Insworld Graduate Blog: “Happy at 20!”
A few weeks ago, I celebrated my 20th birthday by spending time with family and friends in Maldives, which is my hometown, and in Singapore, which is where I have been studying these past few years.
It was somewhat surreal, my 20th birthday. Why? Because it was at that moment that I realised how significant my life has changed in just a short period. I have new acquaintances now (and from different parts of the world, at that), have become more independent and confident, and – most importantly – have managed to get in a respectable university here in Singapore.
I understand that these things may not sound tremendously impressive to some. But, if you knew my background and the challenges that I had to overcome, you would understand why I feel like I’m already at my happiest at the age of 20.
STRUGGLES IN MALDIVES
Before coming to Singapore, I was studying in a public school in Maldives and had two subjects that were taught in Dhivehi (Maldivian language). I know that doesn’t sound particularly challenging but, at that time, I was more fluent in English and Japanese.
Yes, my mom is Japanese. And though my dad is Maldivian, we mainly use Nihongo for conversations at home. Don’t get me wrong, I can speak Dhivehi and I do get to practice the language when having conversations with my dad and relatives. But, for some reason, I still struggled with my essays and couldn’t understand some concepts behind it.
This, in a way, affected my self-confidence.
JOURNEY TO SINGAPORE
After I passed my ‘O’ Levels, I discussed with my parents about allowing me to study abroad. I shared with them that I wanted to “step out of my comfort zone” and that I needed a change in environment. It was a good talk, actually, because I managed to open up about my academic goals and challenges among other things.
After getting their permission, we all agreed that it would be best for me to study in Singapore – a country that is safe, near to home and uses English as one of its major languages.
As for our choice of school, we chose Insworld Institute for many reasons. First of all, the teachers and staff were very helpful from day one. They listened about my struggles and offered advice as to how they can be resolved.
I also like the fact that the school has a “family” vibe in it and that the students come from different nationalities. Anyone can speak to anyone, regardless of your background or level of study. This made me feel particularly at home and at ease.
The same “vibe” exists within the classrooms. Because the classes are small, I could easily ask questions from my teachers and ask for help when needed – it really felt like I had a personal tutor all the time!
Plus, I always get to participate in discussions which really helped me improve on my English and self-confidence.
STUDENT LIFE AT A DIFFERENT LEVEL
Looking back, I strongly believe that going abroad to study in a school like Insworld made all the difference in the world to me. It was a decision that led me to experience “student life” at a different level because it expanded my knowledge about my chosen subjects and life in general.
The experience also led me to meet and gain new friends. I quite enjoy the fact that I have people who I can spend different moments of my student life with and make me feel at home while studying here in Singapore.
On that note, I take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, teachers at Insworld – everyone – who have given me their love and support throughout the years. Because of you, I now progress with my studies and further pursue my academic goals with much greater confidence, knowledge and experience.