University Pathways: Samar and Evrard

Jennifer Wallace

We support students’ aspirations for the next stages of their lives. We ensure that each student is accompanied on his or her educational journey and reaches his or her individual academic goals. This series on "University Pathways" aims to show how the students have come to be oriented towards courses connected to their career aims, individual potential and life-long learning aspirations, ensuring continuity of their studies and helping them to enter universities all over the world.


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

Evrard: My name is Evrard, I am French, I am 17 years old, and this is my second year at ISN.

Samar: My name is Samar, I'm half Egyptian half French and I've been at ISN for 2 years.


A boy named Evrard smiling


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

Evrard: After grade 12, my plans are to enter medical school in the hope of becoming a surgeon one day. I have currently applied in the UK to the University of Edinburgh, University of Cambridge, UCL, and Bristol college. In January I will also be applying in Italy to the medical course at Humanitas University, Milan.

Samar: My plans after grade 12 are to go into the culinary field. I applied and got into Ecole Ducasse Paris Campus and I'm doing a Bachelor's Degree in French Pastry Arts. The other schools I had applied to were The American Business School in Paris (Bachelor in Luxury Goods), American University of Paris (Bachelor in Business), Hotelschool The Hague (Bachelor in Hospitality Management). The other schools were my backups in case Ecole Ducasse didn't work out.  


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

Evrard: Applying to medicine will bring me one step closer to specializing into a surgeon in 10 years’ time. I have chosen the path of medicine as it is a field that is constantly adapting and evolving to its era; something that fascinates me. I cannot imagine myself pursuing a monotone and boring career, but I want a career that always reserves surprises, where every day is different, challenging, and rewarding. More importantly, medicine will give me a purpose and objective in life, by enabling me to save lives and assist others.

Samar: I chose this path because I'm very passionate about food, especially pastries as I have always had a huge sweet tooth. Not to mention I grew up baking oriental sweets with my grandma so I have a lot of positive memories surrounding pastries. I've also had this dream of opening up a café with my older sister, and since she has a business BA and is working on her master's degree, I think that pursuing a BA in French Pastry Arts is the perfect way tomake this dream come true.


How has ISN helped you plan and prepare your applications?

Evrard: ISN has helped me plan and prepare for my applications by offering an advanced and helpful university counselling aid. The private sessions with my counsellor definitely helped me stay on top of my deadlines and kept me calm throughout this stressful process. Having access to ‘Unifrog’ and ‘Crimson’ also helped me acquire all the information and contacts I needed to make the best decision as to where I should apply and what courses I should study.

Samar: I am very independent! I did all the research for it over the summer and set up meetings with the Universities myself.


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

Evrard: I have faced a challenge not long ago where I couldn’t balance out my sports and my schoolwork together, causing me to burn out. At the same time, I received two rejections from universities which made me feel as if all my hard work was for nothing. I felt very lost and had no idea what to do at the time. However, something that completely helped me overcome this challenge was the support from my friends in school. The ISN community is powerful and friendly to the extent that you never feel alone. The other students in school always look out for each other, and this is what makes it a great environment to learn in.

Samar: COVID has of course made things a little difficult when applying to universities abroad and has definitely made me narrow my choices down. I was also struggling a little with my mental health because of the amount of pressure that is put on you for these final years, but I received a lot of support from my family and the amazing friends that I've made here. 

A girl named Samar smiling



What are you most excited about for next year?

Evrard: I’m most excited to finally live independently in my own apartment. It will be a completely new experience for me and will hugely help me develop and grow as a student and person in general. I think it’s an important step towards adulthood for everyone and that’s why I can’t wait to experience this sort of responsibility next year.

Samar: I'm super excited to start cooking! It's something that I've always loved to do and just the thought of being able to go and do something I love and have always wanted to do brings me so much happiness. 


What’s an important lesson you’ve learnt throughout the process of applying to university?

Evrard: A message to anyone who has applied to a university and received a rejection: Getting a rejection from a university is very difficult to accept and can be extremely demoralizing. However, keep in mind that it happens to everyone, and there is nothing wrong with it. It certainly does not mean that you aren’t good enough or that you haven’t worked hard enough. Instead, it simply means that you are not the right fit for that university, and therefore, something better and more suitable is waiting for you. With patience and a little bit of courage, you will pass this obstacle, and you will find a way to pursue your dream, so don’t worry about it.