Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
January 29, 2021

BISW Alumni Speaks: Will Churchill

BISW Alumni Speaks: Will Churchill - bisw-alumni-speaks-will-churchill
BISW Alumni Speaks: Will Churchill Alumnus Will Churchill discusses times at BISW and memories from university.

How many years were you enrolled in BIS Washington?

I attended the British International School of Washington for 6 years from Year 8 through Year 13.


What is your best memory from your time at school?

I liked being on the BISW football team and participating in the Tanzania project. BISW was the last place I played a competitive sport at a high level. I miss competing for BISW. The Tanzania project was a memorable moment, and it was useful to talk about at university. I wrote about it in essays for various classes. I still use it on my various applications today, and I think it helps me stand out from other applicants.


What were some of the co-curricular that you focused on while as a student?

I was part of the football team and the swim team. I was a sports leader and a house captain, and I completed the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. I went to Tanzania, and I was on the prom committee.


How did those experiences contribute to your engagement while at university?

They helped with the transition to university. It is important to engage in different activities at BISW to broaden your horizons and build character.


How did the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme prepare you for university?

It helped me prepare through the EE giving a taste of independent research and individual study. At university, teachers have similar requirements r this is how most of your papers will be formatted. A lot of students who hadn't experienced the IBDP struggled with this transition.


How was the transition to university?

It was difficult at first because BISW is small, and I knew the teachers well. Then, I transitioned from that experience to being one person amongst a massive crowd. It was also a challenge to learn my study habits. I advise students going to university to consider school a full-time job. It's a big commitment, so make sure you are passionate about what you study. 


Before COVID-19, what was your typical day like on campus?

I would try to schedule early classes to get a full day on campus. I would wake up and go to my first lecture. Then, I would go to the dining hall afterwards. Next, I would go to my second lecture. I would later go to the gym and then go to the library for the rest of the afternoon and evening. I was fortunate to have a big group of friends that shared my study habits and motivated me to go to the gym and do well in school.


What is the best aspect of your university course?

I did a B.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in European Politics. I studied Italian for 3 years at university as the language component of my degree, and studying in Florence for a semester was the best aspect of my university course. My Italian improved quickly, and I took amazing courses.


Is there a specific type of student that would enjoy your university?

I wouldn't say there is any particular type of student that would enjoy university. You have to be passionate about what you study. I had two roommates and countless friends drop out of university because they didn't keep up with the workload. This situation happens because it is hard to motivate yourself to spend free time engaged in something that doesn't interest you. As long as you enjoy what you're learning and commit to learning it, you will do well at university.


Where is your favourite place to hang out on/near campus?

UREC was probably the best place. I had an incredible university recreational facility that was fun to use. We had rock climbing walls, a squash court, a tennis court, an Olympic-sized pool, a lazy river, workout classes, and a full gym.


What advice would you give your Year 11 self? What advice would you give your Year 13 self?

​For Year 11, I would say work hard at IGCSE but enjoy them because this is the last time you will ever take a lot of subjects at one time again. For Year 13, I would say, "learn how you Learn". Independent learning is a lot of what happens at university, and it is a skill I wish I had developed in Year 13 as opposed to my first year at university. I learn best by breaking down the sections of a course, writing things out by hand on flashcards, and making notes. I don't consume information well over my laptop screen and do much better when I write things out by hand.