Community & Service 26 May 2020

We keep coming back to CIS!

By CIS Communications
Photograph by Pushpendra S

An expat life can be very transient, so it’s not unusual for a family to leave and return to CIS after a period of time. Mr Pushpendra S and his family are one such example. But why did they choose to return to CIS not once, not twice but three times in a row? We catch up with this globetrotting family to find out more. 

Tell us a little about your family. 
We are a family of 4 – our place of origin is India, but we consider ourselves “global citizens” as we’ve lived, studied and worked in different parts of the world including India, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. That said, the place closest to our hearts is probably Singapore where we have been Permanent Residents since 2007. As a family, we love to travel the world. In 2020 alone, we visited 14 different cities. 

We are also a family of foodies (cooking and eating!), we love to have a good laugh and constantly seek to broaden our horizons by learning a new language (Chinese) or how to play new musical instruments. Our son Siddh can play the piano, French horn, clarinet and guitar while our daughter Shriya plays the piano and the ukulele. 

Tell us about the time your children last attended CIS.
Our son first joined CIS in grade 1 back in 2011. We moved to Hong Kong in 2013 and returned in 2016 – when both of our children rejoined CIS. We moved again in 2017, this time to Guangzhou (China), so 2020 will be the third time we become a CIS family. 

Your children are fluent in Mandarin. Why do you think it's important to be multilingual in today's global economy?
My children were learning Mandarin at CIS as a secondary subject. Once we moved to China, the children really improved on their Mandarin and have become a lot more fluent. This was a happy side effect of being in an environment that accelerated the learning of Chinese language. Mandarin is already the most spoken language in the world, and we believe this will be the language of the future and so we are all keen to pursue this as a second language. 

In an increasingly globalized world without boundaries, being multilingual provides a huge advantage. Not just as a productive member of society, but also to make deeper human connections. Coming from India, we already were multilingual. But adding an additional foreign language like Chinese to our repertoire has truly opened up unprecedented avenues for us – be it for business growth, making friends or even to get a good deal on some purchases! Making the effort to learn a foreign language has a disproportionate impact on the native speakers – in China, we noticed that they not only appreciate the gesture, they often go out of their way to be helpful. And being able to make those human connections will be one of the core drivers of success in the future. 

What inspired you to come back to CIS again?
We’ve had 2 prior stints with CIS, and have very fond memories of the school. Since we move around so many countries, the IB curriculum provides a massive advantage that allows us to move to any IB school in the world easily. And among IB schools, CIS was our first choice because we believed that it provides the right balance between nurturing and challenging the students - which in turn helps them to develop in a well rounded manner. 

Although we also considered other schools, we must say that by far, the professionalism shown by the admissions staff at CIS was the best. Overall, our application process was friction-less and the communication from the school admissions office was timely and helpful - especially since we are coming back from China during these extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19 lockdowns. We truly appreciated how the school made us feel welcome.