A Graduate's Story | If I Got A Second Chance
"Phew! All I have been feeling these days are pressure and tension. But after one offer after another, it was the surprise that got to me!"
During the interview with a CIS Grade 12 student ‘L’, we witnessed surprise, happiness and expectations for the future on her calm, happy face.
Offer from University of Toronto
Part One: My CIS Experience
“This is my sixth year at CIS. When I graduated from elementary school, I had strong expectations for studying abroad. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and chose an international school with the help of my parents. I was admitted to CIS, an Alberta Accredited International School (AAIS).
A strange environment, an English immersion pathway, a totally different mindset... This was a huge challenge for me, as I was still a little introverted at that time. At the beginning, I had no friends and didn't understand what was happening in class. I simply could not adapt to the new teaching methods. I didn't know whether I could do it. Fortunately, I had my teachers with me, right by my side. With some gradual progress and positive things one after another, I realized that I had made the right choice!
At CIS, our teachers prefer to let us explore the learning process by ourselves and develop our independent research skills. Since I was in a public school before, I did not feel like I could question anything or discuss my opinions. Therefore, I am deeply grateful to CIS for supporting students' autonomy and independence. The first lesson CIS taught me is the habit of persistence.”
Part Two: My University Application Journey
Offer from University of Melbourne in Australia
“After entering the second year of high school, the discussion of college application gradually started in the class. All of a sudden, strange nouns flooded into my world.
I knew that I needed to take language tests and file applications, but I didn’t know when or how I should do it. As the date of admission was approaching, the pressure, tension, anxiety and helplessness gradually got to me.
Fortunately, it was also in that year that I met Miss Mei and her team from CIS University and Career Guidance Office.
I used to be a little ignorant about what activities to do, how to arrange my course and examination time, and how to choose a major and university destination. Ms. Mei and her team organized more than 5 interviews with me within a month to clarify what I needed to do and arrange different academic exploration activities for me.
By carefully explaining the learning content and directions of different majors, they helped me make a comprehensive analysis and together we determined my academic direction. At the same time, they also customized a detailed study plan and background improvement plan for me. Under the guidance of highly professional teachers, I continue to strive for higher goals.”
Part Three: My Most Impressive Moment in the Process
Offer from University of Alberta in Canada
“With the guidance of my teachers, I have really clarified my goals. But the process is also full of difficulties that I did not expect.
I still remember that at the beginning of Grade 12, when we started our Alberta curriculum 30- courses, which are the highest level in High School, I found it very difficult.
At times, I could not understand the teacher's explanation in class. I lost confidence in the course, and I also became less and less enthusiastic about my learning.
I shared my difficulties in a group chat with teachers. They immediately offered to help me with after-school assistance and tutoring. During that time, almost every time I learned something new, I would go to their office and seek assistance.
After a period of tutoring, the teachers changed my course plan to a more personalized one according to my current situation. Since then, I have changed from being anxious to really engaged in my own learning.
Another aspect that had a huge impact on me when I was about to apply for universities. During that time, my language exam was arranged around a very tight schedule. I was overwhelmed with the workload.
After I got the initial target score, I really felt that I would not have any energy to challenge myself anymore. Endless repetitions and similar results made me struggle even more. I sometimes cried at night with anxiety at the thought of the gap between my dream school and my current situation.
At this time, Miss Mei came to me again. She first invited me for an on-campus interview and told me that as a teacher she wanted to see me achieve more. Then she talked to me as a friend, in a place where I could completely relax, and through encouragement and her own inspirational story, she told me that to live the life we want, we need commitment and effort. Bit by bit, I seemed to understand why I needed to try again.
After that, the teachers constantly urged me to challenge myself. This also makes me feel the pain and struggle of every student in the application process. Finally, I got a score I never dreamed of! Nights of anxiety had now converted to days of high motivation and I knew that as long as I tried, I would not regret it.”
Part Four: What Have I Learned from It?
Offer from University of Sydney in Australia
“I didn't know how to determine my future university direction or academic major before my university applications. I was also very confused. The teachers recommended some online course resources to me. Through guidance from experts in the field, I explored step-by-step, finding solutions to my questions. Finally, I found my academic interest.
Of course, in addition to learning, I also saw the wider world through activities customized for me by the teachers.
What impressed me most was an online research project in Africa. In the research, I saw the life of people in rural areas. Other than being touched, I also thought about what I could do for the community, which helped me discover my deep concern for society and people in it. This also had a great impact on my understanding of my academic enthusiasm and choice of major.
At the same time, in this project, teachers taught me to find academic resources on different websites and use different research tools for further information, which also cultivated my research-based thinking and learning ability. All these make me look forward to my college life in the future!”
Part Five: My Feelings Right Now
Offer from University of Queensland in Australia
“From the anxiety at the beginning to the satisfaction of getting offers from my dream universities, it is not easy to come all this way. My gratitude goes to the guidance, company and encouragement of my parents and teachers. I hope I can continue to have passion for learning, get good grades in this semester and successfully enter the university of my choice.”
Part Six: If I Could Go Back In Time...
Offer from UNSW Sydney in Australia
“If possible, I wish I could have enrolled in CIS earlier, started planning before, and accepted professional guidance from Ms. Mei and her team beforehand. Maybe that would give me more possibilities.
Now, I'm looking forward to my university life in the second half of the year, and maybe I'll be lucky enough to get a single room in the university! It's one of the things I look forward to the most.
I also want to thank myself for my persistence and efforts, which will take me far in life and bring me closer to my dreams.”
Offer from University of Glasgow in UK