Beyond The Classroom
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At the recently-held CGA Global Open Day, our students talked about their personal experiences of studying with our online school. CGA offers both full time and part time enrolment options for students to tailor their academic journey as needed. Two of our part-time students, Suhaila and Gavin, speak about how they pair CGA with their other academic commitments.
Students use the part-time enrolment option at CGA for a variety of reasons:
Suhaila Alfalahi is based in the UAE and she is taking three AP subjects - Macroeconomics, World History and Psychology - part time with CGA while on her gap year before she goes to university. Suhaila turned to CGA to use AP classes to bypass the international foundation year which would have otherwise been required of her as the local curriculum she undertook is not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. She has now been offered a place to study international relations at her dream university Queen Mary University of London. Lets ask her some questions:
My school was very ambiguous and did not have a proper curriculum. I decided instead of doing a foundation year, I wanted to take AP classes which are still college course material, but it would allow me to bypass the entry requirements at university and study subjects I enjoy at my own pace. I had been wanting to take AP World History, but it was not offered at my school so I am really enjoying taking the class and studying at my own pace.
I genuinely love the teachers at CGA. Recently my friends and I were playing like a reflection game and they asked me who was your favorite people that you met this year and mine was genuinely my teachers. In fact talking about them now makes me really miss the classes. They are so qualified at what they do and they make the classes so engaging and make me so enthusiastic to join classes. My Macroeconomics teacher is so good at applying real life experiences to the class material. Our teachers don't just care about you passing the test, but if you are actually understanding and enjoying the subject.
I definitely think CGA is for anybody who's ambitious — anybody who wants to academically challenge themselves. Some of my classes have students as young as 14 and they want to add more courses to their schedule. I definitely think there's no age restrictions and there's no regional restrictions. I am in the UAE and I have students in my classes from Russia, China, Japan, Brazil and Saudi Arabia. I think if students are really ambitious to learn more they could be a part of CGA.
Auckland-based Gavin felt that his school was limiting him by his age and he wasn't able to progress according to his ability and it was holding him back in his favorite subjects. By taking part-time classes with CGA, Gavin has been able to learn at a pace that is better-suited for him and allows him to advance past his school year. Lets ask him some questions:
The very first benefit of studying part time at CGA is that you get to study with very like-minded peers - people who are willing to put in the hours and work for top universities. The other advantage is to study with teachers from top institutions with many years of experience. Another benefit of studying with CGA is the ability to fast forward several years ahead of your peers so you can also study a little bit faster in case the school's maybe slowing you down. It is your future and you want to grab a hold of it and make sure you propel yourself as much as possible. Another benefit is that you are studying these internationally recognized curriculums and not some national curriculum which works but may not quite be on a level to compete with other international students who have had such a good background. And another benefit of studying with CGA is the numerous amount of extracurriculars which you may not get from a normal school, like the chess club, investment club or the student-led newspaper. The difference between these extracurriculars compared to your normal extracurriculars is that it has this global student perspective as you have people from all around and you have a lot more students to interact with as well.
CGA has been able to firstly provide me extended learning. So when I'm learning something at CGA, I often do not have to retake the course or I can just completely take another course which allows me to take this very broad range of different subjects. This also allows me to focus on my other commitments such as my extracurriculars. Another way that CGA has helped me with my success is through my global connections. I have now met a lot of people from around the world which I probably would never have before and it's made me a lot more confident in how I conduct my life. Lastly, CGA’s helped me by giving me a lot of these different work-life balancing skills. For many students they first experience that only when they join university and it's sort of the first time you're responsible for your time in this sort of way. It's great for students who can get that in earlier so that by the time they're in university when the stakes are very high they're all really practiced in those areas.
Usually on a normal weekday I would go to school in the morning, finish in the late afternoon and then get home and I would have this empty block of time when I can choose what to do. You can maybe do some homework, ECL tasks and you can go do some exercise, do a little bit of reading — sort of that free time. When you're given such a large amount of free time you really don't want to waste it. That's why I decided to come to CGA to put that time to good. The best part about joining CGA is the flexibility — it just wraps around my other extracurriculars and doesn't interfere. I don't have to make room from my other extracurriculars to fit CGA and it's just such a flexible tool that helps me become a little bit more internationally competitive. On the weekends I can continue to do my other extracurriculars as well as being able to insert new extracurriculars which I found from CGA, such as the chess club.