich College Beijing, except maybe the fact that our year was separated into different form groups during the last school year. What made high school so special for me was the way that we bonded together as a group of 22 people, so that was a bit annoying. The teachers were all amazing, and we really got a lot of opportunities – we were treated like responsible young adults most of the time, and that helped us to become even more mature.

I’ve been studying at Dulwich three years, and before that I was at the French School in Beijing, which really isn’t much of an international school. So, all I can say is that International Day at Dulwich was the most memorable evidence of the diversity in the school. This year, it happened right after I came back from Shanghai’s World Expo 2010, and I actually felt like the two events were just as enjoyable.

Cherish your international school life every day! Just take the time to discuss and debate serious issues with the people around you, whether it is in class (such as History or TOK) or during your free time. Talk to others about the way you see the world, and maybe even discuss with them how much your opinions are influenced by your upbringing. Most of all just be open-minded. This way, you will not only understand more about other cultures, but also know your friends better.

Words for fellow students or friends:

I would say, enjoy high school life as much as you can! There might be a lot of drama, and a lot of stress, but it only happens once. Don’t get lost in the schoolwork, keep your friends close, and make a lot of precious memories.


biss-alex-sAlex Hong is a graduate of Beijing BISS International School. Alex had decided to take a gap year before studying music in Berklee College of Music in Boston.

I had a great time in high school. I met all sorts of people from all around the world, did sports and music, and even though the tests were kind of hard, it was definitely a great experience that prepared me for college.

I’m from the USA, and I came to BISS when I was in grade 5. I’ve studied in an international school for 7 years. There isn’t really one thing in particular that is the most memorable for being in an international school, but I think what will stick with me the most is all the activity weeks that I’ve had.

In my opinion, to make the best use of the international school environment, you have to take chances. There are many opportunities that you get in an international school, and if they present themselves, it’s a good idea to take them. That way, you can go through your school life without any regrets, and look back on it fondly.

Words for fellow students or friends:

My advice would be to diversify your experiences and take it easy if you feel like you’re overly stressed out. In the end, worrying too much about everything will hurt you, and besides, it’s only high school. It doesn’t mean the end of the world if you don’t get perfect grades or test scores. There’s always more than one chance, and if you focus too much on studying, you won’t be able to get the most out of your high school experience.


biss-riho-sRiho Inagaki is a graduate of Beijing BISS International School. Riho is going to university in Japan.

I am so happy that I finally graduated from high school. The IB program was really tough for me and now I am finally over IB. I am so glad about it. But I also feel sad about being separated with my friends. It will be hard for me to meet all of them after graduation.

I was studying at an international school for four years. Well, I actually have lived in Singapore and London before. However, I was always in Japanese school and so BISS was my first international school.

I really liked the people in BISS. Maybe the facilities in BISS were not the best, but the people in BISS were the best. All of my friends were from different countries and I learned a lot of things from them. They taught me how to be myself, how to express myself, and how to find real friends. Real friends always stood next to me and helped me through my high school life. I love my friends in BISS. Also, the teachers in BISS were supportive. Furthermore, I think because BISS is a small school, every teacher and student in high school were like a family. I really liked this part about BISS.

The most memorable thing I did in international school was… IB. IB was the hardest experience ever in my life. There were tons of things to do through IB. So many reports, and studying made it so hard and I often didn’t sleep properly because of all the work. To make best use of your international school life, I suggest you be yourself. International school is the place you can be yourself. No one will blame you because you act different from others. Also, I suggest that international school is the best place to make friends with people from other countries. Once you come to international school, make a lot of friends. The friends will teach you the stuff you never have expected and it will help you in the future.

I also want to say that international school is tough for the student who cannot speak English fluently. However, I believe that if you put in your best effort and enjoy learning English, you will achieve something. I think that I was not the best student, but I put my best effort in everything through these four years.


Clara Leung is a Graduate of Yew Chung International School of Beijing. Clara is still waiting for her IB results to come out because most of her university offers are conditional offers. She thinks she might end up studying Law in the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), or majoring in Global Business at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

Our school planned a very special graduation for us this year. After the ceremony, the entire school, from kindergarten kids to secondary students, formed what was called the “victory tunnel” in the playground and we had to march through it. It was very exciting to have the whole school cheer us on and congratulate us. I have to say that I was a little embarrassed to be the centre of attention but it was still very heartwarming and a lot fun! Seeing the whole school in the whole playground actually reminded me how I will definitely miss the whole community of our school!

YCIS BJ has been my home and my haven for the past 4.5 years. I think what made my high school life so unique and valuable is that Yew Chung has a very tight-knit and caring community. It is large enough to possess true international diversity, but small enough for me to constantly have the opportunity to exercise my leadership abilities and participate in various after school activities. I have been studying in international schools for 9 years in total and what is most memorable are the friendships that I’ve made. We get used to the fact that a lot of students come and go, but we always know how to stay in touch and build on our everlasting friendship. Plus, you learn to really value your ups and downs with each other more when you know that someone is always about to leave. There is just something extra special about the friendships that you make in an international community.

Always be proud of your own culture and learn to embrace it. On top of this, be open-minded and immerse yourself in the school community. You will discover the essence of other cultures behind the life experiences of each of your friends, and this will help you to be a more globally-minded citizen.

Words for fellow students or friends:

Work hard and always give 100%, because every grade does matter. But play hard too, because it’s the remarkable friendships that you have built over the years with your friends and teachers that you will miss most in the end. Even during the most stressful times of your studies, never lose sight of the people that love you the most!


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  1. April 20th, 2013 at 07:13 | #1

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for BCIS

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