By Dan d’Entremont, TIS Academic Counselor
Since our first cohort of graduates in 2009, TIS students have year after year received impressive offers to universities all over the world, however, this is the first time one of our soon-to-be graduates has been offered admission to the University of Oxford.
Vivian took a leap of faith when she decided to leave her local school in Macao and transfer to a school with an international curriculum. For Vivian, who has a passion for learning, The International School of Macao was a clear choice, as she wanted to enroll in the new International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program offered at TIS. However, the move meant she had to make the difficult decision to repeat grade 11 at TIS in order to study in the two-year IB program alongside the Alberta Diploma program. She rolled up her sleeves and never looked back, fully embracing the unique learning environment and academic challenge that TIS provided.
As an accomplished musician, many TIS staff think that Vivian’s talent lies in music, but they are mistaken. Granted, Vivian has mastered her skills in musical performance and composition, but it is her unparalleled ability to synthesize different academic disciplines with great depth, that makes her unique. Her insight and creativity of thought were no more apparent than in Theory of Knowledge class where she earned the Most Outstanding Student Award in Grade 11. Vivian says of the IB core component, “The TOK course is undeniably one of the highlights of my IB experience. Taking this course has definitely shaped the way I learn as a critical thinker.”
Despite the commitment required by the IB program, Vivian has still enjoyed the freedom of being active in her extracurricular pursuits, including Model United Nations, the Swim Team and as a cast member of the Secondary Drama Production. She also joined the Modern Dance Club and the Art Club, and is currently a member of the TIS Arts Council. This is all in addition to her musical pursuits. When asked about this balancing act, Vivian said, “Here at TIS, you are able to find your interests and develop your leadership skills in a myriad of ways, be it in athletics, or through participation in the Volunteer Team. Moreover, being able to go on a school trip to some very fascinating destination (I went to Bhutan in Experience Week 2018) is not an everyday scenario in Macao.”
Vivian attributes her move to TIS for helping her to receive offers to many impressive universities. She credits her success to the amazing teachers, and especially the TIS Academic Counseling Team who have guided her during her TIS journey. The academic counselors work with students individually to ensure they are reaching their full potential and choosing suitable paths for their further studies and life beyond high school.
As she awaits her final university offers, it is clear that TIS and the combination of the IB and Alberta programs have created a unique opportunity for Vivian’s success. Local Macao students might be intimidated by the prospect of moving to a truly international school like TIS, but the transition can be much easier and the experience more rewarding than anticipated. When asked what advice she would give to other students attending local schools Vivian said, “If you are considering making a move to TIS, I strongly encourage you to take that step forward. A TIS education has prepared me in so many ways toward becoming a better-equipped learner, a more effective communicator and a more open-minded global citizen. It has also opened more doors for me in terms of tertiary education options.”
Parents and students interested in discovering the academic options at TIS are welcome to contact the admissions team at email@example.com or the the academic counseling team at firstname.lastname@example.org.