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The Graduates Say…

June, 2008
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Justin Ping Hu, Yew Chung International School of Beijing, will go to the Art Institute of Chicago after his gap year.Brian and Justin

It feels good to be able to embrace freedom. I have many plans for my gap year, and I anticipate seeing some great changes and improvements in myself. There is, however, a slight heartache in realizing that I will never have another 18 years like this.

I think life in Chicago will be very pleasant since I’ve visited the city and the school. It’s somewhere I can focus on my interests and have the freedom to experience the productive and enjoyable lifestyle of a young adult.

The people. The laughter. The fact that we do not worry about the future. Three years. Honestly, it’s great. I’ve gained a more rounded perspective and understanding for other cultures and their people. This is where I learnt true respect and compassion. The school has enabled me to become a more independent yet communicative learner. One thing I’ve learnt here is to not compare, but simply to learn and improve.

Words for the fellow students or friends: We’ve made it kids, be ready for more. Keep being a kid and never forget to love and smile. Until then ;)

Brian Chien Nan Lim, Yew Chung International School of Beijing, will go to Roosevelt Academy International Honors College of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Justin and Brian Before I graduated I imagined I’d be ecstatic about it; and that I’d be so liberated, but when it finally arrived, it felt like just the beginning of another summer. I think it’s because I’ve never really found that graduating means a completion of one part of my life, but that it’s just another step to finish for the next part of my life to begin. I feel free and ready.

From what I hear from my dear teachers, college years are the best years of your life, and I intend to live that idea thoroughly. I know it takes responsibility and independence to survive and excel in studies because, at this point in your life, no one pushes you to achieve for yourself anymore. So, I need to build up more on that. Mostly I just hope for the unexpected; in a good way.

No doubt high school is where you learn to be who you are or at least the big foundation for that; so although I’m glad it’s over, I’m also sad to be leaving it behind. Growing up is so exciting, but there’s always a little snag about leaving behind the kind of lifestyle you’re familiar with. I think the most memorable thing will be the people. In 10, 20, 30 years time (or less) I’ll probably forget a lot about the academic things that used to matter greatly, but the memories of the silly, fun, touching and humiliating antics of what friends and teachers do will always be there.

It’s been three years now, and I definitely noticed a difference between my local government school back in Malaysia when I first came here. Firstly, it’s much smaller. Secondly, there are so many different ethnicities so it’s really exciting when you count your friends list (in your head or on facebook) and realize you know people from all over the world. Being one of the smaller schools is also not a problem since everyone knows everyone, and there’s no such thing as a cliché. Teachers give plenty of attention to our achievements too, and I know that for the IB that benefit really did help.

I think the style of teaching suited me well. I absorbed everything like a sponge, whereas in my old school, teaching styles were designed more for the general mass, and it was too slow, too abstract and less participative. There were subjects that interested me as well, such as the business and management course, which was not offered in my old curriculum until advanced years. Most certainly, the contribution and effort of the teachers in showing me the right way and giving me the space to take my own initiatives was a huge key in my motivation. Other than that, I guess it’s my own pet peeve to always try and outdo myself. That, of course, doesn’t include the desperate fear of growing old and stupid without money if I don’t land a good job through a spectacular education.

Words for the fellow students or friends: Never lie, steal, cheat, or drink. But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love. If you must steal, steal away from bad company. If you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away.

Otherwise, live happy and die hard. :)

Chen Gladys Tak Yo, Beijing World Youth Academy, will attend Beijing University and study Engineering Management.BWYA Chen Gladys Tak Yo

My classmates, who are all Koreans, are the most memorable for me. I am the only one that is not Korean in my class. However, they regard me  as a Korean when we are together. I can understand some Korean. Sometimes people spoke to me in Korean because I was with a group of Koreans…

I hope to get close to those students in Beijing University who are top students from all over the country. They will surely outperform me, and I hope I can learn from them. After I graduate from Beijing University I plan to go abroad and get a master’s degree. And then come back to China again.

Graham Long Graham Long, Western Academy of Beijing, is going to University of St. Andrews in Edinburgh to study history as well as international relations.

I have been in Beijing for two years. I plan on staying in Beijing longer during my gap year. I want to learn Chinese to get to a level where I can really interact and get around Beijing; to get involved in the community. I’d like to work in charities or possibly orphanages.

I love the environment at an international school. And here it seems there are no limits for the future. I never dreamed I could go to the Untied Kingdom as an American citizen. But being in an international school has opened my eyes.

Words for the fellow students and friends: take advantage of all the opportunities you have.

Camilla Hall, Western Academy of Beijing, will go to a university called Ecole Hotelieve de Lawsanne in Switzerland to study International Hospitality Management.Camilla

Switzerland is known for hospitality, that’s why I chose this major, because I feel it is a broad area to go into. I can go into many different areas and interact with different people. I have grown up in a school where I had to interact with many different cultures, and I find that interesting so I think going into a university that offers the same things would be really good.

I have been at WAB for five years. One of the good things about international schools is that it opens your mind to different cultures, to the world, and you get a better perspective on everyone else. You learn to respect different cultures, etc. One bad thing is, maybe, that it’s quite challenging to get used to. You know, you try to find people that you find similarities with, but sometimes that’s hard to do. But in the end, I think you get the best out of it.

Words for the fellow students and friends: continue to work hard, and go for what you want to do.

Wilhelm Walberg Schive, Western Academy of Beijing, is going back to Norway to be a border patrol officer between Norway and Russia for the military for one year.

Wilhelm Walberg Schive It is going to be cold and hard, but I am looking forward to it. I am not sure what will be the next step. I want to study, but I am not sure what. I have not decided.

I have been at WAB for two years, two years in Beijing as well. There are a lot of people here from different countries and different cultures. It’s great fun to find out different things about other countries that you did not know. Some people might have language barrier, but I don’t think it is a great weakness. With this international school experience, it may be easier to adapt in future situations.

Words for the fellow students and friends: just relax, focus, and get the work done, have fun. It is a unique experience. Not many people go to international schools.

Liang Xian Koh, Beijing BISS International School, will return to Singapore for university.Liang Xian

I hope to major in Mass Communications and to go into Advertising. Actually, for the longest time since I was a kid, I wanted to be a lawyer, but having been the Communications Officer for Student Council, I’ve designed many posters and tickets. You could say that I’ve found my calling in Advertising.

I’ve been in Beijing for about eight years now, and I’ve spent all of that wonderful time in BISS. I think the best part of being in an international school is definitely the exposure to other cultures, ideas, people and schools of thought. Being an international student has probably changed me more than I could have ever imagined. It’s allowed me to be more open in general. I’m also more malleable and much more adaptable because of the past eight years. The worst thing about international life is probably the goodbyes you have to say. Although I now have friends in every corner of the world, sometimes I wonder if it might have been easier to have gone to a school where classmates didn’t leave the country permanently.

Words for the fellow students and friends: Always take things in stride. Do your best to keep up in homework and study, but don’t forget to take lots of breaks and to relax. High school and grades are important, but in the future, you’ll cherish silly memories much longer than you’ll cherish that 7 in History.

C. Diggory Rycroft, International School of Beijing, will attend Claremont McKenna College in California, majoring in International Relations.

IMG_7679 College will be an entirely new experience for me, and so my only real expectation is that I will certainly need to adapt.

My home country is probably actually China, since I have lived here for most of my life. My parents are from England and Bangladesh, but I have never lived in either country, so I see China as my home. I have been in Beijing for nearly 10 years, and I have attended the International School of Beijing (ISB) throughout that time.

The most memorable thing for me is definitely the friendships I have made at ISB. I have been able to interact with students from an amazing variety of backgrounds, and found that, although we may come from vastly different backgrounds, there’s no reason we can’t be great friends.

It’s fantastic that we are all exposed to so many different cultures. International school life prepares us for the rapidly developing "real world", in which one has to learn to interact with people from other cultures in order to thrive. Besides practical applications, a multicultural environment simply keeps things interesting and varied.

I have enjoyed living internationally so much that I absolutely plan on continuing to do so after finishing college. I also plan on, one day, sending my kids to an international school, so that they can partake in the multiculturalism that is becoming so important in the real world.

Words for the fellow students and friends: Don’t slack off. I know how easy it is to get lazy and tired when you’ve still two or three years of high school left and everything seems to be dragging on and on. But when your college decision letters start rolling in, you’ll feel best, no matter what your results, if you know that you did your best throughout high school. Do your absolute best, while also being sure to have fun and build friendships.

Justin Gao Mathson Hansen, International School of Beijing, will study economics at the University of Chicago.IMG_7435

One reason I chose economics is that economic concepts can be applied to solve many issues that people face every day. For instance, the way forward in solving global warming lies in a careful study of how much producers and consumers are willing to pay for the negative environmental side-effects of their activity. That fascinates me. Growing up in China probably will help me appreciate economics more, especially since China is developing, and I have witnessed first hand the successes and failures of China’s developmental policies.

I’ve been in Beijing for seven years, and it’s been ISB all the way. The good thing about international school life is that we learn to respect people from completely different backgrounds from ourselves. It’s a good model to how the world’s people should interact. What is not good about international school life is that the level of competitiveness has become unhealthy. Sometimes I look back at my high school years and think, sweet hell! What happened to my childhood? The workload is excessive.

Words for the fellow students and friends: Make mistakes. They’ll make you a better person, and you’ll live a little in the process. My good friend once told me: to be correct all the time is missing the point in life.

Melia Susan Tanner, International School of Beijing, will attend Texas Tech University in the fall.

At the university I will attend I expect my limits to be pushed, and to be challenged in every way possible.

I’ve been in Beijing for almost two years. I spent most of my 10th grade year at ISB before leaving, and have now returned for the entirety of my senior year.

The friends I’ve made here have, without a doubt, made my senior year very memorable. At ISB I was able to meet people from all corners of the globe who really embrace their culture. But also, living in Beijing has proven to be an eye-opener for me. As a member of the graduating class of 2008, I feel that I’ve become a part of something that can never be repeated. Beijing is changing rapidly with the Olympics coming up, and I’ve had the privilege of experiencing a Beijing that the many sports teams, fans, and visitors will never even be able to witness.

At an international school, I’ve found that meeting friends here is so easy. It seems that people are used to moving around and adjusting quickly. Friendships form fast because of this, they have to. On the contrary, the only bad aspect I can think of is coming to an international school from a school that is less demanding. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it was a huge challenge for me that proved very rewarding once I overcame it.

By attending an international school, I believe I will be more readily prepared for college because of how much I have been challenged by my teachers, as well as by myself. International school has also taught me to adjust quickly to change, and has given me an interest and respect for others and their culture. I don’t know how this experience will impact my life in the future, but I know that it has definitely changed me.

Words for the fellow students and friends: Savor every moment because it goes by unbelievably fast.

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  1. July 19th, 2013 at 11:53 | #1

    It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. November 1st, 2015 at 19:24 | #2

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about BISS. Regards

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