At The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), we believe that, in addition to the academic program, an important part of student life is about exploring passions, learning new competencies, and developing a growth mindset. This means being open to new experiences and ideas – and inspiring educators are an important component in making this happen!
One of our most valuable resources is our dedicated faculty and counselors. ISKL’s world-class faculty are forward-thinking educators who are passionate in their commitment to providing the best possible learning experience for our students. Our team of international educators are experienced teachers who, through their own experience in working in different schools all around the world are well equipped to support students and their families in their journey towards higher education.
The cornerstone of ISKL’s teaching process is to prepare students with the skills, knowledge, and attitude to thrive in a globally interconnected world, and to instill a lifelong passion for learning. One of our most valuable resources are our Alumni, and here we find out how their experiences at ISKL have influenced their university choices and inspired their choice in life post-graduation.
Haziq K. (Class of ‘17) shares how his Grade 10 History teacher, Mr. Fisher, challenged him to find his passion through a simple but inspiring message in his report card. After taking a technical drawing class that same year, Haziq’s interest in drawing and architecture turned into the realization that this could be a possible career path. Haziq says, “Today, I really can’t see myself pursuing anything other than architecture and Mr. Fisher’s words gave me the inspiration and desire to find this passion.”
Tony A. (Class of ‘96) echoes this sentiment, as he credits his Middle School Drama and Humanities teacher, Ms. Gloria Lubon, for planting the seed of artistic ambition within him. “I learned the craft of storytelling when Ms. Lubon opened my literary mind. I absorbed the process of creating, performing, and visualizing a story in her plays. As an adolescent movie buff who participated in theater, it was inevitable that filmmaking became my career choice by the end of High School.”
Tony continues, “Acting as a mutant Cockroach Count in Ms. Lubon’s post-apocalyptic eco-epic play, The Mountain, the White Bird, and the Rainbow, was a turning point in Middle School. It enabled me to imagine being in a fantasy and science-fiction flick, and was likely the single event that molded my aspiration to make movies today.”
Antti K. (Class of ‘06) had a similar experience and shares his story. “Ceramics was a lot of fun at school. I probably spent a third of my high school years in the art rooms. I like making things with my hands, so naturally, I found ceramics to be enjoyable. It’s a good hands-on approach to understanding the basics of design, in terms of different shapes. The teacher I had for all my ceramics classes with was Mr. John Stupka. I also took his technical drawing classes, as well as two years of architecture with him. ISKL was only offering a one-year course in architecture, so when I asked Mr. Stupka if there was any chance I could take it again, he ended up tailoring a new program for me. He was always so passionate about the subjects he taught, and I think it’s fair to say much of my inspiration to pursue a career in a creative field came from his classes.”
Quoting ISKL’s flexible course offerings and co-curricular activities as formative experiences, Ed M. (Class of ‘03) who currently works in the film industry, says, “ISKL was brilliant in letting me explore a lot of interests I had. By the time I finished school I thought I wanted to either go into something to do with politics/international relations or something related to storytelling and performance. I was active in Model United Nations (MUN), debate, and Student Council, which fostered my political interests. As for storytelling, a big part of my interest grew out of time spent in the theater getting the chance to work backstage, perform, and even write and direct my own one-act plays. I learned a lot from an elective photography course and an independent study course in filmmaking… It’s safe to say, without the experiences and education gained through ISKL, I would not be where I am today… ISKL instilled an attitude in me that if you wanted something to be different in the world, you should go out and make that difference yourself.”
Isabella G. (Class of ‘17) added, “I went to ISKL for six years and I probably was in every activity that was performance-based. I always loved theater, ever since I watched Phantom of the Opera when I was 8 in New York. When I came to ISKL when I was 11, I told Ms. Karen Palko I wanted to be a performer. Ms. Palko and I have a bond that goes beyond a teacher and student relationship, she is a mentor and like a second mother to me. In my sophomore year, I did IASAS dance with her, but I realized as I was doing my IB years that if I wanted to have a career in musical theater, I had to do it all. I was in ISKL singers, IB HL Theatre, and IASAS Dance but I really wanted to do IASAS Drama too. You’re not allowed to participate in more than one IASAS at a time but I was determined to do it because it wasn’t just for fun but an essential step for my career. With a lot of persuasion and determination and many rounds of auditions, I was chosen for IASAS Dance and Drama! I spent my Junior and Senior years, from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, and extra rehearsals on Saturday and Sunday, all dedicated to performing arts. That’s the type of commitment you need if you want to be a performer. Not only was the creative side essential but it taught me how to organize my time and prioritize what needed to be done, for which I thank the ISKL activity program.”
Antti K. shares his advice to all students who are considering their path to university. He says, “My advice would be to always choose a field of study that you are genuinely interested in. When you like doing something, then you will naturally spend more time learning and consuming that subject – and hence get better at it. Finding your passion and eventually building a career that’s both meaningful and fulfilling is a life-long process. So, don’t think you need to have it all figured out by the time you’re in high school – nobody does.”
He continues, “If there’s someone you aspire to be like, then you could look at their career path and find out what they studied to give you some idea what to go for. It all boils down to figuring out which course you have the most interest in and then pursuing that interest.”
These are just a few examples of what our ISKL Alumni have to say about how their journey at school shaped their path to university. The flexibility and innovative nature of our curriculum and programs mean we can further support the differing needs and goals of all our learners. At ISKL, we are deeply committed to helping equip every student with the future-ready skills they need to succeed in the increasingly complex and competitive world that awaits them. As our mission states, we aim to challenge students to develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills to help them on their journey to becoming successful, spirited, socially responsible global citizens. The ability to be resilient, agile, and possess critical thinking skills are of paramount importance in preparing our students for life after High School. We want to help each student find the best path forward while empowering them to contribute and change conditions for themselves, others, and the world.
Find out more about the universities ISKL students attend after their journey at ISKL.