Class of 2017

Francesca Tinga

My name is Francesca Tinga and I’m 17 years old. This is currently my fourth and last year at SIS and I am incredibly humbled and excited to be attending the University of California, Berkeley, this fall for Chemical Engineering.

What do you love the most about SIS:
I love the tight-knit community we have here. Whether it be with teachers or my fellow classmates, I know I can go to any of them for help any time. It makes me feel very supported and keeps me grounded through stressful times. The class sizes at SIS are small so not only is it easy to ask the teacher for help, but you really create a community in your classrooms full of lively discussion and personal engagement with both the teachers and your fellow students. Sometimes navigating hard content just becomes easier and more fun when you know everyone in your class and are comfortable enough to share your opinions.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:

Take some time and breathe! The school year will fly by before you know it. College applications and grades are all very important and should be your number one priority, but don’t forget to have fun and spend these last few months at home with your friends and family. You won’t realize how much you’ll miss them until you have just a few weeks before everyone is going their separate ways. You only get to be in high school once! Take advantage of it.

Sara Pistono

My name is Sara Pistono, and I’m seventeen, but will turn eighteen in a few short days! I’ll be attending Cornell University this coming fall, but aren’t entirely sure of what degree to pursue, although I have an interest in the social sciences, and hope to stay involved in theatre. I’ve been at SIS for around fourteen years now, and while it has been a blast, I’m excited for a change of scenery.

What do you love the most about SIS:
What I love most about SIS is how tightly knit and global our community is. I’ve been able to meet people from all different walks of life, and engage with them on a whole other level. I’ve made friends from all over the globe, and because of this, have developed a wider understanding of our world as a whole, as well as the ability to understand multiple points of view.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:

My biggest piece of advice is to time manage! Starting something earlier will always be beneficial in the end - putting something off until the last moment, no matter how well you think you work under pressure, will always end badly, guaranteed. I learned this the hard way with a few of my more difficult assignments. Especially where large projects like the EE and IA’s are concerned, consistent work is key, spread over a large period of time, rather than a large condensed amount of work. It may be difficult to start an assignment early, but your future self will thank you!

Jonathan Sung

My name is Jonathan Sung and I am currently 17 years old and this year marks my fourth year here at SIS. Next year, I will be attending the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to study Business Economics and hopefully minor in Public Affairs as well.

What do you love the most about SIS:

I really like how SIS has been able to create an environment where we are free to explore our own interests outside of the classroom. Here at SIS, I’ve been able to not only take on leadership opportunities and join various clubs/extracurriculars, but I have always felt that I had the freedom to be able to start new projects and initiatives, whether it be for CAS or just out of the sheer desire to do so. It’s because of this ingrained sense of motivation here at SIS that I have been able to do things that I don’t think I would have been able to do at other schools, like helping direct a charity fashion show or organize a large student mural piece.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:

Everyone will always tell you to not procrastinate with your studies and I wholeheartedly agree. However, I also want to emphasize that you should remember to try not to compare yourself to your classmates. Going into your senior year, you’re going to be hit left and right with so many assignments and deadlines on top of getting ready for exams, so to ease the stress just a bit, remember to make sure you focus on yourself and take pride in what you’ve achieved. No matter what, there will always be something during the course of the year that will cause you to want to compare yourself to others and result in your feeling slightly more unsettled or a bit less confident. Try and avoid that. Count your victories and learn from your losses because you’re so close to finishing high school and you don’t want to lose focus by feeling down because you're constantly comparing yourself to what other people are doing or have accomplished.

Ashley Seo

My name is Ashley Seo and I am 17 years old. I am planning to commit to Carnegie Mellon University in the US, or the universities in the UK where I have received conditional offers from: London School of Economics, University College London, and the University of St. Andrews. I am planning to major in either the Decision Sciences or Social Anthropology. This is my third year at SIS.

What do you love the most about SIS:
Our small community offers countless opportunities to start our own projects and for our interactions to not be limited to just our close friends. This tight-knit community is what I believe makes SIS united, with everyone contributing to our community. I think that this is the reason why I was able to easily bond well and interact with all the students, teachers, and faculty, and this will be something I will miss most when I graduate.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:
I think the biggest mistake I made going into senior year was having one goal: getting into a prestigious university. This mindset hindered my chance of doing what I loved, and in the end, I slowly became passionless and hopeless. Do not freak out about getting into a single university; rather, focus on what you love, and in the end you will end up in the place just suited for your. Just remember this cliché but important quote: "It's all about the journey, not the destination."

Shweeta Surendiran

My name is Shweeta Surendiran, I’m 18 years old and this marks my second (and sadly, last) year here at SIS. I’ve been accepted to York University, University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and McGill University, and have recently committed to attending McGill this coming fall. Although I’m undecided in my major, I hope to minor in Music and am immensely excited for my future in university and beyond.

What do you love the most about SIS:

Having moved around often and experienced many different learning environments, I’d say our SIS community is very unique. For one, I’ve always appreciated the closeness of our small community here at SIS. Moving from a big school with over 600 students in their graduating class to here where there’s just under 30 of us was a huge change, but I’ve never once regretted it. In my short time here, I’ve learnt so much from each and every one of my friends and teachers. Also, the SIS environment has kept me motivated to not only focus on my academics but also to pursue my personal interests. I’ve been a part of so many amazing experiences both in and out of school during my time here at SIS that have shaped me into the person I am today, and I thank the school for providing me with the opportunities to do so.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:

Relax! I understand that senior year brings so many assignments and deadlines, but it is also important to try and find a balance between the demands of the IB and your time outside of school. Try to find ways that make studying or homework assignments less of a chore, by either studying with friends or coming up with creative ways to present your work. If you enjoy what you are working on it will seem like less of a chore and you would be more motivated to finish it. As long as you maintain a sense of motivation, you’ll have the drive to put your best foot forward and make the most out of senior year. It’s your final year, so make it count!

Carly Fraser

My name is Carly Fraser and I am 17 years old. I’ve been accepted to McGill University, University of British Columbia and University of Alberta, yet am still in the decision process of where I will attend. I plan to major in psychology within the Faculty of Arts. I’ve been at SIS for ten years.

What do you love the most about SIS:
The supportive community between students, teachers and parents.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:
Stay focused and listen to your teachers. They do everything for a reason!

Dain Kim

My name is Dain Kim and I am 18 years old. I have been accepted and am planning to commit to The Cooper Union as a chemical engineering student. I have been at SIS for 7 years (not-consecutively).

What do you love the most about SIS:
I love the tight-knit community at SIS. It’s been amazing to be surrounded by such a small yet inspiring group of people that have not only motivated me to be a better version of myself but also have been a big part of what makes Shekou home.

What do you love the most about being in an international school in China:
I love that I am able to see an immense variety of cultures and sets of values within the same school. It allows me to better understand how different people are even if they may seem similar, and to gain a better and broader perspective on various issues.

Pravesh Gupta

Hello my name is Pravesh Gupta, and I am currently 17 years old. I have attended at SIS for 6 years so far and I have to say that it has been an amazing experience. So far I have been accepted to a college in Boston called Newbury College and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. I will be doing the Business and Language program in these institutes, and am really looking forward to it.

What do you love the most about SIS:

One thing that I really love about SIS is the small community that we have here. I have friends from other schools that brag about how big their school is and the fact that there are so many students. Event though it might be an advantage to attend a big school in some ways, I still believe that a small community is more preferable. One reason is because all the teachers are so closely connected to the students that it is really easy to ask for help. Another factor is that the teachers are always tracking the student down if they are doing their work with a good amount of effort, and if they are not then they always call the student in and ask if help is needed. The small learning community is something that I will really miss in university.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:

One piece of advice that I would have for students entering the final year of high school is to make sure that you apply to universities on time. When I mean ‘on time’ I don’t mean to turn it in the day of. I mean turn it in the week before. It is always good to turn in stuff like this as early as possible as dates are not flexible and they need to be met on time and a risk should never be taken. Another piece of advice I would have is to be organized because a lot of concrete dates are supposed to be met in senior year such as internal assessment dates, extended essay, applications and more. It is always good to stay organized!

Andrew Ahn

My name is Andrew Jaewoo Ahn. I am 18 years old and this is my third year at SIS. I have committed to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee with a plan to major in Communications Studies and minor in Business.

What do you love the most about SIS:

I moved from an international school with a high school student body of a 1000 kids to one with 150 in the beginning of my sophomore year. I initially feared this drastic change in my life. However, with the three years I have spent in Shekou I have really come to love this place, especially how caring the SIS community is. I have met kind, ambitious people from various cultures and backgrounds and have learned a lot from them. The interactive student-teacher relationships SIS provides has allowed me to reach my academic goals. Also, the entire community has let me pursue my passions in and out of the classroom, helping me become a better person in educational, emotional, and social ways, and I am very grateful and happy for this experience.

What kind of skills were you taught at school to prepare you for uni life:

By providing the students with an educational system called the International Baccalaureate (IB), SIS has primarily taught me how to maintain a good work ethic. The seemingly insurmountable amount of workload ranging from semester exams to extended essays (EE) and CAS reflections, the college-level rigorous education has brought a change to my mindset in terms of how I focus and study, giving me the “work hard, play hard” attitude, a trait which I hope to carry to my university career. However, SIS has also taught me lessons outside of my academic behaviors, as the interactive atmosphere and a cultural expansion has shaped me into a better, more well-rounded individual; I wish to carry these acquired mindsets and characteristics to Nashville and continue to learn and become a better person.

Yoo Jong Heon

My name is Jong Heon Yoo (18 years old) and I received a conditional offer from HKUST. I will apply to more universities in Korea in May. I have been at SIS for 5 years and I plan to study engineering.

What do you love the most about SIS:

I really love the communication and interaction between teachers and students. As the number of students per grade is low, teachers and students can have discussions about their current lives or any hobbies. By strengthening the bond between the teachers and students, the learning environment of the school is much better.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:

I would like to tell the upcoming seniors to have a well-organized plan in terms of academics. As there are many things to do, and time is scarce, organizing a time schedule or plan helps to be more efficient and productive. By doing so, there will be a higher possibility of success in writing internal assessments, extended essays, or any other assessments in classes.

Lillian Devin

My name is Lillian Devin. I am eighteen, and I have been accepted to University of Edinburgh and University of Manchester. I am undecided about my future endeavors. I will hopefully study communications with a speciality in international media culture. I have attended SIS for two years.

What do you love the most about SIS:

The relationships that can built between students and the closeness that we all feel toward our teachers. By having such a small community, the opportunity to have close friendships and build trust with teachers is available and encouraged.

What do you love the most about being in an international school in China:

The exposure to multiple cultures while being in a major hub of the world allows for interesting experiences and possibilities that would not have been possible elsewhere.

Se Jin Park

My name is Se Jin Park, and I have attended SIS for 4 years starting from my freshman year in High School. I currently hold a conditional offer from University College London for Computer Science BSc.

What do you love the most about SIS:
The one absolute thing I love about SIS is the supportive environment that the students are constantly exposed to. With a small student to faculty ratio, students are constantly under supportive supervision. The students are always given constructive feedback to reflect upon, and I was able to grow significantly throughout my 4 years at SIS. Moreover, I was guided to complete personal projects that I was significantly engaged in.

What kind of skills were you taught at school to prepare you for uni life:
One skill that I have been taught at SIS is the ability to work towards my interest. Completing Extended Essays to doing individualized research, I was able to build a strong foundation on self-learning. Furthermore, my self-learning was combined with my logical skills that I have gained from both Math and Physics HL to create a personal online cloud. My academic and social life, therefore, has been very fruitful with the support of my friends, teachers, and mentors.

William Kade Mahler

My name is William Kade Mahler and I have been accepted to Brigham Young University. I will start in the computer engineering program after being at SIS for two years.

What do you love the most about SIS:
The engaging learning environment, and the potential for great growth when a lot of effort is put in.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:

Enjoy it, because there is a lot of wealth in the knowledge you learn, if you make it something prized. That doesn't mean you have to love the assignments you do, but appreciate it, and make those experiences something useful and something that helps you develop yourself into a better person.

Oliver Lee Wittig

I’m Oliver Lee Wittig and I’m 17. I have been accepted to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, University of Toronto and the University of Amsterdam. In HKUST I got accepted for Business and Management, and in Amsterdam and Toronto for Economics. I have been at SIS for 4 years now, since the 9th grade.

What do you love the most about SIS:
For me what is special at SIS is the community. Even though we might be a small school, I believe that this certainly has its advantages. As we are a small community it allows us to build closer relationships with people. Because we know everybody we also are more likely to keep in touch in future. I also think that SIS is a very multi-cultural school and that is also a wonderful things, as it allows us to be exposed to this variety of cultures.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:
Make the most out of it. I believe that it is important to find a proper balance between academics and your social life. Even though academics might be crucial in the last year, I believe that if you don’t take some time off once in a while you are not gonna enjoy your last year at all. I think it is important to still spend time with your friends, as it will be the last year you guys will see each other before heading to college. You should try not to spend it all on academics and find a nice balance between all things.

Samuel Ricci

My name is Samuel Ricci. I have accepted offers from two universities in the UK for the subject of Law: University of Kent and University of East Anglia. I have attended SIS for the past four years.

What do you love the most about SIS:
I like the different classroom setups.

Who is your mentor and why/what have they taught you:
My mentor is myself next week. High school is a time to find your identity and explore what you're comfortable and not comfortable with. While the support of your family and friends will help with sanity and happiness, trust yourself and yourself only for the most important decisions. Will next week's you going to be proud of the choices you make? Will he or she look back at this very moment and think "that was the right thing to do"? My second mentor is myself from last week. He taught me about the mistakes of the past and helps me reflect upon what I should do with the present that I have control over. Not only have these two mentors taught me what no other mentor could possibly teach me, but they have been or will be the only people proud of the present me regardless of the situation.

Carlos Escobedo

My name is Carlos Escobedo. I am 18 years old and this is my sixth year at SIS. So far I've been offered acceptances to Coastal Carolina, West Florida University and I am currently awaiting a few more responses from other universities within the United States; therefore I am undecided as to where I will be going to university. I plan on studying Marine Biology.

What do you love the most about SIS:
Having moved from a large public school in the United States to a smaller international school community has really opened my eyes to all that the world has to offer in terms of culture and diversity. Being in a small school like SIS has allowed me to reach out to teachers without hesitation. At SIS I have built a strong connection with my peers which has only made the experience of attending SIS more enjoyable. Also, I appreciate that by studying at SIS I've been motivated to push my limits in order for me to succeed in achieving my academic goals just as much as my personal goals.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:
Stay calm, and work hard. Do not let the temptation of slacking off get to you because you have been accepted to university. Another thing that I strongly recommend is that you explore new ways of balancing your time amongst your responsibilities and having your organization in check -- it may just help you in the long run.

Rick Choi

My name is Minseok (Rick) Choi. I am 19 years old as of April 9th 2017 and I am going to UC Berkeley after high school. Counting this year, I've been in SIS for 5 years.

What do you love the most about SIS:
What I love most about SIS is the closely knit community. Unlike other schools that are divided in to small groups and cliques, our school is united as a whole and everyone enjoys each other's company.

What do you love the most about being in an international school in China:
I get to meet and develop relationships with people from all over the world. I particularly enjoyed eating Chinese lamb sticks with my ethnically diverse peers.

Keyki Wu

My name is Keyki and I’m 17 years old. This is my seventh year at SIS. I’ve been accepted to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

What do you love the most about SIS:
I love the caring community at SIS, and I made a lot of friends in these years.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:
An advice that I want to give is not to procrastinate, it’s important to balance your life.

Class of 2016

Annie Sun

My name is Hsiao-Wen Sun and I go by Annie. I am currently an 18 year old senior who has been attending Shekou International School since Grade 4. I have applied to 8 universities, two in Hong Kong and six in Canada. After getting accepted to all eight, I have decided to attend University of Toronto and its Rotman Commerce program.

What I love about my school is its compact size and community. The small class sizes and total students overall provide us with not only the chance to bond with each individual but to also have the opportunity to share relationships with teachers beyond the classrooms. Furthermore, there are more opportunities for one to take on leadership roles and be involved in activities such as Model United Nations, Student Council, and sports as well.

My advice for students that will be entering their final year of school: Keep up the work and don’t start procrastinating just because its towards the end. Do keep organized and stay on top of everything because everything will be too late if you try to make up for all the things that you just closed one eye on. Good luck!

Matti Buatois

My name is Matti Buatois. I am 16 years old (as surprising as it may seem), and this is my third and last year here at SIS. I will be going to the Institute for Interpretation and Translation (ISIT) in Paris, which specializes in training translators for various fields. I will be aiming for live conference translation, a course reserved for the best translators only. It’ll be a challenge, but that’s my goal.

The fact that SIS is a small school makes a lot of things easier and more welcoming to the students. Also, even though a lot of us are bothered by it at times, the constant exploration and reflection asked from students permits them to find something more than simply knowledge within school. The positive mindset of the staff is always appreciated as well.

The skills I was taught at school to prepare me for life at university:
The International Baccalaureate, especially at the end of the second year, seems to approximate what kind of learning will be expected of us in university. With exams coming up very soon, we don’t have clear assignments and we need to organize ourselves in our studying, with a lot less assistance than before. This can be challenging, but with a calm approach and balanced time management, it is achievable and prepares us for the university lifestyle which awaits us.

Nicole Cheong

My name is Nicole (Wan Sin) Cheong. I am 18 years old and a senior who has attended SIS for two years. I applied for 4 universities in the UK, 1 in the U.S., 1 in Malaysia and was accepted into all of them. I’ve made the decision to attend Monash University Malaysia for the Bachelor of Food Science and Technology.

One of the things that I love about SIS is the welcoming and caring community. It is always hard to be a new student in a school, but SIS has made me feel welcome and at home since the very beginning, even before school started. Since SIS is a small school, it is really easy to connect with the other students, becoming friends and creating that bond. Even though SIS is a small community, the support that it has for everyone in the community is extensive. Through my two years here at SIS, I am really grateful for the support the SIS community has given me and for the chance that I get to give back to this community. It was not a joke when I was told that SIS has a caring community.

My advice for students that will be entering their final year of school:

Remember, you’ve made it through all the way from kindergarten until grade 12, and now all you have to do is to finish this final year strong. I know you’ve heard this for a million times, but DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. It will only add to the amount of stress that you already have for your exams, and you really don’t need that extra amount of stress. All in all, take this year one step at a time. No matter what, you will get into universities, you will finish your IB exams, you will graduate. Focus on what you have to do now, and give the best that you have. Finish the year off strong.

Nitay Hayim Bar-El
My name is Nitay Hayim Bar-El and I am 17 years old. I will be attending McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I intend on studying under the bachelor of arts program. Specifically, I will major in economics and minor in business. I have been at SIS for roughly 6 years.
I love the supporting community at SIS that provides endless opportunities. The small and tight community provides non stop support in and out of school. On top of that, there are plenty of opportunities to excel in a variety of different areas.

My advice to students entering their final year at SIS is simple:Do NOT procrastinate. Also, seize the wonderful opportunities that are given by SIS. Do not hesitate to join a sports team, a club, or student council—do anything that will make your college application look more attractive and that will better you as a person.

Jerry Xu

My name is Jia Ren (Jerry) Xu and I am 17 years old. I have decided to attend UBC next semester. I will be in the faculty of science and I do not know what degree I will study after the first year in college. I have spent silightly less than four years at SIS.

I think the most unique part about SIS and the part that is different than Canadian public schools is that the classes here are smaller— students can interact easier with their teachers.

My advice for students that will be entering their final year of school:

You need to work hard in your senior year. You also have to make sure that you do tons of research before applying to your universities. If you don’t do any of the following things, most likely you won’t get into the universities you want to get into.

Bryan Favila

My name is Bryan Carlo Favila and I'm 18 years old. I was accepted to a college in the Philippines called Enderun College. I will be studying Science of International Hospitality Management specializing in Culinary Arts for the next 4 years of college. I have been at SIS for 5 years.

What I loved most about SIS is its diversity. All the teachers and students come from all over the world and I am very lucky to interact with them. Most of the students and teachers pulled me out of my comfort zone, made me try new things and things I never thought of doing. I would like to thank each person who made an amazing contribution to my life here at SIS.

My advice for students that will be entering their final year of school: Enjoy your final year, even though there are more hardships in your final year you can still have fun. Enjoy each others company as much as you can. Remember, you can always study with each other!

Class of 2015

Deanna Pistono

My name is Deanna Margaret Pistono. I’m seventeen years old and a senior at Shekou International School. I was accepted early decision to Cornell University and will be heading to Ithaca, New York in the summer to begin studying biology and society. I’ve been in Shenzhen since I was a year old, and I’ve been studying at SIS since I was old enough to attend school.

What I like most about SIS:

The approachability and kindness of the staff members. They’ve always been very accommodating over the years, and I’ve had a lot of great opportunities to engage with different subject matter and take on leadership roles in different programs (i.e. Model United Nations, SIS Drama Club, etc.), which I don’t think would have been as easy in any other school.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:

Get help and advice on classwork or difficult concepts when you need it, especially if you have some sort of final exam to prep for. No matter how smart you are, if you really don’t know what you’re doing, let someone who does know help you out. Rome wasn’t built by one man or woman, and it’s not shameful or representative of lesser intellect to ask for help every once in a while.

What are you dreading the most about life at uni/college? What are you looking forward to:

I’m looking forward to going to an historical university with many traditions and beginning to carve out my own niche in the real world. Testing myself out there, while a little frightening, is incredibly exciting. On the other hand, if I’m dreading anything, it’s probably the fact that I’ll have to manage my own funds more and more, which in and of itself is a pretty big responsibility that I still haven’t completely gotten into my head.

Ryan Yao

My name is Ryan Yao and I am currently a 17 year old senior who has attended Shekou International School for the past 10 years. I have been accepted to and will attend the College of Chemistry at the University of California Berkeley in pursuit of a Bachelors of Science in the field of chemical engineering.

What I love most about my school:

What I love most about my current schools is the size. Very rarely is a student presented with an opportunity to meet with teachers on such a personal level. I feel that by attending SIS for all these years, I have been able to form a strong bond with many of my teachers.

Advice I have for seniors:

My advice to rising seniors: Be independent, and don’t expect the school to hold your hand. You are almost an adult, after all. College applications are probably the most important part of your high school career, and they are definitely the most confusing as well. If you really want to make sense out of the craziness that is a college app, make a really good friend that has already graduated from school and has gone through applications to college already. He/she is likely to be the most helpful to you during your own application process. Online forums are also fairly good sources of help as well, as they can offer insights that only a student from the college you wish to attend can offer.

Skills that I learned that will prepare me for university life:

SIS is a small school and community that has helped me grow. Because of its size, SIS has a limited selection of activities to join. This presented me with an opportunity to pursue my own interest and create the Solar Project. The project has taught me to think outside the box and to be responsible for my own goals. The IB program offered at SIS has allowed for me to grow as well. Because the IB program is so challenging, I had to learn to really buckle down and face the challenge. I discovered that by spending extra time laboring over the materials, I can still succeed. It was here that I realized that being challenged is good for me because it offers me an opportunity to grow. As long as I am determined, I can succeed.

Ye Won Lucy Park

My name is Ye Won Park and I go by Lucy. I am 18 and currently a senior at Shekou International School. Recently, I was admitted to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and City University of Hong Kong as a psychology major and Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a Hotel and Tourism Management major. I am still waiting to hear from few other universities in Hong Kong. This is my second year in Shenzhen.

What I like most about SIS:

Under my parents’ philosophy of having a broader view by encountering various experiences, I frequently moved to different regions and countries, which meant I had to inevitably transfer to another school. Out of all the schools that I went to, SIS was the only one that actively encouraged students to be friendly with technology. Beyond providing computers, I find it very astonishing to have school-initiated blogs, to receive regular updates and feedback from the Genius Bar, and to see the passion in technology within the teachers. Considering how technology is advancing and used by more and more people for its convenience, I believe familiarizing students with technology prepares them for the future and is one of the strength's of our community.

Advice I have for next year’s seniors:

Looking back, I would say just relax and enjoy. Although senior year may be very stressful because of college applications, it’s the last year of high school after all. Remembering the last year of high school as stressful and frustrating is definitely not a good idea. I was also stressed about all the college applications just like many other seniors, but getting stressed doesn’t make you do any better. It just frustrates you more. One important thing for senior year is to not procrastinate. It’s your final year where everything starts to find its own place to end, so when you start to procrastinate, you’ll later find yourself in a pile of endless work. You don’t want to be stressed more with what you have done when you are busy with college applications, do you?

What I am dreading most about university life:

As the time for graduation comes near, I started to dread living by myself. Up until now, I have never left my family to live on my own for a long period of time. Although I think I will have freedom and complete independence, I realize there may be difficulties when I live by myself. On the other hand, I am looking forward to adjusting to a new environment and experiencing a new community. The unfamiliar terrain will encourage me to explore and the larger community will allow me to encounter a variety of people.

Francesca Cannatelli

My name is Francesca Cannatelli and I'm 18 years old. I have been living in Shenzhen for 3 years. Next year I will attend Bocconi University in Milan, where I will study Economics and Management.

What I like most about SIS:

I like the fact that SIS allows its students to use technology while learning. We focus a lot on how to deliver presentations and learn skills that can be very useful for us in the future.

The advice I have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:

My advice is to stop procrastinating, manage your time and don't push everything off to the last minute. This will help you to be more organized and not feel overwhelmed by activities and homework. Senior year is without doubt the most stressful one, for this reason it is essential to plan everything out. Gradually study for IB exams instead of trying to review everything in the last 2 weeks. If you know how to approach the tasks you have to complete, it will make everything easier for you.

What I am dreading the most about life at university:

My biggest concern right now about college is being away from my family. My parents are going to stay another year here in Shekou and I will be alone in Milan. I have to admit that I will miss them a lot, and it will be hard to live without them. However, I'm excited to start a new chapter of my life, I can't wait to meet new people and also learn new things. I know that I will have to face many challenges but hopefully it will be an opportunity for me to grow and become more independent.

Rachel Sagan

My name is Rachel Sagan. I am 18 years old and I have attended SIS for 2.5 years. Next year I will be enrolling in Rowan University and majoring in Biological Sciences.

What I like most about SIS:

The thing I like most about SIS is how small the class sizes are which allows the students to have deeper connections with the teachers. This has especially helped me over the years because I felt comfortable going to all my teachers to ask whatever I needed.

What I am dreading about uni life:

The thing I’m dreading most about going to University is having to be away from my family because they will still be living here while I am going to University in the U.S.. I am most looking forward to all the new memories and experiences I will face in University as well as that I am finally going to be able to experience living in my home country.

What I love most about being in an international school in China:

I have gone to international schools pretty much my whole life and I love how accepting everyone is because most people in international schools are experiencing life in a new country just like you which helps make the transition easier. Also the fact that going to an international school in China allows you to be able to experience their culture and what living in China is all about.

Katherine Scogin

My name is Katherine Scogin, and I am currently 17 years old, turning 18 in July. I go to Shekou International School, and have gone here for 4 years now, since Freshman year (9th grade). I applied to 7 universities, got accepted into 5, and decided to go to the University of Florida. I am going in as Intended International Studies, but it might change in the future as American universities allow that sort of change in direction.

What do you love the most about SIS:

I love the community and the bonds I have been able to make with both fellow students and teachers alike. This instant connection to other expats all going to the same school gave me a sense of family, which is important to have in a foreign country as a 3rd culture kid.

What advice do you have for students that will soon be entering their final year of school:

Stay organized. Stay on top of everything. You may think where you are right now is the hardest it can possibly get, but trust me, it gets harder and harder before everything gets better. I was commended multiple times on my organization of my college applications. I got them out of the way early so that I made time for schoolwork. However, there were also many times where I contracted Senioritis (terrible, degenerative disease of the mind) and all I cared about were college applications and forgot about schoolwork; don’t do that. Yes, college applications are important, and you need to make time for them, but don’t get distracted by researching menial things about the colleges when you should be doing schoolwork! Colleges care about Senior grades, too.

What are you dreading the most about university life:

I am going to a large public flagship research university, so there’s going to be a lot of people to connect with and help further my education. The resources will be boundless, and the support from others, including those not going to my university, will be strong. I am super excited about meeting new people and making new friends, while simultaneously exploring my new surroundings. However, because it is so large, I am dreading being just another number. Coming from a small school, I am used to personal connections to everyone to a certain degree. I have teachers offer to give me one-on-one help for any topic I am struggling with in in their class. I definitely will have to try harder to get noticed at UF, that’s for sure, but I feel as though the confidence and social skills I have gained from going to SIS has helped me in this situation! Start small, finish big!

Jessica Prosser

My name is Jessica Carlene Prosser and I am 17 years old from Toronto, Canada. I have been going to Shekou International School for 6 years now. I will be going to Brock University in the fall to study Honours Biochemistry Co-op. I moved to Shenzhen 8 years ago, I stayed for 3 years then I moved to Canada for 2 years and then came back to Shenzhen for 3 more years.

What I love most about SIS:

I love that SIS has a really open environment, since I am quite a shy person. At first it was really important that I felt comfortable in school. SIS made me feel like I could be myself without being scared of acceptance.

What I love the most about being in an international school in China:

I really love the culture here in China. It is different than Canada's. Being in China gave me so many more opportunities not only with school but with travelling the world. I was able to experience so much more than I would if I was anywhere else.

What I am dreading the most about life at university and what I am looking forward to:

I am dreading living on my own for the very first time. I have never been away from my parents or my sister for more than a week at a time and now I am going to be away from them for months at a time. I am looking forward to the independence and the ability to focus my learning on subjects that I am strong in and the ones that I like. Although I still need to take courses that I do not like very much, I know that I am good at them. I am looking forward to waking up later on some days and not having a full day of classes. I worry that I will not be able to handle the work load but somehow I know that I will manage because I am prepared.


Shekou International School

Early Childhood and Elementary School Mountainside Campus

Jing Shan Villas, Nanhai Blvd
Shekou, Nanshan,
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518067 PRC
Phone: 86-755-2669-3669
Fax: 86-755-2667-4099

Middle School and High School Bayside Campus

A-101, Coastal Rose Phase 2, Wanghai Road,
Shekou, Nanshan,
Shenzhen, Guangdong PRC, 518067


International Schools Services

15 Roszel Road, PO Box 5910
Princeton, NJ 08543
Phone: 01-609-452-0990
Fax: 01-609-452-2690

About SIS

Welcome to Shekou International School (SIS). Established in 1988, SIS is dedicated to meeting the diverse educational needs of the expatriate community in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.


Shekou International School presently has over 800 students representing more than 40 different countries including the US, Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong, France and Germany.

Learning @ SIS

At SIS learning is the focus. See how students are challenged from an early age in a contemporary and academically rigorous environment.

Life @ SIS

SIS provides students with a wide range of creative, scholastic and athletic experiences to engage in.

Working @ SIS

Are you a passionate educator looking to join a contemporary learning community? We'd love to hear from you.


Stay connected. Keep in touch with key information for parents and guardians of our students.

Contact Us

Want to learn more about SIS? Contact us.
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