ISSOS May Newsletter 2013

ISSOS Newsletter

We are excited about the summer so thought we would share some news and ISSOS stories to get you ready for your ISSOS experience.

A former student tells us how ISSOS changed the course of her life

“I attended ISSOS in the summer of 2008, I was about to enter my last year of secondary education in The Netherlands. I thought I wanted to be a doctor, however my life could not possibly have changed more over the course of those three weeks.

I met some amazing people from all over the world, whom I still am great friends with today. I also fell in love with theatre and storytelling and went on to write, direct and produce my very own musical, which was initially performed in The Netherlands in January of 2009 and later also at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2009 (ISSOS also helped fund the production at the festival). The summer school gave me the courage and inspiration to make this dream a reality. Thanks to ISSOS I truly believe that anything is possible.

Fiona Teerlink Image

I went on to study a BA in Drama and Performance at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and I have since written and produced another musical and four short films and have had some incredible work experience with the Edinburgh International Festival. After having studied Film and Business at New York University for one year, I am now the CEO and Producer of Moving Lights Theatre Company. After I finish my degree in July, I will move to Arizona, USA, to study an MS in Global Management, still focusing on the industry I fell in love with during ISSOS.  People always say that some decisions can change your life.

In my case ISSOS was the decision that changed my life for the better!

Rising Star who is making a difference

Ejaj Ahmad, who has been a friend and supporter of ISSOS since the beginning, recently received the prestigiousRising Star Award from Harvard University. Ejaj is the founder and president of Bangladesh’s first leadership institute - Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) that he founded after graduating from Harvard’s JFK School of Government in 2008.


Ejaj undertook his undergraduate degree at St Andrews University with ISSOS founder, Jen Munro where the two became great friends. Jen said “I always knew Ejaj would return to Bangladesh and effect positive change, he is so passionate and dedicated to his country and to making a positive change in peoples life's. It is amazing what he has done and I for one am so proud of my friend.”


BYLC is an amazing organization that has reached out to hundreds of young people in Bangladesh and trained them in invaluable skills. Marty Kinsky who presented Ejaj with his award said “Your work to mobilize the youth of Bangladesh by founding Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) is more than inspiring — it also speaks to the power that leadership training can have to unite and affect a generation of people"

A chat with the ISSOS PGA Golf coach at St Andrews Dukes Course

AydenAyden Robert-Jones has been a PGA Golf coach at the St Andrews Dukes course for 10 years and has been responsible for heading up the ISSOS golf program since 2006. Golf is our most popular elective at ISSOS and with the amazing setting of the Dukes course in the historical home of golf, we understand why. We decided to ask Ayden a few Golf related questions before the summer gets into full “swing.”

What is your favourite thing about working at ISSOS?

“The passion you get from the Kids is a massive incentive… to see how the game can influence each student in so many different ways, it can instill great discipline that can be adapted to themselves personally and because we have the luxury of long coaching sessions it’s like they are different players by the end of the 3 week school!”

Who is your biggest golfing influence and why?

Tiger Woods: the sheer dedication, ability, discipline and pushing the boundaries of how to be the best at a game that will never be mastered! In my generation he will be the best but he will also make the next generation try harder.

Why is St Andrews so great for golf?

It’s the home of golf, where it all started. It’s the Disney World of Golf; 10 courses, 7 of which are Links courses, all enclosed in a small coastal town - its an amazing place to be and the golf is there for everyone, even if you have never played before.

Two golfers

Location, Location, Location

At ISSOS only the best will do.  We have chosen exclusive locations that are not only beautiful and safe but are recognized as the best Universities in the world.

Cambridge University was recently confirmed as the No 1 university in the UK and St Andrews No 1 in Scotland.

Complete Uni Guide

Click here to learn more abut the UK University League tables

Summer 2013 is almost here

As we enter the final stages of preperation for ISSOS 2013 (i.e. assigning rooms, planning trips and polishing the ISSOS clan cup) all of the team at ISSOS are excited for this summer. Our teachers, counselors and head office staff are looking forward to welcoming new students and catching up with returners in both St Andrews and Cambridge.

We also hope to have the opportunity to meet family members at the Parents Reception which will be held at the end of each session.  

For those of you who have unfortunately missed out on ISSOS this year, we are currently taking reservations for 2014 via our website.  

Happy Group

ISSOS truly is the experience of a lifetime!

Thinking about University?

Every summer we run University admissions workshops, delivered by leading professionals who have both the experience and knowledge to guide students through the university admissions process to some of the worlds leading universities.

The presentations include:

  • How to fill in a UCAS form
  • How to write a personal statement
  • Degree structures
  • Applying to a US University
  • Applying to Oxbridge
  • Applying to a UK based university.

This year our workshops are led by 2 seasoned professionals in both St Andrews and Cambridge.

St Andrews Campus - David Allen

David Allen Image

David set up Global College Counselors in 2010 after a long and established career as a Head of Department and school counselor at a wide selection of prestigous International Schools. David is a past President of ACAC and is currently a Board Member of NACAC. David is a graduate of the University of Bath, Roehampton Institute and St Andrews University.

Cambridge Campus - Elizabeth Rickards

Elizabeth Rickards

Elizabeth set up Elizabeth Rickards Education and Careers Consultancy, in 2008 and now advises students from all over the world.  Elizabeth read History and French at St Andrews University and went on to be principal of Davis Laing and Dick (DLD) in London. She is a renowned educationalist who is passionate about creativity in education.

Ideas Worth Sharing

TED Talks logo image

TED Talks that inspire ISSOS

ISSOS loves TED Talks and we encourage our teaching staff to use them as part of their lesson planning.

What better resource can you have than the most qualified people in their field talking about subjects that they are passionate and knowledgeable about.

We began TED Tuesdays, posting our favourite TED talks every Tuesday on our facebook page, and have now also created a playlist of our favourite TED talks for you to enjoy.

If you have a favourite talk that you would like to share or think should be given more exposure, please let us know and we will add it to our playlist.

Click here to watch the ISSOS Head office selected TED Talks

ISSOS Alumni News:

The first international student ever to graduate from the RCS with a MA in Film

Ed Hallighan

Ed Hallighan who attended ISSOS in 2008 will be graduating in June from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a BA in Digital Film and Television. 

Ed is the first International student to graduate from the film degree course at the RCS. Both RCS and ISSOS are very proud that Ed chose Scotland as a place to study his undergraduate degree.

Ed’s Mum emailed ISSOS recently to say “Ed would have never found the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland if it wasn't for your wonderful organization. I can't say enough good things about ISSOS.”  

ISSOS is excited to see what Ed goes on to do and we are delighted to have been invited to his graduation film screening in Glasgow in June. Well done Ed.

Remember if you would like to stay up to date with current ISSOS news throughout the year you can do so by joining ourLinkedIn and Facebook pages. 

For a glimpse of what lies ahead, please watch some slide shows made by former students of their ISSOS experince; Slide Shows