University Pathways: Emma and Edison
Jennifer Wallace

ISN Nice's 'University Pathways' highlights the academic goals of our students.

This week, read our interview with Emma and Edison, who hope to study Engineering and Anthropology.


Please introduce yourself and tell us how long you've been at ISN?

Emma: Hi everyone, my name’s Emma and this is my 13th year at ISN. I’ve been here since Kindergarten and am currently in grade 12. 

Edison: My name is Edison and this is my second year at ISN. I am in Grade 12.


A girl named Emma smiling in front of a brown wall


What are your current plans for after Grade 12? Where have you applied, which country(ies), and which subjects?

Emma: For my IB, I chose Maths, Physics and Computer Science Higher level as well as English A, French A and Economics standard level. I want to pursue a career in engineering, more specifically Industrial or mechanical (I’m still deciding). My choices allowed me to apply for courses at Imperial College and UCL in the UK, MIT in the US and KIT in Germany. I am really looking forward to hearing back from these universities. 

Edison:  I have applied for 5 universities in England through UCAS and have gotten offers from all 5 of them. My uni courses all revolve around the subjects of Anthropology and Sociology.


Why have you chosen this path? How will it help you to reach your personal or career goals?

Emma: I always knew I wanted to become an engineer, therefore choosing these subjects was quite easy for me. I knew that any career that was highly technical would require to take these 3 subjects as Higher level as you are more opened to the subject and its many applications in the world. I also had a look at many course-requirements for universities before I applied, which also helped me chose the right subjects for myself. Of course, if I hadn’t been able to achieve high marks in my IGCSEs, this would have made my choices much harder but as I had worked really hard to achieve A* in these subjects, I had the opportunity to select them. 

Edison: I loved studying ancient civilizations when I was younger and their foundation for modern societies. This is why I chose to do Anthropology: to study modern societies and to, later on, help them all around the world. My goal is to work with big companies and tell them how their product is best used in third world countries (after all, it was anthropologists who first studied how the African continent could use phones to help develop society.)


In what way has ISN helped you plan and prepare your applications?

Emma; I really appreciate the university counselling that ISN offers, which has allowed me to comfortably prepare my US application for MIT and write my personal statement for the UK. Our college counsellor is always there for a meeting and making sure I am as ready as I can be when it comes to my future.  

Edison: CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service, one of the three essential elements that every student must complete as part of the Diploma Programme) has been fantastic by letting me go out into the real world and make real changes. It has developed my teamwork skills, public speaking skills and shown how to plan initiatives. ISN has also shown me how useful communication with a teacher is in feeling confident in your work. ISN has offered me 1 on 1 meetings with teachers and an all-round a safe space to discuss things with teachers and friends. 


Have you faced any challenges over the last two years and how did you overcome them?

Emma: Covid-19 has definitely heavily impacted my life as an IB student. I am grateful that we were able to have concessions for our exams, making the preparation for these exams under these extraordinary circumstances less stressful. Our teachers were also always there when I needed support during our lockdown period and our lessons continued smoothly online. Of course, are often left on our own to apply for universities, as a big part has to come from us, which I found challenging at the beginning, but once I got used to the process I was less stressed and was able to talk to the college counsellor whenever I needed help. 

Edison: COVID was not too difficult to deal with as soon as most of the school was double-vaccinated. If someone was off for COVID reasons they were given zoom links - this was a good way of staying on top of everything, even though it wasn't optimal. ISN gives me enough free time to socialize with friends in school and outside of school even though the IB program workload could be quite heavy at times. I know that a lot of people struggled more than me with stress, however, I also learnt to organize myself better in this school than the last.


A boy named Edison smiling in front of lake painting


What are you most excited about for next year?

Emma: I think I’m most excited about changing schools and starting my experience as a university student. I have always attended ISN, therefore I want to learn what it is to change my environment and study subjects that I am really passionate about. 

Edison:  After high school, I can't wait to start my course, start lessons a bit later, work on something that I'm sure I will find interesting and have bigger and better parties!


Do you have any advice for other students?

Emma: I think it's important to have an idea of what we want to study later on, ensuring that you are taking the right subjects and really moving towards a career that is interesting to you. Some programmes can not accept certain subjects that were chosen, therefore having a clear idea of what I wanted to study and where really helped make up my mind for my IB choices.