SABIS® Alumni Enjoy Smooth Transition to University

Jun 2015 #Academics

As another academic year comes to a close, students in their graduating year around the world bid farewell to their school friends and alma mater and eagerly anticipate the next chapter of their lives. For many graduates, their journey leads them to university and an experience that is both new and exciting.

The SABIS® Newsletter team reached out to a number of Class of 2014 graduates from across the network to ask them about the transition from their SABIS® Network school to university. The graduates we contacted were eager to share their experiences and challenges, and some also took the time to pass on valuable advice to this year’s graduates.

Ward Haddadin

Ward Haddadin graduated from the International School of Choueifat – Amman (ISC-Amman) in Amman, Jordan. He is currently studying physics at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Ward feels that he was very well prepared for tertiary level education. “The SABIS® curriculum is one of the best in the world. During my first and second terms in university, the curriculum included concepts that I had already covered in school, even though I was studying at one of the best and most difficult universities in the world!”


Andrew Carlander

Andrew Carlander graduated from The International School of Minnesota (ISM) in Minnesota, U.S., and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. “My SABIS® education prepared me incredibly well for university. I found that, by virtue of being a part of a rigorous curriculum throughout my time at ISM, I was already one step ahead academically compared to most other students at college. SABIS®'s tremendously strong emphasis on language learning has served me greatly, as my exposure to other cultures has allowed for me to network with students and faculty from all across the world at my university. I am truly grateful to have been a part of The International School of Minnesota.” In particular, Andrew appreciates his experience with regular assessment. “At ISM, I was very used to the idea of exams because we were tested so regularly. But for a lot of students who were not so accustomed to the idea of weekly quizzes and exams, it was the cause of a lot of anxiety, almost to an unhealthy degree. But I was completely used to it!”


Masa AlRefai

Masa AlRefai was a student at the International School of Choueifat – Damascus (ISC-Damascus) in Syria. When her family moved to the U.A.E., Masa enrolled at another SABIS® Network school in the region — the International School of Choueifat – Dubai (ISC-Dubai) and graduated in the summer of 2014. She is currently studying chemical engineering at the American University of Sharjah, U.A.E.  Masa credits the SABIS Student Life Organization® (SLO®) as well as her solid education for making the transition to university easy. "SLO® prepared me for university. Through SLO® I became a strong and independent individual. The teamwork, management, leadership, and social skills I acquired prove to be of great value in every presentation, project, and event I do.” She urges students in SABIS® Network schools to join SLO® and make a difference. “Contribute to SLO® and reach out to the world. Make the best of everything that comes your way. Everyone has the power and ability to accomplish the impossible.” 


Roman Mohammed

Hailing from Kurdistan, Iraq, Roman Mohammed, who graduated from the International School of Choueifat – Erbil (ISC-Erbil) in Kurdistan, tells of his equally smooth transition. “I left my hometown of Erbil and moved to the U.S. to study mechanical engineering at the University of California Davis,” said Roman. “I felt that SABIS® had prepared me well for university. I had a very strong foundation in math and science concepts and had a competitive edge over my fellow UC Davis students.” To students who are still in school, Roman shares some priceless advice. “Do not strive just for good grades, more importantly, strive for knowledge, for understanding. It is not the grades that will make you successful in college and life, but knowledge.”


Astefanos Al-Dalakta

Astefanos Al-Dalakta, also an ISC-Erbil graduate, moved from Kurdistan to Lebanon after he was awarded a scholarship to study biology at the Lebanese American University in Byblos, Lebanon. Astefanos, like many graduates, comments that he had already covered at school most of the material taught during the first year of university. “The biology, physics, and chemistry courses I took during my first year at university are equivalent to the biology, chemistry, and physics courses I had in Grade 12.” Astefanos also commented that the continuous testing he received at ISC-Erbil really helped him manage his schedule and load at university.


Catherine Williams

After graduating from the Internationale Schule Frankfurt-Rhein-Main (ISF) in Frankfurt, Germany, Catherine Williams went on to study international relations at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, U.K.  “Initially, the workload expected of students was daunting,” Catherine reflects.  “However, I quickly adapted to the fast pace of university life. My SABIS® education provided me with the necessary skills and work ethic necessary for the rigorous academics at university.” Catherine would like to share what she has learned from her experience: “If I could provide any advice to the students back at my school, I would tell them that the constant examinations and assessments at school, although demanding, prepare you for university life and make the transition from school significantly less challenging and far more enjoyable.”

Ward, Andrew, Masa, Roman, Astefanos, and Catherine are a few of the many graduates from SABIS® Network schools around the world who have reported back about their experiences in transitioning from school to university life. Alumni from SABIS® Network schools are living proof of how the solid academic foundation and life skills SABIS® Network schools offer their students prepare them for a successful transition to university.

For a full list of universities around the world that have accepted 2014 graduates from SABIS® Network schools,

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