Lascondelas, Medosa, Argentina
'At school, I studied IGCSEs in English, ESOL, English Literature and History. I found the syllabuses interesting, and they gave me a wonderful opportunity to open my mind and gain a lot of knowledge. I didn't like some of the tricky questions! I think IGCSEs open a lot of doors in the world, and can lead to further education. After my gap year I plan to study at university, either in the UK or back in Argentina.'
Currently, 18 year-old Leonardo works as a Language Assistant at a college in Cheltenham, UK. He helps disabled students develop their language skills.
Mahmoud Nabil Moussa
Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Egypt
'I discovered through my IGCSE years that the courses are very interesting. That differs from my middle school, since subjects were very boring and we used to study without understanding. In the IGCSE system we use our minds and understand the subjects instead of just learning facts. IGCSEs have helped me to decide the career I want for my future – engineering. The way the Physics and Maths courses are introduced made me aware of how much I like these courses, that's why I intend to try to know everything about them.'
Natalie Louise Reynolds,
International School of Paphos, Cyprus
'I found my IGCSE courses were interesting, in particular History and English Literature. They were all well-structured and clearly explained in the syllabus. IGCSEs provided me with a good grounding for A Levels which helped me get a place on my chosen degree course. The chemistry course also kept me interested in the subject – enough to carry it on at A Level and choose a science-related degree.'
Natalie is now studying Genetics and Microbiology BSc at the University of Sheffield. Once she has achieved her qualifications Natalie is considering joining the army – The Royal Army Medical Corps – as a Biomedical Scientist.
A and AS Levels
Chia Leong Hong
Institute of Science and Management, Sabah Malaysia
Chia Leong Hong studied A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Further Mathematics, gaining A Grades in all four subjects. 'The courses were really interesting and well structured' Said Chia. 'I studied Further Mathematics A Level independently which although demanding, was a great challenge. The recommended textbooks were particularly useful and it also helped that we had good teachers who knew their subjects well.'
Chia enjoyed the choice of subjects offered by A Level and considers the subjects he chose to study influenced his subsequent degree course. 'Electronic Engineering demands a high standard of Mathematics, which I was able to develop by studying A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics.' Chia always wanted to study overseas and gaining international qualifications allowed him to do this. 'Since A Levels are an established curriculum which follow UK standards and are recognised all over the world they provide excellent preparation for international study. You have to be self-motivated to study A Levels and able to work independently which is a necessity at university. A Levels also teach you problem-solving skills and of course, studying in English is the best preparation for life at a university in the UK.'
Now studying a PhD in Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Chia is sponsored by Cambridge Broadband Ltd. – a local manufacturer of telecommunications equipment. He is set to finish his PhD this year but is yet to decide what he will do next. 'As I have an internationally recognised qualification and a degree from a good university I have numerous options.'
Rohit Vaswani Vaswani
Canterbury School, Gran Canaria, Spain
In 2002, Rohit Vaswani Vaswani won the Cambridge Spanish Scholarship in 2002. The scholarship gave Rohit financial support to study at a university in the UK. Rohit is now studying a Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry degree at Imperial College London in the UK.
Prior to university, Rohit attended the Canterbury School in Gran Canaria, Spain where he studied IGCSEs and A and AS Levels. He gained four A grades in A Level Spanish, Chemistry, Maths and Biology and a B grade for AS Level English which more than met the requirements for his degree course.
Looking back on his A Levels Rohit said: 'In terms of preparation for my degree, the A Level Maths course was excellent. Since A Levels are taught in English it also helped me to practice writing in the English Language, for example using complex terms in essays and developing a reasoned argument, which has really benefited me at university.'
Bede's Grammar School, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Pablo Ambrogi took his first IGCSEs – in English and Maths – when he was 15, and was encouraged to continue with CIE and follow the AICE programme. Initially, Pablo was motivated by a desire to learn the English language: ‘English is very important for students in Argentina, especially if you want to travel or work abroad. But even in our own country, so many aspects of modern life use English all the time – IT is a very good example.'
Pablo studied both the Argentinean curriculum and CIE curriculum. This gave him a perfect opportunity to compare and contrast the two: ‘The Argentinean system is good, but there are many advantages to studying both in English and for an English qualification. The English system encourages you to study a few subjects in great depth, allowing you to focus on the subjects you really like or do well at. It's a more flexible system, and you feel that you have made a more personal choice.'
Studying for AICE also prepared Pablo for life at an English University: ‘AICE encourages independent study – which is a necessity at university. It also taught me how to answer questions precisely – again, excellent training for higher education. And of course, studying in English is the best preparation for life at a university in the UK.'
Pablo won a scolarship from CIE and Gonville and Cauis College, part of the University of Cambridge, where he is now studying for a degree in Philosophy.