Student voice 3 Jun 2020

A life changing experience at CIS

By CIS Communications
Photograph by CIS Communications

You never know what to expect when you transfer to another school in a different country. But for Selma T, it was the beginning of a journey that would take her passion for music to a whole new level. We speak with the talented grade 8 student to find out how CIS nurtures her growth mindset in music. 

Tell us about yourself. Where did you study previously before coming to CIS? 
My name is Selma, I’m 15 years old and I come from a place in Norway called AAkra. Before I came to CIS, I was in 8th grade AAkrehamn Secondary School. 

How is CIS different from the previous school you attended? 
Where do I start? Everything is so different. The whole school system was a big change for me. In my local school back in Norway, we start at 8.35am in the morning and end at 2.05pm with 4 to 5 breaks between classes and periods that last for 45 minutes. It's definitely much easier there! Here we have 80-minute classes and only two breaks! Since I struggle a lot with focusing during long classes, it can be really hard to pay attention. 

It's a much harder school programme here but it’s really educational and good. I think that in the long run, it’s going to be worth all the hard work. I’m going to have so much experience from this school year in CIS that I didn’t have before I came here. 

You have quite a passion for music. Why music in particular? 
I don’t really know. I started singing and I’ve loved it ever since I can remember. I just think that music is such a nice way to express how you feel and what you mean and think. It’s a nice way to send a message that means something to you. That’s why I write songs when I’m sad because it makes me feel better. 

How has CIS helped you in your  pursuit of music? 
They have a lot of musical instruments and my music teacher (Ms Jasmine Heath) also challenged me with things I had never done before. I would like to thank her for really understanding me and motivating me to show my talent. I would also like to thank her for giving me opportunities I’ve never had before like sharing my music with other students, asking me if I would like to sing in the choir, and letting me play the guitar and instruments in her music room. 

Who are the teachers who have inspired and helped you the most at CIS? 
The teachers who have helped and inspired me the most at CIS are:

  • Mr Fletcher, my advisory teacher

  • Mrs Heath, my inspiring music teacher,

  • Ms Keshwala, my English teacher

  • Mr Drisner, my school counselor

  • Ms Sit, Ms Halpin, Ms Judy, Mr Stewart, Ms Stansell

They understood I had a bad day every now and then, and they helped me through it all even though some of them don’t really know it at the time. 

What are your future plans regarding music at CIS?
I’m actually moving back to Norway again next year so I won’t be here to do all the fun stuff that will take place, but I’m planning on taking music lessons back in Norway. 

Is there anything else you'd like to add? 
This has been the most educational year of my life even though it's been really hard. I’ve experienced so much here at CIS. I’ve met so many new people who really want me to succeed. CIS challenged me in many new ways and the teachers really helped me to see what I’m truly capable of. I want to thank my teachers for helping me and encouraging me throughout this school year and I also want to thank CIS for all of the great opportunities that I have gotten while being a student here.