The graduating class students from Dulwich Zhuhai have been receiving their desirable offers one after another. We believe that the best offers are the offers from their best-fit schools. We are glad to share the inspiring stories of our Y13 graduates in this "Graduate Story Series".

In this first issue, we had an interview with Isabella L (Y13), the previous Head Student of the student council at Dulwich Zhuhai. She had a clear vision from the beginning and ultimately succeeded in achieving the motto "Be Yourself."

Enlightenment on Diverse Social Thinking

At Dulwich Zhuhai, global competency is a crucial component of " Holistic Education ". Dulwich Zhuhai has hosted a series of education and campus activities since last year, centered around themes such as "sustainable development," "diversity, equity, and inclusion," and "community services."

Isabella actively participated in organising numerous events related to global competency. These events included the "Pink Run," "sanitary pad donations," and talks about "menstrual shaming."

In addition to participating in events, she proactively engaged in research on gender diversity. "I have a very close friend who suffered from severe body dysmorphia. It had a huge impact on me. I therefore started to do extensively searching and reading relevant studies, trying to help my friend." During her research, Isabella encountered some interesting discussions, such as the possibility that long-standing dietary structure differences could be the root cause behind the physical disparities between men and women today. These findings spurred an even greater interest in gender topics for her.

Becoming a Leader is a Process of Learning

Isabella began serving as a student leader at Dulwich Zhuhai from Year 12. Her most significant gains were the importance of communication and coordination with each team member and the value of teamwork. "A single person's perspective is never enough, and sometimes I might miss certain aspects. For example, as a day student, I would sometimes unintentionally ignore some of the suggestions from boarding students. Therefore, I spent a lot of time communicating with team members and refining the details of several activities."


Isabella joined the Aurora charity volunteer group outside of school, serving as the leader of their volunteer teaching group. She collaborated with a professional team to conduct teaching activities in China.

"This volunteer experience has significantly contributed to my personal growth. Initially, I naively believed that some basic STEM courses were interesting, and I wanted to share this 'fun' with the children. However, I soon realised that these might not be what the children truly needed. Instead, they urgently needed higher scores for entrance examinations for secondary school. Therefore, I revised my teaching outline to focus on helping the children improve their academic performance."

Since then, her way of thinking has undergone a significant shift. "I no longer take things for granted. In subsequent practices, I remind myself to stand in the other person's shoes."


On the Way towards the Best-Fit School

For Isabella, the success of obtaining the offer is not an end but a powerful support for exploring life's philosophies and approaches to solve social problems.

Currently, Isabella successfully received the offer from Smith College in the US to study Gender Studies. Smith College is a historic women's liberal arts college, currently ranked 16th out of more than 200 liberal arts colleges in the US. The courses of liberal arts focus on the cultivation of scholarship and thought, emphasising the exploration of students' intellectual potential for truly holistic development.

Among the graduate students at Dulwich Zhuhai, liberal arts colleges are a relatively "niche" choice. However, Isabella's goal was particularly clear, "My choice was quite natural. From the beginning, I really wanted to study at a liberal arts college, wanting a smaller undergraduate community where I could have closer connections with classmates and professors. I hope to engage more quickly with professors on independent research that interests me.


Q&A with Isabella 

Isabella's Q&A

Q: How do you choose the school activities for yourself?
A: Don't just do activities for the sake of doing them, and don't think that more is better. Make your plans and choose what you like and are willing to invest time in.

Q: How do you deal with anxiety?
A: Don't be afraid of fear, fear is a normal emotion. In ancient times, fear was a tool that helped us survive. So when anxiety strikes, tell yourself that we can do the challenging task at hand on our own. Don't criticise yourself for feeling anxious, don't let yourself get caught up in a whirlpool of self-consumption.

Q: What should you pay attention to during the admission season?
A: For students in the school who are mainly applying to universities in the USA, if your friends are not on the same timetable as you, try not to get confused. The application routes for the UK and the US are quite different. If you have done your research and you really like the university, go ahead and apply.

Q: What is the most unforgettable part of high school life?
A: The most memorable part is the friendships. I have a group of very close female friends. We talk and share every day, not only about campus life, but sometimes also about academic ideas. I'm very grateful to have met them, so I prefer to choose a women's college.

Q: Reflections on learning and growth at Dulwich Zhuhai?
A: At Dulwich Zhuhai, I have tried a lot of different things, some of which I had never imagined before, such as running for student council president, planning gender inclusivity activities, starting my own psychology club, joining a rock band, publishing my own signed papers, giving my first speech and my first defence...
At home, I have a cabinet full of certificates and photos that mark important moments in my life. Throughout my teenage years, I have always been like a player in a game, striving to get certificates and win awards. Gradually this cabinet has become fuller and fuller. When I put my offer letter from Smith College in it, I knew that one day I would have to buy a bigger cabinet.

It is the wish of high school students to be able to go to the university for which they are best suited. "During the admissions season, I was always worried about what kind of qualities I should show in my statement. After asking seniors, peers and teachers, they all gave the same answer: Be yourself. At the time, I felt very lost. But now I have managed to 'be myself' and my advice to juniors would also be 'Be yourself'.

If you take one step at a time and work towards your goals, you will eventually achieve them.