Inside the Application Journey of Alexandra D, Winner of the ISB IGCSE Scholarship Programme 2023/2024

Embarking on the path to success often requires a blend of talent, dedication, and unwavering determination. For Alexandra D, a Year 10 student, this journey has culminated in a remarkable achievement: being the winner of the ISB IGCSE Scholarship Programme for the academic year 2023/2024.

In this interview, Alexandra offers us a glimpse into her ISB Scholarship roadmap. With candid insights and heartfelt reflections, she takes us through the twists and turns, the highs, and lows, of her quest for excellence. Join us as we unravel the story behind Alexandra D’s experience so far. If you are interested in the ISB Schoalrship Programme for 2024/2025 please contact us at admissions@isb.ro

How would you describe ISB in three words?

“I’d say ISB is FUN, CHALLENGING, and altogether a BEAUTIFUL experience”.

What motivated you to apply for a Scholarship Programme at ISB?

“At first, my motivations for applying to ISB’s Scholarship Programme may not have been very commendable. I was drawn by the freedom to choose my subjects and quite impressed by the school’s facilities. However, my vanity played its part too, being interested in the competition for the scholarship. However, as I reflect on my first semester, I realise that ISB is so much more than I initially imagined.

My experience here has been transformative, challenging my preconceptions and revealing the fragility of my bubble of knowledge. ISB taught me critical thinking; I learned to distinguish facts from opinions. It also taught me that what I deemed as incontestable has a myriad of counterarguments that have escaped my mind. And that, perhaps, all the axioms of life are just points analysed from one perspective.

What specific opportunities did the scholarship open for you at ISB?

“Well, there are so many that I don’t even know where to start. Firstly, ISB follows the British Curriculum with IGCSE Programme for Year 10 and Year 11 and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) for Year 12 and Year 13. This means that you will be part of an international community of 1.95 million students all over the world. This means you are an international student. And don’t even get me started with the opportunity that this can offer. Being an international student enables you to participate in such a variety of prestigious competitions and projects that will take me around 20 minutes to enumerate them all. But since the sole purpose of the interview is to serve you as perhaps a guideline, I shall be prompt and leave you with a thought-provoking idea: there are prestigious competitions ranging from environmental studies to robotics and fashion design.”

How did you experience and navigate the selection process?

“I applied for the scholarship in January, on the day of the deadline but, due to the increased number of applicants, I received the follow-up at the end of February. I was called to take some official testing at ISB. My first glance of the school was one of the most adrenaline-pumping experiences of my life. Suddenly, I entered the fight or flight mode. Every step made my heart gallop in my chest. It was frightening, it was exhausting it was beyond beautiful. I took my test on a computer. The test was meant to reveal my level in English, Maths, Patterns, and Communications Skills. I was concerned about my English level since I only practiced English in school. I did quite well at Maths, and it seems that my English level was good enough to access the curriculum. The test was followed by an interview with the Scholarship Committee. They saw something in me, and they offered me the scholarship.”

Can you share any challenges you faced during the application process, and how did you overcome them?

“The application went quite smoothly. After I saw the advert for the scholarship, I wrote an email stating my intention to be considered for the programme. In the email, I stated why I should be considered for the scholarship, what is the purpose behind my intentions, and how can ISB benefit from my addition to its community. It was sort of challenging at the time to find the right words to express my willingness and desire for receiving the scholarship, but in the end, it all came naturally. Don’t get me wrong, that email was far from being my best work, but it was enough at that time. ISB doesn’t expect perfect individuals, masters in everything; it rather looks for creative, well-behaved, and bright young students with potential that can be nurtured.”

What advice would you give to students considering applying for the scholarship program?

“Finally, the moment that I’ve been waiting for… I prepared some tips for guiding you through the admissions and selection process. Here they come… In your application letter and during the interview, don’t only refer to what ISB can do for you, but also to what you can do for ISB and its community. Ask yourself questions such as: Am I a team player or a good leader? How can I contribute to the school’s community? Are my personal values in line with the school’s? Even though a good academic background is important, keep in mind that your creativity and originality might be the ones setting you apart from the other candidates. Be patient during the selection process and never lose faith in yourself.

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