Meeting a thoroughly modern SCIS student

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Senior Samuel Zhang has been at Shanghai Community International School since 2012. Let's check the Q&A of how he has aspirations of studying medicine.
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Senior Samuel Zhang has been at Shanghai Community International School since 2012 and has had an incredible journey with us. From attaining the honor roll every semester for the past five years, to being involved in jazz band and theatrical productions after school, Samuel is heavily involved in all aspects of life at SCIS and is a role model for many. After graduation, the Singapore-born senior has aspirations of studying medicine and becoming a doctor.

Samuel Zhang (right) acts as lead role, Jimmy Smith, in SCIS’ production “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

Q: When did you realize that you loved science?

A: Well, my dad was a scientist and studied to become a geophysicist, and his dad was a chemist. Both of my mom’s parents are doctors. I would say the love of science runs in the family. Although, now my father works in the field of education.

Q: You’re known around SCIS as a guy who loves and aspires to devote your career to medicine. How does that passion influence your daily life?

A: I practice medical procedures on synthetic materials at home, every medicine kid does it, trust me. For example, I practice my suturing skills on fake skin and other experiments within the confines of my bedroom (where I keep a 4kg fire extinguisher just in case).”

Q: Samuel, you were awarded the EARCOS Global Citizenship Award last June at SCIS. Talk to us about other times when you were awarded a recognition for your successes.

A: Every year except for Grade 6, I have been on the honor roll. At that time, my English was still a bit limited, so I wasn’t able to show my ability and didn’t make the list that year. But, every other term, I’ve made the honor rolls and some principal honor roll here and there.

Q: Think back to your days in elementary school. Which teacher inspired you the most and how?

A: I would say it definitely, Du Lao Shi. She was my Mandarin teacher. Coming from Singapore, my Mandarin was not outstanding. Mrs Du gave me confidence and inspired me to learn, as well as opportunities to perform on stage with Chinese celebrities where I recited poetry. This was a turning point in my Mandarin acquisition and sparked a love for the theater, which I am very thankful for.”

Samuel Zhang (third from left) acts as lead role, Jimmy Smith, in SCIS’ production “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”  

Q: What are some of your highlights you’ll always remember about SCIS?

A: MAC 5 has been a lot of fun. I play the tuba. I also love being a part of the SCIS jazz band. I’ll never forget swimming and water polo for SCIS and of course, Cross Country, the odd person’s sport. Winning in sports never mattered to me as I compete with my old self, not others (to feel better). Recently, I played Jimmy in the Broadway Jr production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” It was an immense amount of work, and a very challenging activity to do during my first year of IB, but the invaluable experience and the memories are certainly priceless.

Q: What is your favorite class here at SCIS?

A: That’s a very hard question, but if I had to choose, I would say biology. But, I really love all my classes, although going into Econ (my weakest subject), I had very little prior knowledge. I do enjoy the content, and the excitement of thinking above and beyond the superficial part of economy, and I appreciate its uniqueness.

Q: Do you have advice for students at SCIS?

A: I have noticed that most people experience a sharp decline in confidence and or grades in the first semester in Grade 11 as they don’t get the outcomes that they had hoped for. My advice is to have faith in themselves, push on, and to continue to learn. Never lock yourself in a room to cram for an exam, but rather to keep your life balanced, drop the procrastination, crave for the passion for knowledge, always stimulate yourself with exciting concepts and discoveries of IB subjects that are not in the format of lectures. Really, if you don’t have any interest in a class, find more ways to inspire yourself.”

(The article is contributed by Laurie Luebbe, Community Relations officer and Lower School counsellor at SCIS Pudong.)


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