“I was able to do AP and IB classes which gave me a better understanding of different national learning standards. I received training in AP’s rigorous exam-focused curriculum and improved my presentation and essay skills in my IB classes. Being in my final year of university, I feel like these academic skills have prepared me for the international workforce’s different expectations.”
Jamie Dehouck, graduate of 2018. Currently in her final year at UWA, studying a Bachelor of Commerce and is the UWA Chair of Volunteering.
ISWA offers two education pathways to their senior students, which pathway did you take?
I took the Advanced Placement (AP) pathway in my senior year because I had studied AP my entire High School career before moving to Australia and ISWA was the only school in WA to allow me to continue doing AP studies.
Describe your experience studying at ISWA.
Studying at ISWA allowed me to experience a close-knit community. Coming from a school of 6000 people, I was unaware of the benefits of smaller school communities and the in-depth relationships it helps you foster. I enjoyed creating international friendships that I still keep in contact with as of today. Coming from a massive international school prior, the number of students made it hard to get to know the people in your cohort individually. During my time at ISWA, not only did I get close with my year, but I also created excellent relationships with students in lower years. Having relationships from different grades made my time as a 2017-2018 Head Girl truly meaningful as I felt like I represented the entire student body because I did know them.
What were the benefits of the small classes at ISWA?
Besides the apparent increase in one on one academic support, I found the benefit of smaller classes helped me create relationships with teachers that spanned outside the school. I found that my teachers did not just support my learning in the classroom but also maintained a balanced social life. Being a teenager and on the verge of entering University is a stressful period that comes with an outpour of emotional and social distractions. Having small class sizes allows teachers to recognise when students need assistance outside of academic life.
Do you believe you left ISWA with a global education that has prepared you to work internationally?
Definitely, I didn’t know anything outside of international education. Being at ISWA was like a healthy balance of a domestic and international environment. I was able to learn skills that would benefit my international career but at the same time learn about Australian culture. Due to a smaller student body, ISWA’s curriculum is tailored to fit the student, not the other way. I was able to do AP and IB classes which gave me a better understanding of different national learning standards. I received training in AP’s rigorous exam-focused curriculum and improved my presentation and essay skills in my IB classes. Being in my final year of university, I feel like these academic skills have prepared me for the international workforce’s different expectations.
How do you believe ISWA’s culture shaped your school experience?
ISWA celebrates all cultures but remembers to teach international students about Australia. I found this very comforting when I first moved to Australia. Like mentioned before, teachers and students form solid relationships from mutual trust. I remember relying on my Homeroom teacher, Ms Nicholson, on my academics and feeling close enough to ask advice on being a teenager.
How do you think studying in a welcoming, close-knit community like ISWA compares to other schools?
Outside of more close-knitted social opportunities, I felt like each of my teachers was genuinely invested in my academic progress. Being someone who struggles with Maths, I remember specific teachers allowing me to come in during lunchtimes and create an after-class opportunity to continue studying. I was also able to experiment with potential curriculum pathways before settling on the one I felt would best support my future ambitions.
What are the benefits of an international education to students at school today?
The world is getting smaller every day, whether we realize it or not. The interconnectivity that’s provided through social media and technological advancements has only enhanced our ability to learn about different cultures. If you are given the privilege to learn and connect with a globalized cohort in a curriculum tailored specifically for interconnectivity, why wouldn’t you take it? Your shared perspectives of the world people from past generations have never been able to access. To be academically and socially equipped to live and work in different communities worldwide are definitely tools that will become mandatory soon. An international education’s benefits come down to a distinct perspective of the world and a diverse educational experience in a community that’s almost as diverse.
Tell us about what you’re doing now. Have you had any memorable achievements since leaving ISWA?
- Nominated UWA Chair of Volunteering 2021
- Creator of the UWA Guild Social Media for Good Program and Dog Refugee Walker Volunteer Program.
- UWA Volunteer Program of the Year Runner Up 2020
- UWA Volunteer of the Year Runner Up 2020
- UWA 24 Days of Giving Volunteer Holiday Program
- Founder and Creator
- Accepted into study abroad program at Sophia University and JASSOC Scholarship UWA Nomani.
If you had to describe your experience at ISWA in ten words or less, what would you say?
Close community of people who want to see you succeed.
Acknowledgement of Country
We wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are on, the Whadjuk (Perth region) people and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. We acknowledge, respect and seek to learn from their wisdom, continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.