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Sound Advice for the Graduating Class of 2014

15 April 2014

At international schools across Beijing, graduating students have begun their final term of their school life and that means final exams.

For parents it is an anxious time where we advise, encourage, nurture and sometimes cajole our children into studying as much as they can, to do the best they can, especially as we are reminded of our own past and the opportunities gained or lost during these final weeks of school.

Perhaps the best advice for students at this time comes from those who were sitting in their seats this time last year.

The British School of Beijing, Shunyi (BSB) gathered comments and advice from last year’s graduate students, who went on to pursue their dreams at Universities around the world, with the aim of discovering their secrets for success.

BSB has a proud record of students achieving outstanding academic results that get them into the course they want at the University they want.

BSB Graduates achieved a 100% pass rate across 9 different subjects last year. Here is what a few of them had to say about their experience in their final year at BSB, with some sound advice to future graduates.

Prateek Pandey is studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom

“I had the opportunity to meet one of the most knowledgeable faculties in their respective fields, made friends from around the globe and learned valuable life skills and experiences. Teachers can guide and coach but we have to make the sincere effort to learn. There is no short cut for hard work to excel in life.

"My advice to students is to leverage this opportunity to the fullest and always work towards and focus on your goals. Listening to my teachers and never hesitating to ask a question (no matter how silly) have been my mantras to excel at this school and have helped me to get into my dream university, The University of Bristol, UK to study Mechanical Engineering.”

Randy Zhang is an Engineering Major at Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA

“Academically, BSB is strong in many fields and has prepared me well for many aspects of University life.

“BSB has an extremely strong science department. After my first semester at University I did not feel like I had met any new material in the fundamental sciences that I had not seen at BSB. So do take advantage of that. Also make sure you build a solid foundation in Maths if you are looking to do Engineering.

“Like Rice University, BSB is a relatively small community so there are many opportunities available to you, although you do have to realise that you still have to put in effort and seize those opportunities yourself.”

Tom Cho is studying a Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Hong Kong

“BSB has a compassionate staff whom the students can rely on when they need help. Now that I am attending a university, I realise how ignorant I was of such caring community. It is probably the last chance for you to receive such care from someone other than your families so use it wisely!

“For those of you who are stressed about universities, my advice is to have a good balance between enjoyable life and studies. Achieving your goals means taking the occasional rest and having diverse experiences and extracurricular activities.

“Speaking of my personal experience, I took part in the Model United Nations conference and International Award. Please make full use of such valuable time and give your best shot at everything you are trying to achieve and you, like me, will have both an academically fulfilling and enjoyable secondary school life.”

Ieva Kulviecaite is studying Psychology at Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania

“At BSB the teachers are fearless to deliver criticism on assignments and never hesitate to advise students when needed. But such teaching techniques helped me to grow and achieve success. I truly appreciate their kindness and respect.

“From my personal experience, I can guarantee you that it takes nothing more than perseverance and self-determination to accomplish your targets.

“I am currently a student at Mykolas Romeris University in Lithuania, my homeland, and I’m grateful that BSB guided me to choose this path.”

Michiko Weis is an Undergraduate Student at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, Switzerland

“At BSB, I was taught over and over again the importance of being prepared, using my time effectively, and prioritising.

“Now that I am in Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland I am so thankful to the BSB teachers and my parents for having had taught me those things and for giving me the opportunity of having my education in such a wonderful and caring school that has helped me to achieve my goals.

“My personal advice would be “listen”. It may seem annoying at times and many of the things teachers and parents say are repetitive, but they say them for a good reason, and once you leave high school and home for university you will quickly realise how right they were.”

Jashdave Singh is studying International Business and Politics at the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

“BSB was a vital stepping stone in helping me to get into one of the top business schools in the world.

“I participated in many activities such as Model United Nations and residential trips which allowed me to expand my social network beyond BSB and travel to amazing places.

“Not only that, the teachers were extremely helpful and, in my mind, were much rather like friends whom I was able to discuss my academia with. The quality of teaching gave me the chance to learn more than what was prescribed in the syllabus of the subjects I chose.

“Therefore, a helpful word of advice - don’t be afraid to ask for help in your studies as the teachers are more than happy to help you out. Take every opportunity presented to you at BSB to improve yourself.”