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BIS HCMC Graduation Ceremony 2018

On Saturday 26th May, 72 Year 13 students came together with over 400 of their teachers, family members and friends to celebrate their Graduation at the Park Hyatt, Saigon. It was a special ceremony filled with an array of emotions; great excitement for what lies ahead for our graduating Class of 2018, tinged with some sadness as we said our fond farewells.

  • Graduation Ceremony 2018

Joining our celebrations was Her Majesty's Consul General, Ho Chi Minh City Ian Gibbons and Mr Shaun Williams, Regional Director NAE and former Principal of BIS. Mr Williams gave a thought provoking speech about the nature and fast pace of change that has been a feature around the lives of our graduates. He went on to advise the Class of 2018 to “use your BIS education to prepare you for the unpredictability of your future in such a rapidly changing world.”

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Mr Shaun Williams, Regional Director Nord Anglia Education

Our four Head Students rounded off the ceremony with their reflections on the past, the present and a gaze into the future. Head Student Jun Won Hwang began by addressing his fellow students with a focus on BIS’ caring and multicultural environment, “I’ve been at this school for 13 years and it has definitely been a privilege. The mixture of cultures and individuality in this place is something we should all cherish.”

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Jun Won plans to study Biomedical Sciences at a UK university.

Jun Won went on to look back at how the IGCSEs and IBDP has prepared them for their future, “I can honestly say I’ve learnt many things. I’ve learnt the skill and importance of good communication. However, I think the biggest lesson BIS has given us is the skill to meet deadlines. The future that lays ahead will be filled with deadlines...and I believe we are ready to face those challenges.”

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Riona plans to study Neuroscience and Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

A BIS education doesn’t just build lifelong friendships, it builds a family. A family of students who over the course of the IBDP flourish both independently and collectively to become the inspirational people they are today.

Head Student Riona Carriaga started her education at BIS in 2012. In her speech she reflected on how far they’ve come as a group over the course of the IBDP, “It is hard to believe that we started off as disparate sets of strangers, wide-eyed and scared to set foot in the common room. We were, and still are, a slightly chaotic and eccentric group of people who wage battles over sofas and fight over our memes. But, over the last two years, regardless of our common room endeavours, we have grown from our anxious individual selves and emerged as one.”

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Carl plans to study Mechanical Engineering to attend the University of California, Berkeley.

At BIS we are driven by one unifying philosophy - Be Ambitious. Through this motto we empower our students to achieve beyond what they may have thought possible, academically, socially and personally. This sentiment was echoed by Carl Chua in his Head Student speech to his peers, “as you go out into the world, don’t be afraid to be hungry and inspired. Don’t be afraid to be dreamers. For the past few years, coming into school means walking past the giant ‘Be Ambitious’ sign on our basketball court. To be ambitious. To be. There’s so much promise and hope in those two syllables, so take your life someplace. Become someone you want to be.”

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Rosa plans to study Liberal Arts at Amsterdam University College.

Finally we heard from Rosa Heuveling Van Beek. During her 16 years at BIS, Head Student Rosa has been no stranger to addressing a crowd through her numerous MUN debate appearances (including her visit to the United Nations HQ in New York!)

Rosa started by talking about “life, the universe, and everything,” encouraging her fellow graduates that they should live without regret because there is only one life to live. “The choices that we have made, the ones that we will make – whether they were to do with our exams or university – cannot be considered the wrong decision. Don’t consider them as the wrong choice, don’t regret them.”

She finished with an important message, “it is important to remember that none of us could have gotten here alone. On behalf of my peers, I would like to thank you, our parents, teachers, and friends for supporting us through the perilous journey of what has been the IB.”

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Our Class of 2018 are dynamic and eclectic. Amongst them; a professional golfer, a national swimming champion, a music award nominee. But regardless of their future path, they’ll all have one thing in common, as described by Head Teacher Mr Carl Mincher as he addressed his 2018 graduates,

“You leave with a great education, a great sense of citizenship and high ambition and this has been our goal - you are now ready to go on and make a significant mark on the world following in the footsteps of other BIS alumni. From what we have seen of you so far, we have every confidence that you will do so.”

From the entire BIS Community we’d like to say a huge congratulations to our Class of 2018. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you!

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