“Few students embody the totality of what it means to be a WISS student like Jade Vereecken. Jade started WISS in second grade back in 2008. The reflective and inquiry-based learning atmosphere of WISS and the IB was a perfect fit for a communicator with empathy and reflective skills such as Jade. Being at WISS and not knowing Jade was impossible as her gregarious nature was infectious. Her positive energy always ensured that she had a smile on her face and was able to put one on yours. Watching her mature throughout the years was an immense pleasure and one that I will not soon forget. Not just an amazing personality, Jade was a dedicated student who always put forth her best effort into her studies. She went off to Amsterdam to study psychology and has since returned to Shanghai to continue her studies remotely. Our community of balanced, confident, compassionate, internationally-minded global citizens was made stronger by her presence. I am positive she will continue to have a similar impact as she ventures out into the world,” shared Leonard Stanley, Theory of Knowledge teacher at WISS.
Name: Jade Vereecken
Years at WISS: 2009 – 2019
Graduated: Class of 2019
Hometown: Shanghai, China
What impact did your time at WISS have on you?
I think the main impact of WISS is my friends – the connections I have made with people, the long-lasting relationships. The friends I’ve met here, I’m still friends with, and I think I will be forever. I think it’s because WISS is such a safe space where you can just be yourself.
What were the highlights of your time at WISS?
There are a lot. I have been at WISS since I was in Grade 2, so I feel like, through all of these years, I have been watching WISS change and grow with more people coming. It was really nice to see. I think that’s obviously not one singular highlight, but I think it is one big highlight.
I remember when I was younger, the whole of WISS was just the kindergarten building and the thing that was separating my class and another class was just a curtain. Watching WISS develop, change, and become a bigger school is one of the highlights.
Another highlight of being at WISS was the trip to Bohol, Philippines. I went with my three best friends, and we stayed in a room together, which was so fun. Also, every day we had to cook our own meals for our group, which felt so wholesome. The trip was a diving trip, but I had a cold, so I couldn’t even go diving. That trip is still one of the biggest highlights, so you can imagine how fun it was. The hotel we stayed at was like a resort, and the whole place was reserved just for WISS students, which was amazing. The part of the trip that was most memorable was a big group of us sitting at the table playing card games, laughing, and talking about things.
What are you doing now, and what are your career goals?
I’m studying in Amsterdam now. Because of the Coronavirus, I am back in China. I want to work in China again in the future. So I applied for a semester abroad at Tsinghua University in China, so I can get that part in my diploma because it is considered quite a big deal. If I want a future in China, if I want to get a job, that would help a lot.
In China, two universities are considered the ‘best universities’, Beijing and Tsinghua University. So if you have one of those Universities in your CV, it’s like WOW.
What advice would you give to current WISS students as they’re looking ahead to college and careers?
Meet your deadlines. That’s the most important thing.
What would you tell a parent who is considering sending their child to attend WISS?
They should do it. It is really fun. Most of my life was spent at WISS – the majority of my life, I grew up here. The teachers and the students – the connection – is just so different compared to any other school.
Mr. Stanley, for instance, he’s like another father to me. I talk to him about everything. At WISS, I know that if I had any problems, I could go to any teacher and talk to them. They’d give me good advice, and they’d help me. I don’t think many other schools have teachers like that. Everyone I know who has gone to WISS has always talked about that bond with a certain teacher. WISS is like a family.
WISS helped me develop as a whole person. I could say there was one certain thing, but I really think WISS played a huge role in developing my whole personality, everything. All my memories have been me at WISS.