Sometimes You Learn Something New About Yourself
(Image: Nora Khaled (left), studying Natural Science- Natural Science at IEGS)
Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet doesn’t just prepare students for university; the school on Södermalm encourages students to develop new sides of themselves. Rania Ali reports.
Nora Khaled, a first year student who has only been attending IEGS since August, believes Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet’s is a positive environment for students looking to broaden their career choices. What’s more, Khaled reckons staff put considerable effort into creating a positive atmosphere in the school, allowing students to focus on their studies.
“The staff really succeed in making us [the students] feel safe within school grounds,” says Khaled. “I feel like I get help whenever it is needed.When I attended IEGS for the first time, I noticed all the [friendly support] amongst the students and how willing they are to help each other out. That was my first impression of the school.”
When asked about why she chose this school in particular she explains: “Well, I just really want to be good in English and this school was a good way to go, especially since it seemed serious.”
IEGS currently offers seven national Swedish programmes, taught in English, along with the internationally-recognized IB Programme and many students, like Khaled find it difficult to choose which programme to take.
“I just chose the broadest programme available,” says Khaled, “which was the Natural Science Programme specialization Natural Science. It seemed like the programme with a lot of variety and so I knew that that was the direction I should take.”
Q & A
Khaled kindly answered the following questions to clarify some issues that came up in the interview.
Rania: You mention that certain events that take place at school make students think carefully about their own choices for the future. Would you like to elaborate on that?
Nora: The thing about this school is that it teaches [students] things that other schools here in Sweden probably wouldn’t. For example, we have a House system: everyone belongs to a house: King, Pavlov, Russell or Curie, and we have different types of competitions throughout the year like boxing, cross country running, song, dance, rugby, debating, and so on]. Those competitions teach us new things and us students get interested. We find out that we are interested in things we never thought we would ever have an interest in. And that adds up to us questioning ourselves about what we really want to do in the future.
Rania: What do you think the House system represents? What characteristics do you think it presents?
Nora: I think the different competitions display the strengths and goodwill an individual has and how important it is to be able to cooperate with a group of people [since working with people is one of the most important tasks one has to adapt to, throughout their lives]. As I mentioned, you can learn things, and on the basis of that you shape your views on things. For example, the Song Competition is something to get involved in. If you’ve not done something like that before it might make you realise that you want to be a singer. You would never know how it’s like unless you try it out!
Rania: Speaking of the song competition, are you going to attend?
Nora: Of course, I’m in Pavlov House and we sure want to win! [Editor: Pavlov did indeed win !]
Rania: I have been here for almost three years now and will graduate in a few months; during my time here I’ve become a more confident person. Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet has opened my eyes to so many more options; do you think it will be the same for you?
Nora: I know that I’m going to have a lot more options to pick and choose from and I’m positive that I will see everything with a new perspective, with new eyes. I’ll be better in English, clever-minded and a little less talkative.
Room to Improve
Not everything is perfect at IEGS. Khaled thinks there’s room for improvement when it comes to the school intranet and student access to information.
"It can sometimes be hard to keep track of everything."
Maybe this is the case. Or, perhaps it’s the school’s way of keeping students on their toes, pushing them to develop their independence and be more resilient. Who knows? Even flaws can be a good thing sometimes.