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Off to Oxford III: Congrats to 2019 graduate Dániel Kóvacs!

“I don't know where to begin - maybe the most exciting is the idea of studying at a town which almost looks like it's from another time; there is a sort of a special feeling to being there with the prestige and the atmosphere that comes with it. Especially coming from a country where Oxford has a reputation of the genius, elite college, so it feels great to know that they felt I should have a place, and lots of the stereotypes of the 'typical' Oxford student were shattered for me during the application.”

How did we contribute as a school?
“I wouldn't even have been able to go to CIS without the scholarship program, so I owe a huge thanks to those who run and fund that - it opened so many of these doors for me and I feel really lucky to have been able to attend CIS, because I feel like I got so much out of it in terms of academics from the teachers but also extra-curricular opportunities, friendships and I think the confidence to apply to Oxford came from the skills and knowledge I got while at CIS. The support that CIS gave in the whole university application process, from all my teachers, like Dr. Engelbert, who's next to me in the photo, to the councellors to Mrs Donnellan was super helpful especially for me, as no one in my family knew anything of the UK uni system so I started from absolute zero knowledge but everyone I ever asked for help at CIS was willing and able to help me along and I don't think I would have got the same offers if I didn't have that assistance.”

What piece of advice might you give to our current Grade 12s?
“The hope of a possible grad trip if the virus situation gets better by next May ...? In general, I guess the idea of setting a specific reason to keep working and to achieve those grades can be very motivating. For me that was making the grades to go to the uni I want, but it can be anything from wanting to prove to people, or yourself, that you can do it or even wanting to feel smug on results day looking at your score… The main thing to know is anyone CAN do it as long as you have the willpower to put in the effort, so it is just a question of can you motivate yourself to do that?”

Which of the IB Learner Profile traits do you think you have developed the best?
“This is hard to answer because you use them in different situations and comparing them is not so straightforward, but for example for the university application process was helped by having the 'reflective' and 'communicators' traits, these come in handy for the personal statement and the interview. As for which I developed the best, I would probably say the 'balanced' trait, specifically in terms of dividing up time and maximizing work efficiency which I learned the hard way in the first year of IB, but working on it was very useful and having good work-life balance and knowing how to make most of your time and ability is quite the nice universal trait that isn't just applicable to academics.”
How was your gap year?
“I've been working as a tutor throughout the gap year, and before COVID, I was a research assistant to a professor at the University of Copenhagen, helping him compile bibliographies and finding sources for his research. Outside of that I'm in the process of getting my driver's license and just having a general rest before the challenges of university. Plans for travelling this summer were shattered by COVID, unfortunately.”