A school geared towards success
Sota Takahashi, currently a first-year student of Audentes International School, started his educational journey in Estonia two years ago when he began attending another international school. He has been studying at Audentes since last autumn.
Before moving to Estonia, Sota attended high school in Japan where he claims his schooldays were fun, but his grades were not good. Before that he had attended an international school in India, where he acquired English.
Sota chose Audentes because it is one of the few international schools in Tallinn and the tuition fees are also reasonable. The curriculum is also appealing and an IB diploma makes it easier to apply to international universities.
The fact that Audentes was prepared to admit Sota in March, when he had left his previous school for various reasons, was also a relief. Though he did not begin attending immediately in the spring, the knowledge that Audentes understood his situation and was ready to accept him in the middle of the academic year made him feel secure.
A pleasant experience
According to Sota, the school includes many excellent and understanding teachers and other intelligent people who really try to help him. He was also surprised by the freedom students are given here. For example, a student can exit the classroom if necessary and no questions are asked about it. The fact that this school is ready to listen to everyone’s opinions and provides opportunities for everyone to implement their plans is also great.
Sota has also been impressed by the limited social distance between the principal and students. “I often see the principal making ordinary conversation with students,” he says. “This didn’t happen in my previous international school and there was absolutely no chance of that happening in my Japanese school.”
At Audentes, Sota has managed to keep a good balance between studying and free time and has managed to finish all his school assignments before the deadline. “I don’t have a specific strategy for it, it’s just a question of priorities,” he explains.
A curriculum that supports career options
The flexible curriculum makes it possible for Sota to focus on the subjects he has chosen without needing to spend time on subjects he is uninterested in. “As I do not enjoy studying social studies and art, I have chosen two exact and natural sciences subjects as well as psychology, which is a bit like a natural science,” he explains. “I don’t exactly know yet how these choices will support my career, but it is something I would like to study at university.”
Studying in English is not difficult for Sota, as he has spent his childhood at an international school. “It’s not difficult for me to understand the teachers and respond to them. Knowing English will help my career immensely. If I only knew Japanese, the job positions available to me would be rather limited. Knowing English makes it possible for me to work basically anywhere in the world, which expands my career options.”
Easier to specialise
While lessons at normal high schools last 45 minutes, lessons at Audentes International School last 90 minutes. Sota finds this suitable, as it makes it possible to effectively summarise what was previously covered at the beginning of the lesson and still have plenty of time to cover a new topic. “At first I thought 90 minutes was way too much, but I have never actually felt like the lessons were that long,” mentions Sota. “The time flies quickly.”
“The physical learning environment is also excellent at this school,” he says. “For example, I’m very impressed by how well the doors here isolate noise. Even when the corridor seems quite noisy, the classroom is very quiet if the door if shut. This makes it easier for us to listen to the teacher.”
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