What is it like to be a student at
Waterloo Independent Secondary School?
Although we think WISS is a great place to learn! We asked students at WISS to share their perspective.
Bruce came to Waterloo Independent Secondary School in 2020 because he heard great things from his friends. He mentioned that in his previous school, a public school, people weren’t as nice “people did not know who I am or where I was from”. At WISS he feels like belongs here and that he has an identity, “small class sizes help too”. Being one of the oldest students at the school he feels like a leader and helps mentor younger students from time to time. Bruce sees some similarities from his school life in China and his school here in Waterloo “they are similar but I much prefer studying in Canada, teachers are more supportive and if you ask for help they actually help you”. In the future Bruce intends on studying at Wilfrid Laurier University or the University of Waterloo and feels like WISS is the right school to get him to those places.
Coming from the south of China to Canada would be difficult for many international students. However, for Chris this was an easy transition who really wanted a Canadian education. Chris initially had to make a choice, attend public school or go to a private school in Canada. “It was not very difficult. '' He reflects candidly. Chris wanted more guidance so he could have an excellent opportunity to get into his first choice universities and felt like Waterloo Independent Secondary School would give him that chance. “Now I feel more focused, we had guidance meetings with Mr. Farahi and I feel like I am on the right track in terms of my academics” Now Chris is in his last year, he is looking ahead to the future “I have applied to some big universities, I really want to focus on engineering, computer or civil engineering really excite me and I know WISS has helped me get to where I want to be"
Billy came to Waterloo Independent Secondary School from Chengdu, China. As someone who loves soccer he has managed to keep himself busy during the busy academic year. He has enjoyed WISS over the last two years because he values the student/teacher interactions here. “If you have a question, you ask the teacher and they are more than happy to help”. In addition to that he appreciates the small class sizes and positive school atmosphere “the classes in China are quite big so smaller classes are much better to get to know your teacher, in China some grades have 1,000 people much less than here”. The transition from China to Canada was not rather difficult for Billy “there are lots of entertainment options in Canada and you can go shopping, the lifestyle is similar to back home”. In the future Billy has a keen interest in politics and business and is currently exploring his university options in Canada to help him get there.
Jade is one of the bubbliest students you will ever meet. Ever since arriving at Waterloo Independent Secondary School two years ago she has brought her abundance of energy to the WISS community. She came here because her twin brother, Billy, came here so felt compelled to come to Canada as well. Jade studied online at WISS for one year before taking the leap and flying to Canada where she has been ever since. Asked what makes WISS a special place for her she mentioned that “the teacher interaction is really good, they are really nice here”. Although Jade makes it clear she studies hard, she also feels like she has less stress due to the better school/life balance, and feels like she is in a better position to perform for evaluations. Despite being a long way from home, she feels happy “my social circle these days is a lot smaller than before, but it’s better”. In the future Jade has her sights set on art school “there’s a lot of art schools in America that I am currently considering.” If you come to WISS you will see her artwork proudly adorned on the wall. So it will be no surprise when she gets accepted into a top art school!
Although Hunter physically has an imposing presence as soon as he walks inside the school, do not be fooled. At heart, he is an incredibly caring individual that Waterloo Independent Secondary School is glad to have as part of their family. Initially he came here during a summer camp to get a glimpse of life in Canada and after that he made the decision to go to high school in Canada. “I have wanted to come to Canada for a very long time,” Hunter excitedly says. So when he got the chance to study at WISS, he knew it was the right choice. Like many other international students at WISS, he does not feel homesick. “Sometimes we come to school on weekends, we can play card games and hang out with other students”. A day in Hunter’s life at WISS is a lot different than his life back in China “for example physical education class, in China we would run around a field over and over again but here there seems to be more variety in what we do”. In the future Hunter has shown a keen eye in the field of Mathematics and continues to explore career opportunities alongside the guidance counselor to achieve his career aspirations.
Frank is a proud member of the Waterloo Independent Secondary School community and came here from Chengdu to Canada last year after studying online. He has really enjoyed the smaller class sizes and the teacher interactions here which are different to the school that he previously attended “teachers are really kind here and will help you if you are stuck with your learning”. Frank has really enjoyed the lifestyle in Canada “I feel so free here” he says with a smile. In the future Frank has begun to look at career options and is really interested in artificial intelligence, he wants to get accepted into the big universities here. “University of Toronto is at the top of my list!”.