Student Spotlight: Head Students Emily and Sylvie

Emily - Head Student K11

Could you introduce yourself a bit (background etc)?

Hello! My name is Emily and I am in K11. Before moving to Hong Kong in 2018, I lived in a small town near Heidelberg in southern Germany.

What does it mean to be a Head Student at GSIS and what do you have to do?

Being trusted with the role of representing my fellow students is a great honour to me. I will do my best to fulfil my role as a link between the students and teachers at GSIS, and make sure that all students feel heard, supported and welcome here.

Tell us about your experience being a student at GSIS. What do you like most about the school?

In the German Secondary Department, we have small classes — my entire year group is made up of five students this year. These small learning groups were awkward at first, but we adjusted quickly and have come to like small classes, because they brought about a much more productive and relaxed learning environment. Another thing I love about our school is how open-minded and approachable everybody is — it gives every student a sense of belonging. I also like the chocolate croissants at our cafeteria.

Which teacher has had the greatest impact on you?

All the teachers I have had at GSIS have, in their own unique way, shaped my way of thinking and acting. They have all been very encouraging and their unconditional support helped me along the path.

What are you looking forward to the most about your final two years at GSIS?

My last big challenge at GSIS is the German International Abitur, which I know will be tough and involve lots of late-night studying, but I cannot wait to give my best. However, before this final challenge, I want to use my time here well and have lots of fun with friends, engaging in various activities and trying to make as many memories as possible.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduating from GSIS, I would like to continue to study medicine at university in Germany.

Sylvie - Head Student Y12

Could you introduce yourself a bit (background etc)?

My name is Sylvie, I've recently turned 16 and I am of French and English nationality. I'm currently in Year 12. I joined GSIS in Year 9 having spent my formative years in the bilingual stream of the French International School.

What does it mean to be a Head Student at GSIS and what do you have to do?

Being a Head Student at such an empowering and prestigious school is a real privilege. I intend to uphold our moral beliefs and fulfil commitments with regards to liaising with the GSIS Alumni network to organise internships, increase peer-to-peer mentoring opportunities and implement a stronger emphasis on mental health and well-being possibly through the establishment of a student counsellor. We will also arrange fun inter-house competitions and talent shows during lunch periods (Covid restrictions permitting!). Finally, we will continue to develop the student life website.

Tell us about your experience being a student at GSIS. What do you like most about the school?

I'm thoroughly enjoying my experience at GSIS despite finding the initial transition challenging with such an academic environment and a change of language focus. The staff and support team were wonderful and I soon felt included within such a nurturing and supportive community.

Which teacher has had the greatest impact on you?

I've been taught by so many teachers during this short time at such an incredible school and all teachers have been immensely helpful. It would be difficult to highlight one specific teacher, however, I would like to thank Ms Comty for being so perceptive and detecting my struggle, stress and low spirit and for helping me transform into the more bubbly, happy person I am today.  I look forward to getting to know a new cohort of teachers as I embark on my IB years.

What are you looking forward to the most about your final two years at GSIS?

I am looking forward to creating some amazing memories with my peers despite the stress of IB. I hope to act as a role model in a relatable manner. I aspire to be a listening ear and a good mentor to younger students. I'd love to share my experiences and be proactive, by giving back to society through leading the Refugee Union ECA.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I aspire to study physiotherapy in the UK. Whilst I plan to be as prepared as possible for my future, I also want to live for the moment and enjoy every step as it comes.