With a team of international teachers, including two full-time University Counsellors, British International School, Phuket works extremely hard to ensure all our students find their most desired pathway and passion post-graduation. Whether this is their ideal course at their chosen university, vocational training or a gap year, we support our students through the entire process.
Consistent feedback from our students has indicated that the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme provides excellent preparation for university and employment. The internationally accepted qualification is not only academically rigorous but gives students the opportunity to receive an education fit for a globalizing world.
In our Leaders for Tomorrow series, we hear from BISP alumni based throughout the world: those who are just making the transition to university life, those who are embarking on post-graduate studies and those who are now contributing to the global workforce.
In this Q&A, we hear from Michael Larsson from the graduating class of 2020. Michael was one of three BISP alumni who last year produced a prosthetic arm for a young girl in Bangkok using 3D printing. Michael’s efforts have recently resulted in BISP being shortlisted for the ‘Future Thinking Initiative’ for the 2021 International School Awards.
Michael is now studying Computer Science and Engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
How have you found university life and what are your first impressions of your course?
University has definitely taken me a bit by surprise and the pace has started off extremely fast. I made the mistake of not really expecting it to take off the way it has and fell a bit behind during the first few weeks, meaning that I had to spend a bit more time later on catching up on work. As well as that, I’ve had to try and allocate time for things like grocery shopping, cooking, exercising and so on. So far computer science has been super interesting to me and has definitely motivated me to try and go above and beyond the material. Currently, all the lectures are online and done from home, with only one session a week where we go on campus. I would have definitely preferred on-campus over online sessions, as there is better social and material interaction.
How did the IB help you prepare for this next stage?
I believe that the IB did help me in the sense that it did prepare me for the work-load and how to organise my week so I have time to manage everything. Also, some of the projects I completed through the IB have helped me with teamwork and cooperation, which is really vital for my course.
Can you tell us about your involvement in the prosthetic arm project last year?
I was extremely happy to be part of this project which could help someone. Around the world, there are people who are put in unfortunate situations, and for several reasons may not be able to help themselves, whether it be financial, social or other factors. So I think it is important that those who do have the resources should help out those who don’t. Considering my interests and hobbies, I saw this project as more of an opportunity rather than an activity. I had the opportunity to both learn from this new experience with 3D printing and some of the 3D designs and also had this opportunity to help someone who needed it.
Although we only helped one person, I think it shows that if we really put in the time and effort, we could help people all over the world who need it.
This project also showed the true capabilities of technology and how this will hopefully be utilized in the future to help more people in need, despite some of the disadvantages or concerns.
Do you have any advice or recommendations for current BISP students nearing the end of their Secondary education?
For current students, if you’re stuck on your choices for university, definitely spend a good amount of time going through the websites of your choices, looking at some of the experiences that other students have had, the actual location of the university and whether that city or place seems right for you. Of course, you can consider where your friends are going but make sure that you choose somewhere that you find interesting and also somewhere where you could picture yourself. Remember the point requirement for the university, and really use that as motivation to get higher points.
What are your goals for the future?
For me currently, I’m looking to get through the first year and really set myself up for the next two years to come. After that, I’m not too sure about what I plan to do. I think I’ll get an idea over time, however, something that I have thought about is doing my Masters either here or elsewhere in Europe.