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EF Academy Torbay Alumni Host Q&A session with current students

EF Academy Torbay Alumni Host Q&A session with current students

Last week, five former EF Academy Torbay students visited their high school for a question-and-answer session with IB and A-Level students in years one and two.

The panel included Gilbert Leon from Indonesia (Class of ‘16), now studying Business at the University of Exeter; Luz Rodriguez Abril from Spain (Class of ‘13), now studying International Management and Business at Toulouse Business School; Anthony Wijaya from Indonesia (Class of ‘15), who attends Cardiff University and studies Medicine; Pol Porta Perera from Spain (Class of ‘16), studying Digital Games at Falmouth University; and Rena Yap from Canada and Hong Kong (Class of ‘13), who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Studies from Cass Business School and a Master’s Degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Imperial College Business School.

In addition to thanking the university advisor and guidance counselors for helping them achieve their academic goals, they also gave their own advice and shared their personal experiences with the students.

Luz told the students that she had first attended a university that had large lectures and big classes, so she wasn’t able to build relationships with the students and teachers like she could at EF Academy. After a year, she transferred to an international school where there were more nationalities and smaller classes where she could get to know her teachers better. She told students it was important for them to know that if they are unhappy with their situation at university, they should make a change. She said that she wasn’t happy at her first university, so she decided to switch schools and she’s glad that she made that decision.

Anthony’s advice was that students should realize that everyone has 24 hours, and it is up to each individual to decide how to use this time. At the end of the day, he said, you are the one that has to make decisions and use your time wisely.

The alumni also reflected on their time in high school and how their experience helped them get to where they are now.

“EF Academy provided me with a good foundation of global perspectives and an understanding of different cultures because of the diversity of students at the school. I also developed well-rounded academic skills,” Rena said.

Luz said, “I could not communicate in English at all at the beginning, but EF Academy helped me improve. I grew up and I am the person I am today because of what I learned here.”

After the Q&A session, the alumni imparted their wisdom in a more detailed meeting with Year 1 students. They discussed what plans and goals they needed to tackle in order to get to where they want to go.

“The alumni have been in the same position as current students and we know how stressful and confusing the university application process can be. I feel that as an alum, I am able to assure them and give them answers through my own experience,” Rena said. “Furthermore, I hope to give current students a sense of clarity with regards to university life and career options.”

Following these discussions, Gilbert, Luz, Anthony, Pol, and Rena enjoyed dinner at Las Iguanas, a popular place among students, in Torquay and then headed home.

“What I miss most are the friends I made while I was studying at EF Academy. Even though we are all still in contact, it is not the same as seeing them every day and going for lunch,” Pol said.

The Q&A session wasn’t just for current students to receive advice from students who were in their shoes not too long ago, it was also an opportunity for alumni to see their former classmates again, relive their experiences together, see what they are up to today, and rekindle friendships that were made years ago.