Thomas, ISAK Class of 2017, talks about his decision to come to ISAK.
Hi! I’m Thomas from Taiwan, currently in Grade 11 at ISAK. Are you considering where to go to school next year? I know everyone’s situation is different, but I thought you might like to know why I decided to leave home and come to ISAK.
I was first introduced to ISAK back in 2013 when I attended ISAK Summer School. At Summer School, I became mesmerized by the environment ISAK provided, as well as the unique leadership program which entirely blew me away. After just 10 days, I came back home intrigued, curious and inspired.
My ISAK Summer School experience caused me to start thinking about what I wanted for high school. ISAK was so different from my school in Taiwan. At my old school, I felt we were spoon-fed knowledge but I didn’t feel any passion or personal relevance toward what I was learning. Instead of being a proactive learner, I was apathetic and unmotivated — all I was told to care about was getting decent grades on exams. For the record, I did well in school and was academically achieving; I just wanted to do something more than just score well on my report cards. That is why I began thinking about applying to ISAK for high school.
Initially, the thought of studying abroad was intimidating. I had never left my family for longer than two weeks, let alone lived independently on my own. I was very hesitant about making the decision, torn between whether to pursue my educational ideals or stay in my comfort zone (and be miserable). My biggest concern was leaving my family, but after several conversations with my parents, I decided to take the risk.
Now, having studied at ISAK for over a year as the only Taiwanese student, I can say that this was the greatest decision I could have made. ISAK has opened me up to new horizons that I had never been exposed to, and it has taught me to become a mindful individual who seeks to contribute to make society better.
If you have been thinking about applying but you aren’t sure about leaving home, I just want to tell you from my own experience it is a decision I will never regret.