The disruptions caused by Brexit may not have helped Lola Szarszo realise her tertiary dreams, but ACG School Jakarta certainly has.
The 18 months Lola spent studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) enabled her to apply for a wide range of top international universities, more than compensating for changes in student eligibility criteria resulting from the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
“I’m from Hungary, and because of Brexit, EU students are no longer eligible for certain EU opportunities – opportunities which would have helped me pursue university studies in the United Kingdom,” says Lola, who completed the first half of her secondary education in her homeland.
“In Hungary, I went to a dual-language school where all my classes were taught in German. However, by joining the IBDP at ACG School Jakarta, my English language skills improved at an exponential rate. Because of this, and with the school’s help, I had the opportunity to apply to different universities across the UK.”
And to Lola’s delight, the offers flooded in – from Bristol and Birmingham to Kent and London.
“With all these opportunities, I felt one step closer to making my dream come true.”
So what is Lola’s dream?
“I’ve played music for 13 years now; it plays a huge role in my life. ACG School Jakarta provided me with opportunities via the CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service project) experiences, free-time activities and school-based programmes to do what brings me joy. I realised that producing, playing and editing music is my passion. ACG helped me find my fit.”
Fortified by this realisation, Lola set her sights on studying music production at a top global university. And while studying in the UK was certainly tempting (“I particularly liked the programme offered at the University of Kent”), Lola was determined to keep her options open to ensure the best possible start to her musical career.
“Overall, since graduating from ACG School Jakarta, I’ve been offered places for seven different university courses across three different countries; England, Ireland and Germany!”
The chance to study music production in Berlin – long regarded as one of Europe’s finest music destinations – proved irresistible, and this month the talented 19-year-old starts a new life there, beginning her music production studies at one of Germany’s leading universities.
“Completing higher education in Germany has always been among my goals. I cannot be more excited to move to Berlin and start the next chapter of my life there. I’ve visited Berlin before, and the atmosphere of the city has captivated me. I can’t wait to visit historic landmarks and travel around Germany. But mostly, I’m looking forward to studying music production among many new friends in an international community!”
And thanks to all the skills she gained at ACG School Jakarta, Lola feels well equipped for the challenge.
“ACG has truly prepared me for university life. The IBDP instilled me with study habits that will keep me focused – things like time management and never leaving work to the last minute. ACG also taught me about the power of community, the benefits of sharing ideas, solving problems together and supporting each other. I learned that I do not have to work alone. In a community, everyone benefits when people talk to each other and help each other overcome problems.”
Although Covid-19 changed the nature of Lola’s ACG experience, she still describes her time at the school as unforgettable.
“What I loved most was the way our class held together through the good times and the bad. We all kept in touch online during the lockdown, and we left nobody behind. We supported each other in the best way we could and became extremely close, even when it felt like the world around us was falling apart. Our connection was extremely special, and I will miss that.”
And although Lola is now Berlin-bound for her next life chapter, she has a few parting words for those just beginning their journey at ACG School Jakarta.
“Always challenge yourself to try new things and pursue your passions for as long as you can. Who knows, maybe they’ll lead you to your future career, just like mine has!”