Alexandra Tsalidis On the Path to Academic Excellence
As GEMS World Academy’s Valedictorian for 2018-19 and one of the school’s best performing students in the IBDP, Alexandra Tsalidis, had her pick among some of the world’s finest universities to pursue her higher education.
Alexandra has chosen Law as her academic stream, and her institution of choice is Cambridge University, ranked among the top three law schools in the world. Not only was Alexandra accepted by Cambridge, but she was also accepted by several of the finest higher education institutions in the United States, including Ivy League schools Columbia University and Dartmouth University, as well as Georgetown, Northwestern and UCLA.
The IB programme helped her develop as an independent critical thinker
Alexandra’s family speaks highly of the IB programme as a strong formative influence on her development as a student and a person. They believe the structure of the IB programme, with its emphasis on independent thinking and questioning of facts, has been a fundamental reason for her intellectual growth - and Alexandra agrees. “I’ve been doing some form of IB curriculum since third grade,” she says. “And in my last two years of high school I completed the Diploma Programme, and I think it really helped me become an adult who can engage with the world from an informed and sound perspective.”
The IB programme has provided me with the necessary education to engage in political issues, form an opinion on economic policies, understand the nature of scientific progress and appreciate artistic creativity.
Alexandra continues: “Students in the IB programme are very aware that it involves a challenging workload and degree of difficulty, but I feel like it is ultimately worth it. To me, a high school education should prepare you to be a functioning global citizen, and that means having a diversified and strong foundational understanding across subjects. The IB programme has provided me with the necessary education to engage in political issues, form an opinion on economic policies, understand the nature of scientific progress and appreciate artistic creativity.”
How the Model United Nations programme gave an opinionated child a stage
“My humanities teacher in ninth grade suggested I drop into a MUN meeting after seeing how obnoxiously vocal I was in a class debate,” Alexandria recalls. “Once I started participating in conferences, it became a fun activity and an opportunity to get to know people from all over the world. MUN was probably the club I was most involved with at school and I genuinely enjoyed the debates, which was probably my first realisation that Law might be my career of choice.”
The GWA experience
Inspired and stimulated by the supportive faculty and experience-oriented education at GWA, Alexandra considers the diversity of backgrounds within the school’s student body as perhaps one of the most positive influences in her life. “It’s only after graduating from GWA that I fully appreciated the value of being surrounded by such a variety of nationalities, races, religions and cultural identities,” she says. “I have had the benefit of a much wider range of perspectives than the average student would almost anywhere else.”