- Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Shieri Saga, I recently moved to New Zealand alone as an international homestay student after attending Bali Island School for 5 and a half years. (since grade 4).
- How do you adjust to your new home after moving from Bali?
To be completely honest, I managed to adjust to my current living environment quite smoothly. In the weeks leading up to my departure, I told my friends and loved ones that I wasn’t saying goodbye permanently, and that ill be home soon. (or so that’s what I planned before the COVID fiasco broke out) So when it came time for me to hop on a flight to the other side of the world, I thought of it as a slightly longer holiday vacation. Growing up in Bali, in an incredibly diverse school, being open and friendly to people of all ages and backgrounds was my norm and what I was used to. And so I was able to make friends easily here, despite knowing no one and now I’ve got a solid group of friends whom I consider family.
- What is one of your favorite memories from BIS?
Every moment I spent in BIS is a memory ill cherish forever. However, I must say that the international days BIS holds annually really separate BIS from every other school in the world. Whilst attending BIS, I never truly appreciated the incomparable cultural diversity in the BIS community. In my class of 2023, I remember at one point we had 28 kids from 26 different countries. This subconsciously taught me to be open minded to other people’s cultures and differences and to be accepting of everybody and their uniqueness. BIS annually held an inclusive multi-cultural event to celebrate everyone’s unique identity, and I was able to experience a peek into the beauty behind everyone’s cultural backgrounds. The PTA always provided the BIS community with delicious cultural delicacies, fun traditional games, and even cute photo booths to make the event something to remember. Now that I attend a predominantly white school with little to no cultural diversity nor appreciation, I try to bring the experiences I had in BIS and the knowledge I’ve acquired to future events in my school now that I am the international representative of the leadership team.
- What BIS values do you still carry on to this day?
Being an IB student for 5 years was an experience, to say the least, with all the sleepless nights and last-minute assignments. However, it truly taught me valuable lessons and values that I carry with me every day, and that I’m truly grateful for. Like mentioned earlier, being part of the BIS community taught me to be open-minded to everyone and to be open to new learning experiences that come my way. It helped me flourish socially as a student, peer, and as a person in my new environment. Second, being an IB student taught me how to balance my social life and academics. I was taught how to plan and use my time effectively so that I won’t have to suffer later on. This skill was and still is truly valuable as I expand my social circle whilst trying to thrive academically. Through this skill, I’ve acquired recognition and acknowledgment for my activity and engagement in co-curricular activities at my current school as well as being awarded to be the top 5% of the highest academically achieving students in my year. Now, I make a conscious effort to try to be caring, communicative, compassionate, and overall a person I would like to be around since I was shown unconditional love and support and all the qualities mentioned before from the BIS community.