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voices The magazine of the ZIS Community Spring/Summer issue 2017




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voices CONTENTS Spring 2017 faces 02 Welcome 03 News 05 Jeff Paulson 06 After school 09 Small world 10 Globetrotter 12 On the lake

features 14 22 28 32

New York, New York The hike All for the good Trilingual children

network 38 Perspectives 41 In the classroom 43 Why I love 45 Life hack 46 ATAC 48 Classnotes


Globetrotter: The joys of the school trip

Director of Community Relations: Michaela Seeger ( Editor: Rachel Ditchfield ( We'd love to hear from you, so please contact:, Zurich International School, ZIS Community Relations, Steinacherstrasse 140, 8820 Wädenswil, Switzerland To advertise in the magazine please contact: Copyright Š 2017: Zurich International School. The opinions expressed in Voices are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of Zurich International School or YBM Ltd ZIS Voices is produced on behalf of ZIS by YBM Ltd /

Cover photography: Nato Welton

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Z I S VOI CE S S PR I N G 2017 | 1



Michaela Seeger Director of Community Relations

We are always delighted to hear from you. Please email us at

to the spring issue of Voices magazine


elcome to the spring issue of Voices magazine. Our cover urges you to put your ‘best foot forward’, but what does that actually mean? For me, it is about setting out with a positive attitude to do your best and to discover new opportunities for growth. That is what our school is all about: enabling young people to develop the skills they need to become open-minded, well-rounded, happy and successful individuals who can contribute to society. So often our alumni tell us that the education they have received here at ZIS opened up a wealth of new opportunities for them. Many members of our community give of their time, skills and resources to help those around them – something we explore in ‘All for the good’ on page 28. The ZIS community may be spread all over the world, but over the past few years, more and more of the updates we receive from families and alumni include the line “…and so I will be relocating to New York”. On page 14 we explore why, according to the ZIS community, New York is the place to be in 2017. And in case you are thinking of finding that first job, on page 38 we hear what leading employers are looking for in new graduates. When mom speaks one language, dad another and everyone at school a third, how do you ensure that the result is not just confusion for everyone? On page 32 we discuss the triumphs – and the challenges – of raising trilingual children, while on page 22 you share your memories of a Swiss tradition – the family hike. Finally, on page 10, a Grade 10 student shares memories of his best school trips – and we want to hear about yours. Share your memories – and your thoughts on this issue – via letter, email and on social media. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Get in touch

big impact

Flicking through the pages of the magazine I realized the big impact that AISZ had on my life, and what fond memories I have of the school. I love telling people that I went to high school at a villa in Switzerland. I was really impressed by the quality of the magazine, both its content and the design. And I was surprised at how many articles connected with me. Jana Brainard Augsberger, Class of 1986 (1982-84) sloppy joe fridays

The fantastic image of the staircase on the cover of the last issue really brought back some great memories, particularly of Sloppy Joe Fridays sitting on the bottom step. Thank you! Kevin Verch, Class of 1976 (1971-74) thriving at zis

I was so proud and pleasantly surprised to read my daughter, Elsa’s, interview regarding public speaking in Voices. Even though I have watched her academic and social progress throughout her years at ZIS, I was so impressed with the level of knowledge, maturity and understanding in her answers for the interview. I largely attribute this to her excellent teachers who are given the tools, the professional freedom and an encouraging environment to thrive in their roles as educators at ZIS. Jocelyn Lemmila, current parent GREAT JOB

What a super magazine! Beautiful to look at from the cover page onwards, a real high-quality feel, and best of all, truly thoughtful, interesting, useful and even inspiring articles. Thank you! I can only imagine how much energy and hard work went into this. You did a great job. Michelle Rosen, past parent

FA C E S / N E W S


In brief

Farewell to viki...

Lower School Principal Viki Stiebert (left) leaves this summer, after 10 years in the role, to become the Director of the International School of Panama. Director Jeff Paulson praised Viki for the “tremendously positive impact” she has had during her time at ZIS. She will be succeeded by Catherine Jolly, currently the Junior School Assistant Principal at Munich International School, who has more than 20 years’ experience in educational leadership.


... and amy

ZIS also says farewell to Upper School Assistant Principal Amy Greene (right), who has worked at ZIS for 15 years. Amy will become the Upper School Principal at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi, and Upper School Principal John Switzer says: “Our loss will be their enormous gain.” Alison Callaghan, Upper School Science teacher and Grade 11 Level Leader, has been appointed as the new Assistant Principal. Graduation

Leading advertising agency and branding guru Erika Darmstaedter, Class of 1981 (1979-81), will return to ZIS in June to speak at graduation for this year’s Grade 12 students. A graduate of New York University, Erika was on the AISZ Board of Trustees between 1999-2001 and is now Chief Client Officer at agency giants FCB Worldwide, where her team has won 15 Cannes Lions in the past two years.

summer vacation program

NEW ZIS clothing

Keep your three- to eight-year-olds challenged and entertained during the summer vacation at a variety of ZIS camps, including the Lions Soccer Academy, Gymnastics, Creative Arts, Multi-Activity and German. Visit to find out more details about what’s on offer and to register.

Celebrate your ZIS connection with our new range of clothing, including branded hoodies, pyjamas, jackets, and ties, caps and beanies. Get yours from The Den and The Den Junior, or visit in the new school year.

Upcoming ZISMeets Events

The ZISMeets programme gathers pace this year with events across the globe, including London, Tel Aviv, Boston, New York and Sydney. In addition, ZIS past parents met in May at Zurich’s Les Ambassadeurs boutique for an apéro and a showing of rare watches, and the Class of 2007 will hold their 10th anniversary reunion this summer at the Spinnergut Villa. Visit for dates and registration information.

John Mattern Award

Congratulations to this year’s John Mattern Alumni Award for Faculty honoree Regina Lanford (History teacher 1987-2015). More information about Ms Lanford and the award itself can be found at Follow u s on social media zurichintschool @ZISnews zurichinternationalschool ZurichIntS

Z I S VOI CE S S PR I N G 2017 | 3

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JEFF PAULSON ON... Lifelong learning



believe that your school learning experience is a benchmark for learning throughout the rest of your life. And in 2017, that matters. We live in a fast-moving and ever-changing world in which resilience, open-mindedness, creativity and reflectiveness – the essential character traits of a succesful learner – will be core to building a career. As educators, that fact is always in our minds – and we are not alone in this. Universities and employers are also focused on these character traits – indeed, a recent report from ManpowerGroup found that 91 per cent of HR decision-makers thought that the ability to deal with change and uncertainty would be key to recruitment. That is why ZIS students are taught (because it is a skill that must be taught and then practised) how to learn, how to think for themselves and how to become creative problem-solvers. We are supported in this aim by our international school status, which keeps us agile. Rather than being tied to a national curriculum, we can adapt quickly, selecting the courses proven to be the most effective and that will best prepare our students for a rapidlychanging and international future. The new Learning First curriculum is a perfect example, enabling us to build on our 50-year heritage and focus on the key character traits and values that will prepare our students to thrive professionally and personally. We are proud that external accreditation recognizes our experience and expertise and, happily, the success of our alumni speaks for itself. So, education in 2017 simply can’t – and shouldn’t – repeat what worked

when we were at school. In fact, all parents want to ensure that their children are properly equipped to take advantage of new opportunities, and we’re grateful to the many parents who were kind enough to take part in the recent ZIS Partners Survey. The results, shared with our parent community earlier this year, have given us much to build on. What is clear is that in the future it is not simply the ability to recall facts – freely available at the press of a key – that will win, but the ability to evaluate those facts. That doesn’t mean, by the way, that we are abandoning our focus on academic achievement – this, including stellar test results and first class university admissions, defines success. But it does mean we will continue to put the emphasis on conceptual enquiry, on independent thought and on a growth mindset – on the tools, in other words, that will equip our students to be learners for the rest of their lives.

“The new Learning First curriculum builds on our 50-year heritage and will prepare our students to thrive – both professionally and personally” Jeff Paulson, Director of ZIS

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Jennifer Model can trace her family to 18th-century Paris, making connections with the past, and the future. WOR D S M E GAN W E LFO R D / ph otography NATO W E LTO N


t began as a sketch pinned up on the living room wall of her parents’ summer house in Normandy: a first attempt at tracing her family tree. “My interest initially came from sheer curiosity,” says Jennifer Model, Middle School French teacher. “I wanted to know where I came from, so I started to find out, and I kept going.” That first, rough plan sparked a lifelong interest in genealogy. “I’m passionate about languages because to connect you need to be able to communicate,” she says. “But I realised that language wasn’t the only way to connect, and that making connections isn’t just about the future. It’s also about the past.” Today, Jennifer can trace her family as far as her great, great, great, great grandfather on her mother’s side – a miller who was born in 1799 in Paris. “I’ve spent more hours on it than I can remember. I started by contacting the registry offices in the towns where my parents were born and ordering their birth certificates. From this you learn their parents’ names, where they were born and their occupations. And you go back from there, bit by bit.” There are gaps though: a fire in Paris that destroyed some documents; other registers simply no longer exist. And it’s fascinating, says Jennifer, to see social and historical trends forming, such as the shift from country to city, and from physical labour to office work. “It’s interesting to see the occupations, and the fact that people didn’t move around much. On my mother’s side, north-west of Paris, there was a basket maker, a field worker. The women were housewives.

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My father’s side were from the Haute Savoie and were involved in agriculture. “Then both sets of grandparents moved to Paris. One of my grandfathers was a shop supervisor and the other a labourer making cement. One grandmother was a housewife, the other an office cleaning lady. Then my mother was a secretary and my father a property manager.” Jennifer brings her interest in context into her work as a French teacher. “I try to use language to make connections with authentic situations. In my classes, we study films and novels, and we work on projects. I organised a trip to Normandy, for example, which connected with history (the students were studying the Second World War

“I’m at the bottom of the tree so the branches never stop!” so we visited the American cemetery and the D-Day beaches), with science (we crossed to Mont St Michel via the specially designed, ecologically-friendly bridge) and with art (we went to Giverny, where Monet painted the Water Lilies).” Jennifer has passed on her passion for languages to her two children (Mathias, Grade 8 and Charlotte, Grade 11), and she hopes, eventually, they will fill in the gaps in the family tree – including the family of their father, Stephan. “Some people draw their ancestors at the roots of the family tree but I put myself at the bottom so the branches just go upwards and upwards. It never stops, really!”


Clockwise from left: Jennifer studies one of the many family photo albums she keeps; a selection of old records; the details of her family tree.

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SMALL WORLD Malachy Nugent C lass of 19 8 9

International relations, global economies – and bingo. ZIS can prepare you for it all.



he first thing that Malachy Nugent, Class of 1989 (1985-89), remembers about arriving in Switzerland at the tender age of 14 was seeing three Swiss army tanks casually rolling down the street on manoeuvres. “It was quite a surprise,” chuckles Malachy, now a senior international economist at the US Department of the Treasury. That day was to mark the start of quite an adventure and, although it wasn’t his first experience of living abroad (he also had a year in Brussels in Grade 6), it was his time at AISZ that Malachy attributes to his keen interest in international relations and politics. He pursued these as soon as he returned to the States, where he did a BA in International Relations and German Language and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, which included a year in Munich. “The day after my graduation, I got on a bus to Washington and it has been home ever since,” he says. These days, the part of the Treasury where he works manages US participation in the global economy, including economic relations between the US and other countries. “I help make sure the global economy is operating smoothly and deal with specific economic issues around the world like a financial crisis in Pakistan or an economic development program in Ghana.” Malachy says he still has a real sense of mission about his work. “I enjoy the feeling that the work we do matters in people’s lives. The points in my career that stand out the most are the economic and political crises – like scrambling to shore up the Afghan economy after the defeat of the Taliban, or removing the entire staff of the African Development Bank to safety in the middle of a civil war in the Ivory Coast.” None of this, of course, happened overnight. “Being in the international environment at AISZ helped make this possible; it also made me comfortable with flexibility and change, showing me a variety of perspectives and proving there are many possible paths to a destination. It gave me great teaching and a real appreciation of wider horizons. That, and a lifelong love of bingo!”

Malachy Nugent says he first recognised the role the USA plays globally while he was at AISZ. Today, he enjoys the feeling that the work he does at the US Treasury “matters in people’s lives”.

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Jason Kurth G RAD E 10

2 3



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FA C E S / G L O B E T R O T T E R

School trips are an essential part of the ZIS experience, as Jason Kurth can testify. WOR D S O LIVIA G O R D O N / PH OTOG RAPHY NATO W E LTO N

1 H I K I N G I N Torgon (Grade 3) On this three-day trip in the Alps I did an overnight hike in the pouring rain, rock climbing, mountain biking, and team building activities. It was also the first time I went away without my parents. I was homesick the first night, mainly because I couldn’t get to sleep in my bunk bed. The guy in the bunk above me wouldn’t stop snoring, and I felt too bad to wake him up! He’s a good friend now, though. 2 French lang uage tou r of Paris (Grade 6) Our Middle School French teacher who led the tour, Madame Model, is one of my favourite teachers. What I remember most was eating at Le Train Bleu, a fancy restaurant that I’d seen on the TV show Mr Bean. I remember that meal to this day – artichoke and broccoli soup, dorade with spinach, and three flavours of ice cream. 3 M ode l United Nations in Prag u e (Grade 8) We were the youngest students at the conference – some of the older students were really smart, and that was kind of intimidating! A group from a school in Egypt took us under their wing, though. I learned that solving problems at the MUN is much more difficult than you’d expect. 4 service trip TO ROMAN IA (Grade 9) This was different from all the other trips I’ve done, because this time the focus wasn’t just on us – we were working for others. With the charity Habitat for Humanity, we spent a week working to build a two-storey house for under-privileged families, from putting up dry walls to drilling. I’ve built go-karts and sleds before, but this was completely different, and helping people made me feel good. MAP: Maps I nternational


5 S k i team in Wengen (Grade 10) It’s so great to combine competitive skiing with team spirit and good friends. We stayed in a kooky old hotel that takes you back a few decades – it feels as if you’re in the 1920s. The highlight for me was the Lauberhorn Race. It was incredible standing at the top of one of the most famous downhill alpine races in the world, knowing that hundreds of skiing legends have skied this exact same slope with the same goal in mind.

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Kilchberg church


ith its prominent steeple and striking clock face – the third largest in Europe after London’s Big Ben and Saint Peter’s in Zurich – the Swiss Reformed Church in Kilchberg is as much a part of ZIS’s local landscape as the Spinnergut Villa, the lake and the mountains. Yet look closer and you will discover a hidden gem: a discreet tombstone, reaching “like a lonely tooth to the sky”. The great German poet and author Thomas Mann lived in Kilchberg for some months before his death in 1955, and is buried here along with his wife, Katia, and five of his six children, together one of the most prominent families in German literature. Discovering the tombstone is a common part of the ZIS experience. Upper School Social Studies teacher Kate Dalton takes Grade 9 students there as part of a Humanities unit on ‘identity’: “The beautiful view of the mountains from the cemetery is the perfect link to Mann’s book, The Magic Mountain,” she says. The church was originally built around 1248 – the same year the village name was first recorded by a travelling monk – but burned down in the Old Zurich War in 1443. It was rebuilt the following year, only for its tower and nave to collapse in a terrible storm in 1503.

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The current simple and elegant church dates from the early 16th-century and, despite its paintings and statues being razed during the Reformation, remains a favourite for local weddings and concerts. Peter Maier, president of the church community, says students have always been welcome, and points out that a cultural exchange benefits both sides. “Some ZIS students may come for confirmation or a church service with their parents from time to time, and many have visited the Kirchgemeindehaus

(church hall) over the road to sit an exam or attend a party – even graduation in days gone by. Mann’s grave, of course, is a focal point.” Richard Demoulin (Grade 11) visited the church as part of his IB literature class, as the conclusion to the reading of one of Mann’s most renowned pieces, Death in Venice. “We gathered around his grave and went around in a circle detailing our favorite word along with our favorite sentence. It was almost as if we were thanking Mann, who lay right below us.”



to do in Rio de Janeiro

Mark Lemann Class of 2010 (2003-10) Founder of sports management company Go4It

1. S u r f th e b eac h es If you go to Rio you should go surfing or standup paddling. Tourists go to Copacabana beach and it’s nice to standup paddle there, but to surf, Ipanema and Leblon are where the locals go. For even better waves and a quieter beach, head to Prainha. Try booking a lesson through the goFlow app. 2. Stroll th rou g h Par q u e Lag e Parque Lage is one of the best parks in Rio. It is beautiful in spring when there are flowers everywhere, but you will see small monkeys and a lot of birds, maybe even toucans, at any time. You can walk up through the park to Corcovado (to visit the statue of Christ) but go prepared for a two-hour hike. Otherwise, the Botanical Gardens are just next door, so stroll there and have a pastel (savoury pastry) at La Bicyclette cafe.

Clockwise from top left: View of the church from the Spinnergut Villa; Kilchberg church, featuring its clockface, the third largest in Europe; poet and author Thomas Mann’s grave, situated alongside his wife and five of his six children; an interior stained glass window.


3. Hi k e u p P edr a B o n ita Take a taxi up to the paragliding ramp and then it’s an easy 30-minute walk to the top of Pedra Bonita for spectacular views across the whole of Rio. At weekends go early, as from around 10am it gets very busy. If you’re courageous enough you could even paraglide back down to Rio, landing on Sao Conrado beach, not far from Ipanema! 4. Eat at Apr azivel i n Santa Teresa For a special lunch, I would go to the Aprazivel. The restaurant is spread over a steep hill and it feels like you’re sitting in a treehouse. The moqueca (fish stew), rice and feijao (beans) and grilled beef are delicious, and in Brazil you must always leave room for dessert: try the brigadeiro. When lunch has settled, pop into the Hotel Santa Teresa, which has a great pool. 5. D rin k i n Bai xo Gavea There’s nothing more carioca (from Rio) than hanging out in the bars of Baixo Gavea – well, on the streets really. Most people get a beer or a caipirinha (cachaça – sugar cane rum – with lime and sugar) and then stand around chatting on the pavement. Brazilians are very friendly, so you will talk to strangers. But go late – Brazilians eat around 10pm, then the restaurants turn into bars and things get going around midnight. Share your insider insights: #ZIStravels at

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NYC New York, New York: city of dreams and in 2017, according to the ZIS community, the place to be. WOR D S lU CY J O LI N ph otography J O N NY TU RTO N AN D JAS P E R JAM E S

Left: Sankalp Malhotra works in Manhattan at McKinsey & Company, having gained a BSc in Systems and Information Engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Tuck School of Business at Dartford College.

Five boroughs. Eight and a half million people. Eight hundred languages. New York City is one of the most iconic metropolises in the world. Yet some commentators have suggested the buzz has been leaving New York in favour of Silicon Valley and the world’s new urban centres such as Shanghai, Bangalore and Rio de Janeiro. And maybe that might have been true 10 years ago. But today, a new spirit is taking hold. Maybe it’s the potential to bring legacy industries such as finance alongside new tech. Maybe it’s the opening of new HQs for companies such as Google and Etsy. Maybe it’s the sheer power of East Coast sophistication. But whatever it is, over the past five years, New York has become one of the most popular destinations for one rather select group of people: ZIS alumni. Sankalp Malhotra, Class of 2001 (1987-2001), reckons that New York’s ‘resurgence’ is really about a city that has never gone away. “There’s a

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Left: Charlotte Ryan is a Senior Consultant at Deloitte after studying Government and German at Bowdoin College, Maine. Right: Marc Bothwell is MD at Econometric Resource Associates. He has a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.

“There’s a tremendous energy here, flowing from people who come to find themselves” Sankalp Malhotra, Class of 2001

tremendous energy here, flowing from people who are coming to find themselves, discover things, succeed, live life and bring their passions with them,” says Sankalp, an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company. The traditional industries are still a strong pull for young, ambitious people. Marc Bothwell, Class of 1981 (1977-1981), has worked in the city for more than 20 years, and has witnessed the recent rush of talent to New York first hand. “The main industries are still finance, real estate, insurance – but in the past few years, New York is starting to recognize that it can attract talented young people in fintech, for example,” he says. “There’s a certain skilled segment of the population that wants to live in New York for the same reasons that I didn’t want to live in another great city, San Francisco – other places don’t have the same vibe.”

Marc is currently Managing Director at Econometric Resource Associates, having spent seven years serving in the US Navy before returning to the city. “New York has a certain sort of multicultural diversity that you just don’t find in other parts of the US and that’s what drew me to it originally. One firm I know of in Princeton, New Jersey, has realized that a lot of their employees are retiring over the next few years and in order to hire younger people, they’ve got to have an office in New York. Young up-and-comers don’t want to go to Princeton!” Any successful business, whether established or startup, needs to attract a ready supply of skilled workers, and New York certainly has that. Google has set up shop in the eclectic area of Chelsea, Disney is in Times Square and Etsy, the world’s biggest shop window for crafts, has its headquarters in Brooklyn. There’s also the redevelopment of the massive

Domino Sugar refinery into offices along the Brooklyn waterfront, which is expected to attract high-profile creative or digital tenants, and a huge university ecosystem, including Cornell’s dedicated tech campus, which enables a stream of PhD students to convert bright ideas to practical applications in startups. innovation h u b There’s official support for innovation, too – Digital.NYC, the official hub of the New York City startup and technology ecosystem, brings together every company, startup, investor, event, job, class, blog, video, workspace, accelerator, incubator, resource and organisation in the five boroughs online. Sankalp himself chose to live and work in New York, turning down potential roles in Los Angeles, Europe and South Korea. He says that New York provides a home for all kinds of ideas and industries,

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Right: Anubhav Maheshwari is an Analyst at Morgan Stanley having graduated from the Fisher Program in Management & Technology at Wharton. His first degree, in Engineering, was also at the University of Pennsylvania.

“The energy, the way it feels like so many different cities in one, is unique” Anubhav Maheshwar, Class of 2011

making it one of the world’s most diverse cities – and it is that very diversity that is driving innovation. “Given the size of the city, the energy and dynamism here, and the infrastructure – universities, social organizations, transport, and so on – it’s easy to get critical mass in the area that you’re passionate about. The beauty of New York is that these passions collide in the numerous bars, cafés, subway rides and talks in the city. You’re constantly exposed to new ways of thinking.” The increasing numbers have a natural knock-on effect and New York, like other global business hubs, has seen property prices skyrocket. Entrepreneurs looking to bootstrap their first ventures need cheap places to live and work – but the advantages to being in New York are forcing them to think creatively rather than take their ideas elsewhere, says Sankalp. “The way that manifests itself is a lot of collaboration,” he says. “There are people living two, three, four people in a house or an apartment, and they can live further out because here, unlike Silicon Valley, we have great public transport. People interact and get to know each other, and that helps different ideas to spread and different concepts to emerge.” Sometimes these collaborations are fostered by the city’s legacy industries, such as finance and consulting. Charlotte Ryan, Class of 2008 (2001-05), is a Senior Consultant at Deloitte and says: “Out of the group of people that started with me at Deloitte, about half of them

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did the program and left for startups. I think there’s a real itch to get that first finance or consulting job and then apply it to something nimbler and startup-like, whether you’re building a product, or building a business. There are all these great opportunities in New York.” For Charlotte, New York is a family city – her twin sister (Perry, Class of 2008) and parents all live here – but it’s also about being where the right people are. “In consulting, your network is key. At Deloitte, that network is in, or tied to, the New York office. So if I left, I’d also be leaving behind this network that I’ve spent a lot of time building. For me, it’s all about the people. You spend so much time with your co-workers, so they’re incredibly important.” positive b uzz The vibe is hard to define, but Anubhav Maheshwari, Class of 2011 (2007-11), agrees that the global feel is key. Now an Analyst in technology sector investment banking at Morgan Stanley, Anubhav moved to New York for his work in 2015. He says that it’s the perfect fit for a global citizen. “It’s the way different cultures come together and work in a really harmonious way. Given my international school background, that’s something I really appreciate. “When I’m in Koreatown or Chinatown, for example, I feel like I’m in those countries. There will be signs in different languages and businesses

serving those communities that you wouldn’t find elsewhere. In terms of business, New York is a global hub and it’s always buzzing with positive energy.” Ultimately, there’s just something about the feel of the city that not only draws talent in, but keeps it there: from the thrill of Wall Street to the street food in Chinatown, the grandeur of Central Park to the outer reaches of the High Line, the bright lights of Broadway to the band making their debut in the back streets of Brooklyn. For Marc, it’s the ‘high-speed buzz’ and sense of immediacy that drew him to New York and still keeps him working there. Anubhav is in awe of the energy, “and the way that it feels like so many different cities in one. It’s just unique.” Charlotte cites the pace of life: intimidating to first-timers but, to her, entirely appropriate as a reflection of the fast-paced environments in which she works. “New York is not a place where someone is going to strike up a conversation with you on the subway. That would be considered a bit weird.” And for Sankalp, it’s all about the city within the city: the people who make it what it is. “There’s a perception people have of New York which is super-highenergy and can be more of a great place to visit than a great place to live,” he says. “And that’s true unless you actively look to form your own community here. Anyone can find their own peace in New York, and their own place. You just have to go out and look for it.”


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Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 370

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WOR D S M E GAN W E LFO R D / ph otography MARTI N PAR R

In Switzerland, the mountains are always open.

The hike

F E AT U R E / T H E H I K E

Whether you’re nipping up Felsenegg for a picnic, hurtling down Flumserberg on a rodelbahn or hacking at the Clariden glacier, Switzerland is an incredible mountain playground. And for many people, the easiest and best way to play in the mountains is to slip on a pair of comfortable boots and hike. “Mother Nature is at her best in Switzerland,” says Sue Wickson, Class of 1968 (1963-65). “In Interlaken there’s a waterfall coming out of the top of the mountain: it’s incredible. You take a train up from Interlaken to Grindelwald and the mountains rise up on either side. You look east and you’re so

close to the Eiger you can almost touch it.” Sue lost her heart to the mountains in 1964 on a Grade 9 hiking trip to Grindelwald, led by Biology and German teacher Rolf Neiger (who taught at AISZ between 1964 and 1970). “Grindelwald is my favourite place; it’s nature, beauty, all things that are good. The mountains talk to me; they say, ‘this is where you’re meant to be’.” The seeds of Sue’s love for the mountains, especially those in Switzerland, were sown even earlier than her school days. “I grew up in Maine but my dad was an engineer and worked away a lot in Switzerland. He’d bring back pictures

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F E AT U R E / T H E H I K E

“It’s nature, beauty, all things that are good. The mountains talk to me; they say, ‘this is where you’re meant to be’” Sue Wickson, Class of 1968

of mountains, a pair of hiking boots, an alpine hat. When we arrived in Switzerland and I got out into the mountains it was like the world opened up and I felt, ‘that’s what I’m looking for’.” There is a uniqueness to Swiss hiking that is entrenched in its history, according to Urs Eberhard, past parent and Head of Markets at MySwitzerland. “Not only were paths established to make trade and social connections, but the Swiss were particularly early adapters to becoming a tourist destination, helped by Thomas Cook’s grand tours of the late 19th century,” he says. “It democratised the outdoors and made it really accessible. It means that there is a strong sustainability to the mountains too, since the paths are well established and maintained. Your carbon footprint is extremely modest.” There are now more than 65,000km of hiking track, carfree villages, chair lifts and lots of well-stocked huts – not to mention the impressively high ratio of terraces and restrooms on the routes. Urs recommends the stunning panoramic views from Mount Rigi between Rigi Scheidegg and Rigi Kulm, but says wherever you go a particular feature is the signage. “The signposts give you all the information you need to keep you safe and on the right path, and that’s something that I think is special here. It just makes it such a wonderful experience.” Professor Stephen Palmer, director of the UK-based Centre for Ecopsychology and Wellbeing, says ‘green exercise’ is important for us on many levels. “Green exercise seems to

reduce anxiety, depression and stress,” he says. “You don’t get the same effect from walking on a pavement. When hiking you often have to focus on where you’re stepping, so it’s a distraction, but your mind can also drift off and relax. It improves physical health, it’s good for the cardiovascular system, and it builds up confidence and resilience in children. “One study showed people pictures of either a city or the country, then gave them a stress test. Those who had seen the nature pictures recovered more quickly. In Switzerland, wherever you look you are surrounded by mountains, so you can’t avoid looking at, and being in, nature. American biologist Edward Wilson’s theory of ‘biophilia’ is that it’s human nature to focus on life and life-like processes. That we subconsciously seek connections with the rest of life.” Current parent Kathryn Johnson, who runs a Tuesday hiking group for other parents, walked a lot as a child, and is now bringing up her three children (currently in Grades 3, 6 and 8) in the same tradition. “Hiking is good for the soul,” she says. “I just love being outside – the fresh air, exercise, seeing nature. We go hiking a lot as a family, whenever the children’s schedules allow. We take our very enthusiastic dog up to a forest trail in Rüshlikon, or to Etzel-Kulm, where you can see over to Lake Zurich and Sihlsee in the south. I like it because it’s time when we’re only paying attention to each other rather than to electronics or homework.”

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Iragna, Ticino, Š Per Kasch

Shift to inspiration at and share your most beautiful experiences at

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21.03.17 15:34

F E AT U R E / T H E H I K E

Martin Parr The photos in this feature are taken by Martin Parr, an award-winning British documentary photographer and photojournalist known for his intimate, satirical and anthropological look at aspects of modern life.

“I like hiking with my family; it’s where we all bond,” says Caitlin Fowlds (Grade 12). “Recently we went on an 11-day hike around Mont Blanc; I was doing it for my International Award gold at school. I like carrying everything, being self-reliant, and just being outside. My brother likes maps and planning. My dad likes measuring the elevation and his heart rate. My mum just likes being in the mountains. There’s no wifi, so you talk to each other. In one hut there was just one long mattress with a line of pillows, so we were even sleeping in the same bed.” Caitlin loves the civilised nature of hiking in Switzerland: “There are huts every five to 10km so you can always get a coffee. Some of the huts have no running water or electricity but they serve you a four-course meal. On one trip we walked 170km in 11 days and I gained 5kg! When you see pictures of the Duke of Edinburgh award hikes in other places it’s always raining, there’s a bog and people are cooking spaghetti on a gas stove.” Bogs and bad food are not the only hazards of hiking outside Switzerland. “When I was little we lived in Australia, where you have to watch out for snakes and massive spiders,” remembers Caitlin. “Then we were in Hong Kong, where a lot of the hiking paths are concrete. What I love here is we’re only a 10-minute walk from a cable car that takes you right up Felsenegg.” Caitlin runs up Felsenegg for fitness, but says she loves hiking there to “slow down and look at things”. The Swiss mountains also offer possibilities for challenge. “Once we went to the Clariden glacier as part of Outdoor Pursuits in Grade 10, up to 3,000m, which was really special terrain – there were no trees, only rocks. We were roped up in a line, with one person taking the lead to hack at the ice with an ice pick in case of crevasses. It was tough, but from the top the views were amazing.” “Hiking in Switzerland is just one amazing view after the next,” agrees Kathryn. “On a Tuesday we have our top 10

hikes, such as a two-hour ridge walk from Klingenstock to Fronalpstock. You drive about an hour, take a chair lift up from a car-free village and immediately you have beautiful views. In winter everything is frozen, the trees are heavy with snow and the leaves are fringed with ice. “In the summer cowbells are the background music. I think the Walensee is the most beautiful lake in Switzerland; you can walk along the shore and take a boat back. The water is an amazing light blue colour. Hiking really does give you the key to something.” For Sue, who is now on the National Ski Patrol in Maine and Vice-President of Women of the Maine Outdoors, that key is the access to nature and a way to find calm and perspective. “Hiking is about being in nature, seeing what’s out there. It’s an exploration. Seeing the way the trees grow, and wondering how that rock got split like that. I’m not usually thinking, I’m looking at things. It’s relaxing; it gets rid of all my stress.” She has even had a design of the Grindelwald mountains tattooed on her wrist so she can look at her beloved peaks at all times. “They are always in my heart,” she says. To hike in Swiss-German is ‘wandern’, also the root of the English ‘to wander’, with its implication that the journey itself is the thing, rather than the destination. Kathryn remembers one perfect moment on a family hike in the Kranzberg. “We were sitting having our lunch at one end of the valley and two people came along and started assembling alpine horns. The sound echoed and re-echoed down the valley, the children’s faces – it was otherworldly, magical. “I feel so lucky to be living here and being able to take advantage of the physical beauty of it. It’s the perfect place for those who like to play outside.”

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All for the good What does it mean to live a good life? Members of the ZIS community tell us what drives them to give something back. WOR D S ANASTAS IA HAN C O C K I LLU STRATI ON I K E R AYE STARAN

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F E A T U R E / a l l f or t h e good


true for Juan Ignacio Bontá Suárez (Grade 12), icole Thakuri-Wick was 14 years current President of the Student Council, who was old when she made a vow that was drawn to a Classroom Without Walls trip to Sri Lanka to change her life – and the lives of with Mencafep (Mentally Handicapped Children hundreds of others. Nicole, Class of and Families Education Project), the NGO that 1987 (1984-87), was on a family trip from the USA to the Mexican border, and while there supports children with disabilities. Juan’s brother has Asperger’s syndrome and this knowledge of what it is the stark difference between the lives of the ‘haves’ to be different prompted Juan to become a champion on one side of the border and the ‘have-nots’ on the of Mencafep and consider ways to support its work other made a huge impact. She committed to doing even once the trip was over. whatever she could whenever the opportunity arose. A student-led committee decides which social Her chance came around 10 years later, on a trip projects and charitable organisations the school to Nepal, where she witnessed the squalid conditions will support, with an emphasis on sustainable of some of the children living on the streets of and long-term partnerships. “The service projects Kathmandu. “I come from a privileged family and, thanks to them, went to privileged schools. As a child, remind us how lucky we are and how much we have to be grateful for,” I didn’t understand why not all says Juan. “And of course it children had a home and the “Don’t think you proves what huge potential same right to education – and our community has to really when I met the street kids I are a superhero make a lasting difference to wanted to give them the same things I had. It seemed unfair; coming in to save the less developed communities around the world.” they had done nothing wrong day. What I learned For ZIS students, the to deserve living on the streets importance of philanthropic and to not have a future.” from the experience work is part of the fabric of A year later, in 1993, Nicole far outweighed the school. Take, for example, established Nawa Asha Griha the partnership with the (NAG), offering sanctuary the impact I had.” Bosomtwe International to six children in a rented School in Ghana, and the room. Twenty-four years on, Elle Butner long relationships ZIS has her charity now provides Class of 2017 with Amnesty International, free education and support Habitat for Humanity to more than 700 children. (a global housing charity), Operation Smile “Our children have gone on to be five-star chefs, (a volunteer-led medical services organisation that doctors, engineers, hairdressers, nurses, plus a lot of provides reconstructive facial surgery to children) great teachers, artists, musicians, vets and business and many other charities around the world. men and women. Most of them are the first in their A strong drive to do good is an integral part of family to be educated and finish school. We are doing the ZIS community, but the motivation behind it something real to help break the chain of poverty.” is both varied and individual. “What starts out as a The incentive to volunteer time and energy is need to do service for others becomes, in the long almost always founded in the intensely personal, run, service to oneself in unimaginable ways,” so much so that people often speak not of finding a cause, but of a cause finding them. This was certainly says Jana Brainard Augsberger, Class of 1986

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That is an experience that Elle Butner, Class (1982-84). She should know. As a board member of of 2017 (2011-16), recognises. As a ZIS student, the non-profit Step Up Women’s Network, she has she twice visited Ghana’s Bosomtwe International helped girls from under-resourced communities get School in Behenase and went on to lead the Upper into colleges and go on to rewarding careers. School Ghana alumni club.“I don’t do the work to be Jana is passionate about using the skills instilled able to write it on a university application or to check during her time in Zurich for good. “AISZ opened my eyes and taught me that beginning a conversation it off a list,” she says. “For me, it is about immersing yourself in a particular cause that you feel passionate with people that are different from you, and really about, rather than trying to do a bunch of different listening to them, is imperative in our global things but only on a surface level. My visits to community,” she explains. “Each one of us needs the Behenase have been lifeother to thrive and survive.” changing. When you see the For current parent George “Giving back is huge impact you can have on Terziev, it is down, at least the children there, it proves in part, to feeling passionate really gratifying in just how worthwhile it all is.” about a certain cause. George Indeed, even those engaged is Financial Risk Manager at a startling way – with concrete assessment Dow Europe and also serves as what you give, you and measurement highlight a member of the ZIS Board of the vital contribution that Trustees. “I have always been get back more.” emotion makes in driving exposed to different cultures, Jana Brainard Augsberger philanthropy forward. In the and I’m a passionate advocate Class of 1986 case of the Step Up Women’s of access to education. I am Network, expansion into more always looking for ways to schools and opening up more contribute to that cause.” networks in other states has been a good yardstick The benefit to the organisations with which by which to measure impact. The charity has ZIS partners is self-evident. From building and expanded into a number of cities across the USA renovating community buildings in some of the and intends to triple the amount of girls it reaches world’s most impoverished areas to supporting within three years to 3,000. local charities, the impact of the volunteers’ efforts Jana’s advice to others looking to improve is tangible. the world we live in is not necessarily tied in But what about the effect it has on those with financials, but linked to one’s own sense of working to make the real changes? As George wellbeing. “Giving back is really gratifying in a explains, donating his time and expertise to a startling way – what you give, you get back more.” cause that matters to him is a process in ‘making This is echoed by Elle, who recommends diving a difference’. “I volunteer my skills to ZIS headfirst into whatever drives you – although she because I believe that we should invest in the does offer a warning. “Don’t think that you are a next generation by giving them the tools to help superhero coming in to save the day. I have learned make a difference in our world. International more about life, and the way I have been affected far education is now more important than ever as outweighs the impact I have had on kids in Ghana. we need globally aware citizens. Because of the Don’t care about showing off to others because if kind of education students receive at ZIS, they will you are really passionate, you don’t need anybody to be able to make a difference – and it’s great to be tell you that you are doing good.” involved in this way.”

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F E A T U R E / a l l f or t h e good

Z I S VOI CE S S PR I N G 2017 | 31

English is for school. Spanish is for play. And Swedish? Swedish is for family. Growing up trilingual is part of the international experience. And it definitely has its advantages. WOR D S H E LE NA P O Z N IAK / PH OTOG RAPHY NATO W E LTO N

It’s the taste of salty liquorice that transports Zurich-based Katarina Lidholm Andersson back home to Sweden. But although her two sons (Sam, Grade 10 and Ben, Grade 5) were born there, they have almost always lived abroad as a family, and making that connection to their heritage is much harder. That’s why Katarina is so keen to hang on to their mother tongue. She says: “We don’t feel Swiss, we feel Swedish. I think it’s important to preserve your heritage, and keeping a language going is the best way to do that.” Katarina teaches Swedish at afterschool lessons for Lower and Middle School students, part of the after-school mother tongue programme that includes French, Italian and Spanish as well as others. “I love working with children in a multicultural environment,” says Katarina, “and I also see the importance of developing, and not losing, your ability in your mother tongue. “The students I teach have often grown up or been born outside Sweden, and may not have the basic skills of their written and spoken ‘mother tongue’.

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But they are very positive when they come to our class; they enjoy being able to speak their own language and share cultural experiences and traditions.” Keeping up to speed with more than one language is, as most parents will tell you, a labour of love. But it’s worth it, and not just from the perspective of retaining your family’s heritage. “There’s simply no downside to growing up trilingual or more,” says language and neuroscience expert and author, Dr Tracey TokuhamaEspinosa. “In fact it’s undeniably good for you in many ways – and there’s a strong body of research to prove it.” lang uage with love Dr Tokuhama-Espinosa, who teaches at the Harvard University Extension School and has run parent and teacher workshops at ZIS, is aware of the myths surrounding raising a trilingual child – that it could hold them back, or overload them, or delay their long-term development, and that they may never feel at home in a single culture – but says there’s no substance to any of them. “Your brain is capable of doing far more than you would guess,” she says. “Learning two or more languages improves key aspects of what psychologists call our ‘executive function’ – the ability to plan and complete a task. “There are three areas which contribute to this ability: these have to do with working memory, inhibitory control (the ability to ignore distractions) and cognitive flexibility (switching mentally between different concepts). There’s strong neuroscience research to show that learning languages strengthens all three of these, making us better learners.” Children who are brought up bilingual or even trilingual from birth might show a small delay before starting to speak in the early years, but she adds: “If it’s done properly with a good strategy, you won’t see any difference at all by the time the child is five.”

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Previous page: Linda Heiligtag (Grade 4). Linda has a Korean mum and German dad. Her favourite Korean word is hello – annyeonghaseyo – because ”if someone said it to me it would make me happy”. Right: Konrad Jaszc (Grade 8). Americanborn, Konrad speaks Polish (to his Polish parents), German and English. His favourite Polish word is uspokój się meaning ‘calm down’, which he uses to annoy his mum!

It’s been nearly 22 years since another Swede, Marcus Bergagård, Class of 1995 (1989-95), left AISZ, and the fluent English he learned helped him study at university in London, where he didn’t have to take a language test. “I feel fortunate that I speak three languages fluently and thankful for the teachers who taught me this level of English.” While English dominates his business life in the finance and telecom sectors, he’s happy to switch to German and Swedish with his international colleagues. “I nearly speak as much Swedish now as I did growing up.” Swedish was his family language and he spoke Swiss German with his Swiss mother and sisters if his Swedish father wasn’t there. He remembers the odd sheepish moment when he fumbled for German words or confused his syntax. He also remembers being told off in Swedish, “if my parents didn’t want others around to know that we kids had just done wrong”. Now he’s trying to continue the family tradition by speaking Swedish with his children. There are no downsides, he

says, to being trilingual. “Along the way I’ve also studied Spanish, Italian and some Japanese. I’m aware that if you already speak more than two language, a third or more will not be too hard.” Parents moving country or with different native languages worry about how to do it properly. But, before making a plan, they should reflect on what they want to achieve. Too often, says Dr TokuhamaEspinosa, the fun goes out of language – if a parent fixates on an academic career at a top flight university for example. “If you just want to preserve cultural ties, for instance, that’s very different from wanting them to read, write and study in a language. You have to ask why you are doing this. You won’t transfer joyfully unless it’s something you really want and you won’t stick to it unless you have a clear strategy.” There are several specific strategies for maintaining different languages, say experts. “The most efficient way is separation of person, time and place,” says Dr Tokuhama-Espinosa. Speaking a certain language with a parent, say,


or French only at dinner time, or English for a bedtime story. It’s important to establish this discipline early on, she says. Dr Tokuhama-Espinosa’s children, now in their early 20s, used to mix and match between German, Spanish, English and French as they were learning their languages. This is nothing to be scared of, she says. “Actually it’s a sign of intelligence. The human brain is wired to learn languages but young children don’t necessarily separate them, unless there’s a clear division between people and times.” a tool f or creativity At ZIS, teaching is focused on giving students the ability to think and express themselves confidently in more than one language, to help them understand that language is a tool for thought, creativity, reflection, learning and self-expression. Upper School students are able to take online courses as part of their foreign language learning, but it starts from the earliest age at the Early Childhood Center, where children as young as three take part in regular sessions in their mother tongue, supported by teachers, parents and grandparents. “Our main goal is to support the children with their mother tongue – to validate their language and their cultural identity,” says multi-age teacher Andrea Fürer. “Some are mostly silent until they feel confident enough with English. So we encourage a child to speak his or her own language at school if it makes him or her feel more comfortable.” How young children communicate depends on their personalities, says Andrea. Shy children tend to be quite hesitant to try a new language, she says. “But if they’re very social, they’ll use any language to communicate. That’s one of the reasons we encourage this – to show all languages are accepted.” Silvia Brenninkmeijer-Arboli, a current parent, berates herself for not being more consistent. She’s Spanish,

Right: Nicolas Mile (Grade 12). Nicolas talks to his parents (Cypriot mum and Norweigan dad) in their own languages, as well as German and English. He likes to hear his friends try to pronounce ‘chocolate biscuit’ in Norweigan – kjekssjokolade – “because it makes me laugh”.

her husband is Dutch and they speak English to each other. Both parents inevitably switched to English for their young family when they chose international schools for their children, but she knows this has been at the expense of their mother tongues. Nonetheless, she’s confident that if her children found themselves alone in Spain, “they would know enough language to survive”. Her eldest son is at boarding school in the UK, where he often switches to Spanish with compatriots if he doesn’t want other students to understand. Her

other three children are at ZIS and, Silvia says, the challenge is to ensure they don’t all lapse into English at home. Her children do attend after-school Spanish lessons at ZIS as well as at home, and she also seeks out German- or Spanishspeaking summer camps. “I don’t feel guilty for not having perfectly trilingual children. When I speak to them in Spanish, sometimes they’ll complain, ‘Oh mum you’re so annoying!’ – but I always tell them it’s a privilege to know languages, and they should be grateful for the immense gift.”

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What businesses really want

Personality? Qualifications? Experience? We find out what employers are really looking for from new graduates. WOR D S KATE H I LP E R N / I LLU STRATI ON B RATI S LAV M I LE N KOVI C

William Florance (current parent), Global Lead, Developer Training, Google

Markus Diethelm (current and past parent), Group General Counsel of UBS Group AG

Clemens Hoegl (current parent), Partner, Egon Zehnder

I’m looking for well-rounded individuals who think and challenge themselves and the world around them. Obviously, I want them to come in to an interview prepared, but don’t tell me what’s on my company’s website – show me you’ve read a bit more and tried to gain additional understanding of what we’re doing right now. Then tell me what you think about it, what you’d do differently, and how we can do it better. I’m looking for curiosity, people who can take a different view of things and are not afraid to voice it. We don’t want negativity – that’s a red flag – but we absolutely encourage positive criticism. The desire to challenge yourself and take yourself out of your comfort zone is important because it shows curiosity. I want people who think for themselves, challenge, make a point positively and defend it well. I may not agree but it starts valuable dialogue and demonstrates critical thinking skills. I want people with broad outside interests who have a healthy work-life balance and who can also prove they’re adaptable. Your entry-level role is just that – merely a starting point. We want ambitious people who can evolve in a rapidly changing environment. And that means always thinking about how we can all move forward.

The key behaviours that we look for in everyone we hire, graduates included, are focused on integrity, collaboration and challenge. The integrity bit isn’t just about being the kind of person who doesn’t lie, but also about being the kind of person who doesn’t make a fist in their pocket when they disagree with something. Businesses, particularly banks post-2008, need people who are happy to air their views and discuss issues so we can all reach a better level. Collaboration is about showing you can work well with others in a global and multi-generational context. And the challenge part is about being open-minded, curious and willing to question the status quo – sometimes literally answering a question with a counter-question, which is exactly what my daughters (Amelina, Grade 10 and Kira, Class of 2015) were taught to do at ZIS. We also look for graduates with creativity, particularly in a world of increasing technology where there are very different ways of doing things. But perhaps the most important thing that I look for are people who have that edge, who stand out from the crowd. I want the person who asks the question that nobody else thinks of.

One of the things graduates often forget to be is genuine. So many train themselves up in what to say and not to say, and when they fake it, it comes across as unnatural. I’m not saying all the preparatory training out there for graduate job-seekers on how to present themselves isn’t useful, but some take it so seriously that they forget to be themselves. I particularly want to see evidence that candidates have achieved something of substantial impact, ideally over several years. It’s no longer enough just to have studied at a prestigious university. It also used to be the case that graduates who had lived and studied abroad were favoured. But again, that’s changed and we want graduates who can show they achieved something above and beyond their studies while there. For graduates who reach interview stage, we look for those capable of communicating with different stakeholders, proving they can interact with empathy and understanding with people in different geographies and across different industries. The bottom line is that while the functional knowhow is a good entry card, employers now have more choice, and that means the university leavers who are more rounded will always win over.

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N E T W O R K / perspectives

Michael Gerber (current parent), member of the ZIS Board of Trustees and CEO, Eurocentres

It would be easy for graduates to assume they can’t show examples of leadership skills, but many have done voluntary work or had responsibilities in group projects. I’d advise graduates to reflect on those and talk about them in answer to the increasingly open questions that employers ask. When it comes to gap years, graduates should remember that they are not enough in themselves. Employers want to know what they brought away from their experiences. We don’t want to hear, ‘I travelled the world.’ We want to hear where you chose to go and why, whether you worked in any of these countries and what you learned about the different cultures. I’d like to see graduates talk less about their career aspirations. Of course, it’s fine to be ambitious and have goals, but too many graduates are overly set on this and need to display a more openminded approach. Graduates are right at the beginning of their career journey, after all. And finally, I think graduates shouldn’t just focus on wanting to work for the big companies. As an employer, I’m more interested in graduates that have gone for the most interesting openings, regardless of the size of the business.

“I’m looking for curiosity, people who can take a different view of things and are not afraid to voice it” William Florance Global Lead, Developer Training, Google

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IN THE CLASSROOM Leaders of the future

We need to prepare our students for technology that has not yet been invented, says Mark Dilworth, Director of Educational Technology.



work in tech, and I have a small confession: I don’t know what the future holds. The truth is, none of us knows what technologies will dominate our lives in five years from now, let alone when many of our students enter the workplace. But we do know our job as educators is to prepare our children for that future – for technology and jobs that don’t yet exist. They need the expertise to adapt, to become leaders in a situation that we can’t yet define. Here at ZIS we pride ourselves on being a school where teaching and learning is at the core of what we do. Excellent teaching may involve technology or it may not. Teachers here are thoughtful; they’re careful to use it when appropriate. Students continue to enjoy reading physical books. But while fiction remains popular, we have seen a natural decline in the use of reference books and encyclopaedias – students have switched to online resources that are more up-to-date. Of course, providing access to technology does not guarantee success. Reliability and teacher understanding are two key considerations when planning the successful integration of technology into the classroom. If devices and broadband aren’t reliable, teachers and students will not use them. We have a solid infrastructure to support the technology and a great team to support the students and teachers. We have also been a one-toone tablet school for ten years. Our learning also extends beyond our community. ZIS has participated

in Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Program, we are a Common Sense Media Certified School and many of our teachers are Google Certified Educators. We also collaborate with other international schools, through partnerships such as the International Research Collaborative and the Learning Analytics Collaborative. Social media is a big topic for discussion among parents, including the amount of time children spend on a screen outside school on their own devices. We host several events throughout the year to raise awareness of these issues, including Parent Cafés, special screenings for parents and students, parent workshops and, most recently, a Parenting in the Digital Age course through our adult education programme. Of course this isn’t something that can be achieved by just parents or just the school. It’s a three-way partnership; creating opportunities to talk at school and continuing the conversation once students are at home. There’s a myth that because children are ‘digital natives’, they already know how to do everything. But they don’t necessarily learn how to use technology responsibly simply by using it. So alongside ensuring that we can provide teachers and students with the tools they need, we have a strong focus on promoting good digital citizenship. And in that context, students are able to enjoy the access to technology, the resources and the research they can do, and set themselves up for a bright future.

“Kids need the expertise to adapt – to lead in situations we can’t yet define” Mark Dilworth Director of Educational Technology

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N E T W O R K / W HY I L O V E



F ilippa B ergendal, G rade 7

All the world’s a stage for Filippa Bergendal – and she wouldn’t have it any other way. I NTE RVI EW O LIVIA G O R D O N PH OTOG RAPHY NATO W E LTO N


he best part about drama for me is the feeling I get after a performance. I don’t know how to describe it, but I feel like I’ve achieved something that matters. Not that I’ve always felt like that. I wasn’t interested in drama until last year, when I decided to audition for the Middle School musical, Shrek the Musical JR. I was so nervous that I fell down the stairs from the stage, but I still ended up playing two parts – Young Fiona, and a knight. I was quite scared at the first performance – I couldn’t see the audience because of all the bright lights shining at me. But I just pretended I was all on my own, singing to myself. It felt like I was the character and the musical was real life. And then my stage fright totally disappeared. After that, I started taking drama classes at school, and I just played the lead – Ariel the mermaid – in this year’s Middle School musical, The Little Mermaid JR. Rehearsals were long: up to ten hours during the week and sometimes on Saturdays and Sundays as well. On one Saturday I had to do six hours! It was quite tiring and I did miss out on other things I wanted to do, like other after-school activities, but I didn’t mind because I love acting so much. I recently took part in an improvisation workshop at school too and I really like it. When I stand on stage, my mind kind of goes blank – and it’s fun to work with that, learning different techniques to make something sound good on stage, even though it’s improvised completely on the spot. We have to come up with all kinds of stories and dances with one another. It’s very challenging to improvise in a group of five, to get everyone to do something that looks very nice even though you’re making it up as you go along. I like how drama has changed me. I started off being very shy, and then all these experiences have taught me how to be more confident, both on the stage and off.

“I pretended I was just singing to myself – and my stage fright disappeared” Filippa Bergendal, Grade 7

Z I S VOI CE S S PR I N G 2017 | 43 Welcome to our new English Education Web Shop, which has been specially designed for International Schools. We are offering you the convenience to shop 24/7, with better pricing and more variety such as being able to choose the U.S. or British Keyboard layouts on all of our laptops. We have all the knowledge and know how to help you deploy the iPad and Mac successfully and transform your teaching and learning. Both give you more power to shape curriculums. And minds. Save further discount on all laptops and accessories by using the vouchercode ÂŤEEWS10 or EEWS15Âť in the comment field.

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N E T W O R K / L I F E HA C K


Surviving your startup’s first year

Ned Strong, Class of 1977 (1972-77), has been involved in early-stage technology companies in Australia and the US since his late 20s, and is currently CEO of AUTO-VOD. WOR D S Anastasia Hancock I LLU STRATI ON AN D R EW J OYC E

G ive it time Entrepreneurs seldom know they’ve cracked it in the first year. It takes longer to get traction. When exploring the market, finding that prospects don’t value the benefits of your intended solution can be disconcerting. Obtaining your first customer is exciting – but only when they write the first cheque! Getting a cheque from your second customer for the same solution you sold to the first one is a very good sign. Know you r stu ff It is important to gain domain and functional expertise first, as that is the easiest way to find problems in a market. Many people are not suited to the risk-taking required in the entrepreneurial journey. I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur, but even at AISZ I recognised that I was more comfortable with ambiguity than most people. While my career path didn’t naturally lead to Silicon Valley, my technology experience, my passion for the road less travelled and my stubborn nature guided me towards entrepreneurial ventures. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have doubts, though, you can always try again later in your career.

Find li k e-minded partners Startups are often stressful for longer than the first year. The best coping mechanism is one I blundered into the first time and have relied on ever since. I always seek partners or co-founders with complementary, but mostly non-overlapping, skills, with whom I share values and passion. There is always someone to commiserate with when problems occur, and to celebrate with. And finding like-minded individuals is a crucial factor in decision-making. It’s a team approach. Qu estion you rse lf It’s healthy for entrepreneurs to reflect. Are you intrinsically motivated enough to ignore others questioning your choices? If not, problems can occur because entrepreneurs’ actions are often seen as disruptive of the status quo. Ask yourself what defines success and failure. Your definitions are likely to be unique. Resilience is an important capability for entrepreneurs, as is learning from experiences, good and bad. I experienced significant change growing up and was fortunate to benefit from an international education, so even when I fail, I know how to pick up the pieces and keep going.

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Athletics and Activities (ATAC) Soccer

Work together. Communicate well. Train hard. No wonder some see soccer as the secret of success. WOR D S LU CY J O LI N PH OTOgraphy NATO W E LTO N / paul sullivan


ass, move, dribble, touch, score. To purists, a love of soccer is all about appreciating the intricacies of the ‘beautiful game’ – but at ZIS, playing on the team is as much about the benefits that the sport has to offer. “At this age, playing in a team gives the students a sense of belonging and a definite focus,” says Andy Blair, Academic Systems Coordinator and Middle School girls’ soccer coach. “There is, of course, a difference between knowing what you want to achieve and knowing what you have to do to achieve it. Students learn that if they want to win, they will have to do certain things – train harder, change their attitude, work with people, communicate more efficiently. And that’s applicable in all areas of life.” Teams also span different grade levels, adds Andy, so they’ll mix with people they wouldn’t

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normally be with in a classroom. “It’s a new social dynamic but they have a shared sense of what they want to achieve,” says Andy. “For girls, especially, it’s a great time to play soccer, as the sport is enjoying an increasingly high profile. The girls now have women players that they can relate to, which is fantastic. They see them playing in a major tournament, like the women’s World Cup, and they want to try it.” Soccer has long been a mainstay of the sports curriculum at ZIS, but competitive soccer for Grades 4 and 5 in the Lower School was only introduced in the last academic year – and both girls and boys love getting into that environment at a slightly earlier age. “The introduction of the competitive sports programme last year included not just soccer but gymnastics, basketball and cross-country as well,” says Nick Bentley, Director of Student Life and Lower School boys’ soccer coach. “The goal is to introduce the students into a competitive environment at an early age so they understand about how to win and lose, teamwork, camaraderie and all the things that go with playing competitively.” Nick is just one of the impressive band of soccer coaches at ZIS, many with experience at the highest levels of the game – Lower School PE teacher

A winning outlook: Upper School PE teacher Mike Johnston (left) leads a training session for the Varsity boys’ team, and the Middle School girls show the skills and team spirit that have been at the heart of their success.

N E T W O R K / A TA C

Ibrahim Oubda is an ex-Ghanaian international who holds a UEFA A licence, allowing him to coach at a senior level, and Upper School PE teacher Mike Johnston, currently the Varsity boys’ coach, has worked with the under-18s England schoolboys. “You need a lot of skill and technique, and our coaches are great,” says Sofia Brenninkmeijer (Grade 5), one of the first Lower School girls to play competitive soccer. “They make sure that you practise enough, but at the same time you have fun!” “We are very successful, and continue to be,” says Nick. Yet there’s more to soccer at ZIS than just the trophies. “While we have lots of success on the field, the biggest success is what the students get out of it beyond playing the actual game.” Sport, he points out, is a microcosm of society. “The social skills and the understanding of group dynamics that you learn in sporting environments are pretty much the same as you have to learn outside them: integrity, resilience and compassion. These character traits are important in all aspects of life.”

“Playing in a team gives the students a definite focus and a sense of belonging” Andy Blair Middle School girls’ soccer coach

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N E T W O R K / C LA S S N O T E S

classnotes Alumni news

Our alumni are spread far and wide across the world and we love to hear from you. If you have news or updates to share, please email us at Susan Mitchell (née Jensen) Class of 1966 (1964-66) In the past year, Susan retired from her career as a mental health counselor and moved to Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound in the USA. She’s now enjoying art and gardening and spending time with her granddaughters, aged two and five. Gil Katzman Class of 1977 (1972-73) Congratulations to Gil, who was recently named Director of Sales and Marketing for Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina in Maryland, US. From Tel Aviv, Gil earned a BS in Hospitality Management and Economics from the University of Houston. Gustavo Bondoni Class of 1993 (1982-85) Gustavo has been in touch from Buenos Aires to say he always looks back on his time at IPSZ (the ELK school) as one of the best of his life. Sylvia Cediel Class of 1995 (1993-95) Sylvia is a public defender in San Francisco and mother to three “beautiful” children. “Life is good!” Philip Bentley Class of 1999 (1994-99) Phil writes to say the Bentley clan numbers continue to increase at a rate of knots, with two new additions, his own new son, Reuben, and also Grace Cobon (to mum Alice Cobon (née Bentley), Class of 2001 (1996-2001)). Dora Somogyi Class of 2007 (2004-07) A graphic designer, Dora launched a Zurich-based creative collective with fellow ZIS graduate Frederik van den Berg, Class of 2004 (1993-2004), focusing on graphic design, photography and building websites. See

Chris Akin Former Upper School Assistant Principal 2005-08 and past parent After leaving ZIS, Chris, his wife Sandra and their children (Mathias, Class of 2020 (2005-08) and Tamara, Class of 2023 (2007-08)) moved to Bali where he was Director of Bali International School from 2008-12. After a spell in Lima as the Secondary Principal of the Colegio Roosevelt, the American School of Lima, he relocated again last summer to Beijing to take on the Head of School role at Beijing City International School. Gary Earl-Spurr Class of 2009 (2007-09) Gary is currently working for a Martu (Aboriginal) organisation trying to remedy Australia’s ‘indigenous apartheid’. He writes to say he’s working hard to become as fluent in Manyjilyjarra and Martu Wangka as possible. Andrew Sutton Class of 2011 (1996-2011) After finishing school Andrew pursued a career in the culinary arts, more specifically in pastry and chocolate, and has worked in restaurants in the UK and Switzerland before embarking on setting up his own business. Michael Iacono Class of 2015 (2007-13) Michael is a freshman at Haverford College in Philadelphia, PA, and is on the Fords’ men’s soccer team which recently won the Centennial Conference Championship. He says his time as the Varsity goalkeeper for the ZIS Lions was perfect training! Frederic Clavien Class of 2015 (2006-15) Frederic is currently studying International Relations at Regent’s University London.

We print a selection of your updates in our Classnotes section here or our electronic newsletter, Alumni Links.

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Above: Barbara Blank, Class of 2009 (2003-2009) says she was inspired to become a biology teacher by her own teacher, Joe Amato (right). She returned to school in February to speak to Grade 12 students as part of the Senior Speaker series.

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