Our headmaster recently received this letter by e-mail from one of our Year 11 students in Academic Year 2016/2017.
After finishing her Year 11 and IGCSE exams at the International School of Samui, Nampetch moved to New Zealand to continue her Sixth Form at Avondale College in Auckland. It is one of the largest and top schools in New Zealand.
Avondale has over 3,000 students (10 times bigger than our school!) and for Nampetch, who had been at ISS since she was a tiny tot, this whole new experience requires significant adjustment. Even so, we are glad to hear from her that she's happy and flourishing in her new place of learning.
Photo: Nampetch Petchsud with Headmaster Mr Jeremy Lees during the Senior School Speech Day in 2017.
We stayed connected with her and did a quick written interview to share to our school community:
What course of study (degree) are you undertaking?
I selected the Cambridge (CIE) course with Business Studies, Mathematics, English Literature, Psychology and Hospitality (side subject).
What are the biggest challenges you’re facing in your current university and how are you overcoming them?
One of the many challenges was adapting into the new environment, especially it being a very large school, classes are all spread out into different buildings. Time management is also very important since I travel by myself, relying on buses and trains - I have to constantly check the time and make sure I am on schedule.
Another factor would be adapting to the people as well; there are various types of people all over and so I have to leave my comfort zone to engage with them but generally people are friendly. As blunt as this sounds, selecting the "right" group of people is very important since it affects you as a person as well. New Zealand is a very friendly country, you are likely to end up in random conversation throughout your day.
What would you say, are the most vital skills you gained from ISS? Are these skills helping you in your current education?
ISS has helped me to become who I am today; the school has given me countless of opportunities and support.
One of the many skills that I obtained from ISS were confidence, I am far from a confident person but ISS has helped me keep a steady amount of it. It allows me to engage with new people, express my ideas and be comfortable in a social construct.
Another key skill would be independence and this helps predominantly with both education and life as a whole - ISS has taught me to be self-reliant and so making you a much stronger person.
What is your most memorable moment at ISS?
That is a very tough question since, without a doubt, every single moment at ISS was and still is significant to me. ISS will always feel like a second home, will always have a place in my heart. I honestly cannot even begin to answer the question; the school has brought me close to people that became very important to me.
The closest I can say to an answer would ironically be the last day at ISS - this is because it was when I realised how meaningful the school was to me. All the memories and moments rushed through my head when the reality of leaving it settled in. I was glad I was finished with senior school and is moving onto the next stage but it was melancholic to leave.
Photo: Nampetch started her education at ISS, almost from the beginning. This photo was taken with Eunsol, one of her closest friends and another Year 11 graduate who is now studying her Sixth Form in Bromsgrove International School in Bangkok -- the official partner of ISS in furthering education of our senior students.
What advice would you give our younger students at ISS?
My main advice would be to cherish it. You have no idea how fast it goes by, you will be writing the date for another day on another week of another month and then one day, that day happens to be your last. You will look up again and suddenly it's time to leave.
Sure, have fun in your teenage years but remember that your decisions at this stage are all vital parts of your life, it will determine your future, your life and you as a person. Start early rather than later; people seem to have a perception of me to be very studious and always studying, doing her work but I cannot stress it enough on how I wish I would have done more because it was that important. The more effort you put in on the earlier stage, the easier it gets.
Also, friends - if you see them in your future, keep them close. Whatever problems you have now, they are not enough to cost a lifelong friendship however, if you know that in five years, they won't even remember you, let it go. It's your life, you get to decide which path you want to cross, don't let anyone define you.
Lastly, have some love for the school, you have no idea how different ISS is from any other school. Cut the teachers some slack, all the teachers at ISS are very supportive and genuine, don't be mean to them, they already have to see you everyday.
Photo: Nampetch on the far right with her friends in Year 11 during their Prom Night 2017.
Reading these answers from a 17-year old is just deeply moving. These are true words of wisdom and we feel very much privileged to be able to help teach, develop and train Nampetch to be the mature, wise, respectful and considerate person she is. One can already see that this student has a bright future ahead.
We are following you Nampetch and you have our full support on your present and future education. Thank you for sharing your time with us and we wish to hear more from you on a regular basis.
Parents, this is the kind of student we endeavour to let out into the world. And with your help, there will be many more great stories to come here in our second home called the International School of Samui.