In January 2019, just after the New Year, the 16 year old secondary student Jeffrey performed at the stage of the Moli Music Festival as the lead singer of the FLIS Band. It was a chilly day, but everyone was so excited because it was the first time the FLIS Band got a chance to come to such a grand stage outside of the school. As for the audience, watching a school band with such a wide range of ages sing these classic English rock songs on the stage, with the passion they exhibited, seemed to ignite the bleak winter.
Did Jeffrey, who was singing on stage that day, know that this was destined to be an extraordinary year for him?
Jeffrey transferred from public school to 10th grade at Fuzhou Lakeside International School three years ago. Foreign teachers recall him being a shy boy whose English level needed to be strengthened, who could only understand basic dialogues when he first came to FLIS. Now, after three years of intensive English language learning and immersion in a pure English environment, Jeffrey has adapted to teaching entirely by foreign teachers, and has become adept at learning all subjects taught in English such as world history, American history, and British and American literature, which all require a lot of English vocabulary and understanding of concepts. And just a few days ago, he sang his first original song on stage for Halloween, which he wrote the lyrics for in English.
He chose FLIS because of its free and inclusive atmosphere, with rich and diverse courses that encourage students to develop comprehensively in academics and in various fields of interest. Everyone here can express different opinions, and it is not necessary to believe and follow what others say. In the same way, everyone can pursue their own dreams and work hard for their dreams with all the support that they need. During the past three years, Jeffrey has studied hard and achieved a GPA of 3.77 (out of 4). He has not afraid to try new things; he engaged in lots of activities such as the ASDAN Business Simulation, drama class, pottery class, etc. His love for music led him to form the first school band in FLIS history, with an age difference of 7 years between some of the students. FLIS encourages students to try many different things. Therefore, we have had a Christmas party, talent show, Halloween party, etc., and we have witnessed the FLIS Band's wonderful performances again and again, and just recently we witnessed the miracle of these youth in the Moli Music Festival.
It was during the ASDAN Business Simulation last year that Jeffrey found his future direction. The ASDAN Business Simulation was created in an effort to help the aspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow grasp a better logistical and strategic understanding of how to run a business. During the simulation students are actively involved in creating and deciding on every aspect of their business from their company culture to their production needs. The interactive aspect of the simulation is a great way for students to get involved in thinking about the practicalities of running a business. Jeffrey experienced the power of cooperation and improved his public speaking skills and business English proficiency through the competition. He then decided to take Business Studies as his future major.
Each secondary student at FLIS is given a team of college counselors to review progress, goals, and college preparation to ensure the doors of opportunity extend well beyond China to the entire world. Staff work with students and parents every step of the way including transcript reviews, tutoring, college essay and application preparation, and character development. After talking with the counselor many times and considering his academic level, aspiration, and future direction, Jeffrey and the adviser compared a number of universities in Europe and Australia, and finally targeted The University of Manchester in the UK. It is a world-renowned comprehensive research university located in Manchester, the second most prosperous city in the UK, with a reputation that goes back hundreds of years. As one of the top elite old universities in the UK, the university was ranked 27th in the QS World University Rankings 2020, and 8th in the UK in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The University of Manchester has 25 Nobel laureates among its past and present students and staff, the fourth-highest number of any single university in the United Kingdom. Four Nobel laureates are currently among its staff – more than any other British university. It is also worth mentioning that one of Jeffrey's favorite bands, Oasis, was started in Manchester.
Finally, the good news came at the end of the year: Jeffrey received an acceptance letter from The University of Manchester! At that moment, the whole secondary department congratulated him and celebrated with him. And now he has already planned his next trip. With a university offer in hand, he signed up for a volunteer activity for wildlife protection in Malaysia during the winter vacation, so that he can experience a different part of the world. Academic work, band performance, and social practice have all been accomplished with great success. Jeffrey has walked steadily and firmly in every step of his study in FLIS.
May our beloved student Jeffrey, and soon-to-be college student, continue to choose to do what he likes with a calm mind and stay curious and pursue new knowledge persistently! There is a much bigger world waiting for him outside of this campus! Congratulations to him!