The first day of school is probably the scariest and most frustrating day for any new student. The campus can be overwhelming and the people in the school are strangers. But, in International School Manila (ISM), the first day of school is the best day for all new bearcats!

Since the first semester of the year is about to end and now that all new students have settled in the ISM community, it is the best time to ask our new students about their experiences and feedbacks during the first day of school! In order to better understand the feeling of being a new student in ISM, questions were asked to three new students from the Class of 2017, Hannah Riley, Abhi Kottamasu and Jasmine Setyawan.


What do you think of the Student Ambassadors of ISM?

“In my previous school there was a similar organization like the Student Ambassadors in ISM but the new students don’t always have an Ambassador buddy so it’s quite difficult for them to find friends and to blend in with the class. The Student Ambassadors in ISM were nice and helped me a lot! They helped me to find my classes, introduced me to their friends and also helped me how to use the Google drive, calendar and Power School. And so I think the Student Ambassadors in ISM were much better than the Students Ambassadors in my previous school.” – Jasmine (Gr. 9)

“Compared to my previous school. The ISM Student Ambassadors [are] much better! This [is] because they [are] very helpful not only on the day of orientation but [during the] weeks after.” – Abhi (Gr. 9)

“Well, I cannot make a comparison because at my old school, they didn’t have student ambassadors. Now that I met the Student Ambassadors in ISM, I think that they are really helpful to new students, with finding classes, learning about the school and helping make new friends.” – Hannah (Gr. 9)

What was your first impression of the school? Did that impression change after meeting your ambassador buddy/ies?

“My first impression of this school was, ‘this place is massive, I will get lost, I will have no friends’. But after meeting the Student Ambassadors, and showing me around the school and introducing me to different people, I felt more comfortable.” – Hannah

Did your ambassador buddy help you join any sports team? If so, did you have any problems about the tryouts?

“My buddy was able to tell me about tryout (football / soccer) dates, took me to where the tryout was held and even introduced me to the coach so that I can get the idea of how team sports work in ISM.” – Abhi

If you are not a native English speaker, did you feel any challenges and problems? Did any of the ambassadors help you with that?

“Yes, especially when there’s a presentation project. It was very challenging because I have to speak in front of the entire class. Yes, some of the ambassadors helped me and also asked me questions like, “Do you know what to do?”, “Do you need help?” and “Do you understand?” so that I won’t get confused and know what I am supposed to do.” – Jasmine

If there was an ambassador in your class, did he/she help you to blend in with the class? How was it?

“At first, I was a bit worried about blending into the class as a new student but fortunately, my ambassador buddy helped me to blend in with the class! It was great to become close with some of her friends too!” – Jasmine

As a new student, do you have any suggestions for the Student ambassadors to do for next year?

“I can’t think of anything to improve for next year because they [are] almost perfect!  Overall, the Student Ambassadors, particularly the buddy system, [are] very helpful to me this year. I hope to become part of the Student Ambassador myself next year!” – Abhi

“The Student Ambassadors are helpful! Thanks to all the ambassadors who helped me whenever I needed help, especially to my ambassador buddy, who helped me a lot. I would have gone lost without your help!” – Jasmine

Looking at the new students in the campus today, they do not act like “new” students anymore. They look like they belong to the crowd and they look like they have been here for quite some time! Of course, this is all thanks to the Student Ambassadors and the Bearcat community as a whole. These experiences, opinions and feedbacks shared by the new students are precious and meaningful to the Student Ambassadors and will definitely help make next year’s new student’s first day in ISM much fun and comfortable!

by Sean Rhee, grade 9 Student Ambassador

photos by Juliana Antonio, grade 9 Student Ambassador