What are you doing now and what’s next for you?
Right now, I am studying for a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). It is a very broad university degree, but I want to have an international career so I am planning to specialize in manufacturing and industrial engineering and after that I will see where life takes me.
How did your experience at BISS Puxi influence your decision of what to in your future career and how have the things you learned here helped you in your current studies?
After having been exposed to an environment filled with challenges, it made me strive towards greater challenges and this is what my career choice was based on. A career in engineering features many new challenges making it interesting as there is always something new to do. I think self-awareness is also a very significant wisdom I developed that I now carry with me, something that I learned after studying the IB at BISS Puxi.
How did you feel about moving to China and starting at our school?
I was very excited about joining BISS Puxi. I had grown up in the same place and could never imagine that I, at the age of 17, all of a sudden would move to the other end of the world. The fact that I did not really know what to expect was what made it so interesting. I guess the thought of not fitting in and having trouble making friends still existed in the back of my head, but it wasn’t something that I really paid attention to. I think that it will only hold you back if you fear the worst. Maybe I was also a little nervous about the language barrier as I had never been to an English-speaking school before.
What advice would you give to pupils on their first day at our school?
Don’t be nervous. Coming into a different place where you might struggle with language may seem scary, but make sure to take the chance to talk to people. It is the easiest time you will get to make friends. It is an open environment so all you have to do is be yourself, because that is how you are going to do well and enjoy your time at BISS Puxi.
What did you love most about being at BISS?
Getting to know a lot of new people, sharing incredible experiences thanks to all our diversity and making a great, worldwide network of friends.
What opportunities did studying at BISS Puxi give you?
I would not have encountered the IB if I hadn’t gone to BISS Puxi. Although it was a lot of hard work and it forced you to go to your limit and beyond, you learn what you are capable of. Sometimes you felt completely lost, other times really proud and confident when you achieved something, it’s just like a rollercoaster – but it was a great lesson in life.
Who was your most inspiring teacher, and what was it that made them standout?
There were two teachers that I remembered as especially inspiring. Mr. Luke Lister – my History teacher and form tutor, who struggled hard to make classes exciting using colorful explanations filled with energy to inspire and make the curriculum interesting. I also remember my physics teacher Mr. Robert England – a very patient educator who was easy to talk to, calm and methodical as he would make sense of the most complex exercises. Both of their classes were inspiring in the sense that their subjects became interests rather than an obligation to learn.
What ECAS did you do when you were here and how would you recommend new students choose which is right for them?
I found that joining sport teams was a very good way to integrate because it was at the same time a social activity; it helped me getting to know people. Curious to see what it was like, I also enrolled in the Model United Nations and joined the Student Committee. Many friends of mine also engaged with similar extra-curricular activities. To get involved really pays off because it teaches you to take initiatives which benefit you both academically and later in life. My best advice is to take every activity into consideration and select both a new activity that you are curious about and one that you are already comfortable with.
What is your best memory from BISS Puxi?
There are a lot of great memories. One of the best was during our community service-project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where I was coaching sport for underprivileged primary school children. Making them smile made me happy and it felt like I really had accomplished something.
Mr Lister was Bjorn’s Form Tutor as well as his History Teacher and we asked him what Bjorn was like to teach…
“Björn always put a great deal of pride and effort into everything he did. He was well respected by both students and staff and has a warm personality that one cannot help taking a shine to. At school he was especially highly regarded among his peers for his excellence in Physics: he often spent his own time helping students in the form group or in his IB class with their Physics assignments. This sums up Bjorn well, an intelligent and considerate young man, happy to help others with their problems when he can.”