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The future endeavors of LIS graduates reflect the remarkable diversity of interests and talents within our school community. LIS alumni are encouraged to share their own update by emailing Ms. Kristen Belka Rosenfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After graduating from LIS in summer of 2017, Yulia went on to continue her education at University College London in the field of chemical engineering, which she thoroughly enjoys. Driven by her desire to learn and grow as an individual, which hasn’t left her since her high school days, she’s looking forward to a lifetime of new experiences. Outside of the lecture theatre, Yulia likes to spend time catching up with her old and new friends, reconnecting with nature, and finally mastering ukulele chord progressions.
All in all, it’s been a really good year, I’ve felt like I’ve grown so much (as a learner and as a person) since my time at LIS and I really think that LIS and the IB programme really prepared me for my first year of university. The skills we learned as IB students translates really well into a university environment and I feel like I am more prepared compared to my classmates now. When I think about what drives me, I’d have to say it’s really just growing as much as possible and trying to create a future for myself that I can be proud of. University and the courses I’m doing act like a platform which I use to branch out and connect to people and areas of life that interest me. Outside of school, it’s also been a great experience meeting new people with different backgrounds and experiences, something that once again studying at an international school really helped with. The one last thing I’ll say is that I feel privileged to study in an African setting because it has allowed me to view the world at a deeper level from the perspective of people just like me and I feel more suited to someday and come back to Angola and address and hopefully solve some of the problems we face.
A lot of things drive and motivate me to get out of bed in the morning. At the top of my list would probably be, the desire to succeed and make those who cheer for me very proud. The motivation and unconditional support I get from my friends and family that even though are far away from me make me feel loved and give me that extra strength to achieve my goals. What drives me is my aspiration. I hope to one day apply all that I have learned at school and university and contribute to communities that I deeply care about, such as orphanages that I worked with in Luanda during my time at LIS. When I arrived in Year 6 I didn’t speak a word of English and felt left out in class, just a few short months later I felt like I was part of the team, participating in school events such as International Day, Peace Day, School Fair etc. I enjoyed studying at LIS because it’s incredibly unique for its sense of community and its cultural diversity. I met amazing people, from teachers to students from all the world whom I will cherish for the rest of my life. LIS gave international students a home away from home. Most importantly, LIS shaped who I am today by exposing me to the real world and encouraging me since an early age to be a risk-taker.
I am currently at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or Virginia Tech for short. It’s a good school that I would recommend… if you’re willing to live in the middle of nowhere, with temperatures reaching -20 Celsius when winter comes around! On the bright side, we have the best dining halls in the US, the campus is actually beautiful, I got to experience snow for the first time in my life, and our Engineering program is also pretty good. Travelling is also much easier (and safer) in the United States; visiting a friend or planning a quick and cheap holiday in another state is just a few clicks away. Just last spring break I went skydiving with Jahin, also an LIS graduate.
Right now, I am a Senior in Mechanical Engineering, currently working on a Computer Science minor. However, since I have always been really interested in airplanes, airports and travelling in general, my future plans revolve around commercial aviation, so I am currently looking into that and how best to approach it all.
So I was actually a student at LIS since pre-primary I believe, the school used to be situated in the city and you can find pictures online that depict just how different the school used to look back when we first moved to Talatona. Looking back, I think the best part about the LIS community was how diverse it was yet everyone got along as if they’ve been friends for years! In addition to this, most students all lived in the condominiums close by, making it easier to connect, study, etc.
I recently graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech or GT) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Throughout my time in GT, I had the opportunity to make friends from all over the world, something that I look for because of my upbringing in international schools, mainly LIS. I was able to try out different things, including research with NASA to create an autonomous underwater vehicle to collect ice samples for a planned mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, and work on projects like Engineers Without Borders, where I worked on water sanitation projects with local communities in Uganda. I joined the school’s rugby team for 2 years until I finally gave in to my mum’s calls for me to play a sport where I wasn’t at risk of hurting myself, only to tear my ACL in my knee playing soccer, which I play almost everyday at the university.
I was able to study abroad in Europe for almost 8 months, traveling throughout most if not all of western Europe, visiting over 50 cities and getting to study in Oxford University and Metz, France, where Georgia Tech has a satellite campus. I was able to reconnect with friends from LIS through my time there and here in Atlanta, and I’ve made memorable experiences travelling with them and new friends in other parts of the world like Belize where I worked with consultants to help improve living conditions of the local Mayans.
In my final semester I had the privilege to work with the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and Imperial College in the UK to create a device that identifies genetically modified mosquitoes using fluorescent LEDs to excite proteins in their system. These mosquitoes are genetically modified to have male dominant offspring, and so in time decreasing the population of mosquitoes in the areas we are working in (Burkina Faso and Mali).
I am lucky enough to have an offer working for NCR in Atlanta as a consultant in their Emerging Practices department where I will be part of a team exploring new methods to help improve NCR’s technologies and explore new avenues for the company to go through.
Who I am today is largely a part of my incredible experiences growing up in Africa, and a part of that is due to the people of LIS, albeit friends, teachers, staff. All of them made me who I am today, someone who strives to uphold the values of the international student, or the Areas of Knowledge I believe it is called in the IB. Studying internationally is why I have so many friends all over the world, and I know that wherever I go I have people to show me new cultures and experiences, just as I know I can do the same whenever they come to me. So keep the connections you make as you get older, you never know where those people may go to and where they can take you!