What Students Say
“My best memories about BIS are about having great friends and making various projects with them, such as BIS MUN, bake sales, movie night. etc. BIS helped me find my passion by providing opportunities to make all kinds of projects. My IB experience prepared me well for university, because now I know exactly what and how I should be there. All these stressful deadlines, challenging subjects, and supportive teachers supported me in improving myself. This school taught me to work hard in order to make my goals real.
For me personally, Mr Toon and Mr Ethan changed me the most. The reason is that at the beginning of IBDP 1 my skills were low in math and biology, and these teachers always were ready to help and explain everything. They did not give me answers but rather motivated me to research myself to find all the information. They helped me to improve my skills in research and self-discipline. However, the most important lesson is that after being their student I understood that if I do not know or understand something, I should not be afraid to ask.
My advice to DP students is:
- it’s okay to ask for help;
- be more self-disciplined;
- do not be shy to try something new.
Meerim Zholdosheva – Class of 2020
“My favorite memories took place in the IBDP study room. I had a lot of fun there hanging out with my peers: batting various fruits across the room, being “too loud” and “an interruption to classes next door”, watching movies, being scolded for watching movies, continuing to watch movies, crying in a group huddle, and sleeping to forget the existence of the IB entirely. Ah, memories. On a more serious note, I really enjoyed spending time with my friends and sometimes the staff in this welcoming atmosphere. Being able to be part of a loving and accepting community assisted me greatly in my life then, and continues to be something I remember with great fondness.
The most influential teachers for me were: Mr. Thierry, because he helped me through a difficult time, and took the time to know and understand my needs and situation; Mr. Andrew, because he made my school experience way more enjoyable, and helped me to better understand the world around me outside of that environment; Ms. Makiko and Ms. Sunny because they were always there when we needed them, and would help us under any circumstance; and Mr. Tillman, because he actually taught me how to write and formulate arguments, skills that I have needed and continue to need now.
BIS helped me to get through some of the hardest and most influential years of my life thus far. It’s community taught me the importance of working together. It’s staff taught me the importance of respect. And its ever-expanding, ever-fuller buildings taught me the importance of good AC systems. BIS allowed me to develop as a human being, and to better understand this crazy world that we live in. It taught me that it’s okay to lose control every once in a while, and to trust that, with the right help and people, things can always be put back on track. Furthermore, BIS helped me to recognize how vital an education is to everybody, and how much of a change it can make in our lives.
Rylee McMillan – Class of 2020
I am so grateful and proud to be a BIS graduate. This school provided me with so many opportunities: Career and College Counselor, books, competitive environment, wonderful people and most importantly education. The IB Diploma Programme was super challenging for me in the beginning because I transferred from a local school where I had studied for 10 years. Thanks to IB, I became more disciplined and responsible – all these deadlines made me better manage my time and efficiently arrange my study schedules. I also learned how to write academic works, how to use citations, how to use electronic libraries and many other things!
My advice to all DP students is:
- try to do everything on time, and if you have spare time, cover the next topics and be ahead your class;
- try to always revise topics;
- do not hesitate to ask questions.
Sabira Duishebaeva – Class of 2020
Completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at BIS prepared me extremely well for university. There are many aspects of education at BIS that I experience all the time in my classes at Rollins College: timed exams, in-class essays, and heavy homework loads. Furthermore, I developed skills such as time management, self-discipline, and critical thinking. I love that BIS gave the Diploma Programme students trust and responsibility because it forced us to develop these skills. BIS did more than just prepare me for academics, it gave me opportunities to pursue my interests in sports, community service, and clubs, and it hosted social events for the entire BIS community. By captaining the basketball team, I learned how to be a leader. By going to Asia day I understood the value of community. BIS made a family of people from all cultures and ages. This family taught me the importance of kindness, cultural acceptance, and the sense of belonging.
I am more prepared for the challenges I will face in college and the workforce thanks to BIS.
Mackenzie Scheer – Class of 2019
Just being a student in BIS for 2 years was an amazing experience. I mean everyday life. I miss it. Besides, I really liked all the public events BIS organized, almost every month.
Aikanysh Segizbaeva – Class of 2019
“For me studying at BIS was an amazing experience. I learned so much and really grew as a person. The thing that really created a lasting impression on me is BIS’ amazing positive community that I fortunately got to be a part of. BIS creates all the conditions necessary for students to thrive and maximize their potential. The teachers are great and will make an effort to ensure that you understand the material, answering any questions that you may have. However, studying at BIS in the IB Diploma Programme was not easy. In fact, it was quite difficult, which is precisely why it was such a great experience for my self-development because it really pushed me and unleashed my potential. It taught me how to deal with stress and how to better manage my time. It also taught me that I am capable of much more than I thought. Thanks to BIS many doors were opened for me and now I’m studying at Nazarbayev University. Thanks to the rigour of the Diploma Program it is not very difficult to study at university now.
If you choose to study at BIS I’m sure you won’t regret it. I honestly believe that this is one of the best, if not the best, schools in Kyrgyzstan. It won’t be easy, the IBDP is very challenging. But guess what? Nothing is easy in life. If you wish to succeed, you must be prepared to work hard.”
Temirkul Umetaliev – Class of 2019
I spent my last two years of high school in BIS studying the IB diploma program. After graduating from BIS I enrolled in the University of Notre Dame and am now studying Environmental Engineering. The IB diploma program prepared me well for the rigor of academics in university. The teachers were willing to allocate time to individual students whenever they needed any extra help in course work or with weekly homework assignments. While everyone can go on about the academics and the coursework of their schools, the diversity of BIS is what stood out to me. We had a good variety of not only nationalities in class, but also of opinions, worldviews, and standings. This promoted us to question each other’s claims and grow together overall, as we widened our perspectives and understood the outlooks of others. I am happy with the friendships I made with my peers, upper classmates and underclassmen. I hope that these diverse relationships that I was able to make in the caring environment at BIS will last with me well into my future in college, and onward.
Dastan Tursaliev – Class of 2019
First of all, I learned about research, which is very helpful since in university, doing research and writing papers is an essential skill. The Extended Essay and Internal Assessments that I completed as part of the Diploma Programme helped me to understand how to research and write, and provide correct citations and bibliography.
Secondly, I learned to interact with people more effectively: I was more of a shy guy before I came to BIS. A lot of extracurricular activities opened a whole different world to me. By looking at different people and participating in several activities, I was able to get out of my comfort zone.
Lastly, I became open-minded regarding “controversial” topics: particularly, I learned to look at them from different perspectives and put myself in another person’s place. It helped me in trying to avoid prejudice, which is common in this culture.
I believe there are more things I learnt, but these are the ones I clearly see.
Arslan Sultanbek Uulu – Class of 2019
I have a lot of great memories at school with my teachers and friends in BIS. My time here was one of great growth where I learned to become the person I really wanted to be. One of my most memorable experiences was organizing the Bishkek International Debate Tournament, involving many different schools in Bishkek. I learned to believe in myself when founding the debate club at school and taking responsibility to lead the organizing team. Furthermore, it helped me to realize how networking is important to connect people in order to reach global goals, as we invited IDEA to be a partner, and to support with judges. I also learned to work in a team. As I remember, I was working with my organizing team, school staff, volunteers, competitors, judges and guests. I am proud that this tournament has since become an annual event at BIS.
I want to thank everyone at BIS for supporting all students in our goals in order to grow up to be an influential generation. People are always inspired by different personalities who help us learn different life lessons. I am personally thankful to Dr Grant, Mr Toon and Mr Thierry who all taught me valuable life lessons. I thank Dr Grant for his support as Head of School and mentoring as a life coach. I learned to fight for my future even though it seemed impossible in my situation. He believed in me more than I believed in myself during challenging moments in my life. I hope that I will give all harvest in future to justify the belief of Dr Grant. Teachers, like Mr Toon, gave us students the freedom to express ourselves and to become friends. This way of teaching helped us to be open-minded and to learn with such a wonderful desire. As a positive and open-minded Form Teacher and supporter, Mr Thierry always got in touch with us at any time of day or night during school terms. The funniest thing was that he was more committed to the time management of our study schedule than we were!
In conclusion, I want to thank all of these wonderful people who gave me all their time.”
Askar Ernist – Class of 2018
Although the IB Diploma Programme (DP) was definitely challenging, it ultimately helped me develop skills that proved to be valuable once I entered university. If nothing else, the DP made me understand how valuable time management is and helped me settle into a new rhythm of work ethic. I strongly believe I became a more well-rounded person throughout the 2 years I was at BIS, and I acquired lessons and built relationships that will stay with me throughout life. I truly enjoyed my time at BIS, and I’ll always hold all the memories close to my heart – the ECAs, sports teams, study sessions, events, volunteering and, of course, the people. I’m incredibly grateful to my teachers for providing me with their tough love, kindness and genuine encouragement. Some of my friends from BIS are still the closest people in my life. Thus, going into college I felt like I had a really solid support system, and it helped me settle into my new life relatively easily.
Of course, when arriving at College, it was still somewhat intimidating arriving in a country I’ve never been in before, alone and extremely jet lagged. College is a completely different experience. Although nowadays I’m still buried under mountains of work, it’s somewhat exhilarating to be able to study what you chose to study. Despite still being tired and stressed, I enjoy all the new information I’m constantly acquiring.
I really enjoy living and studying in Ottawa, which is the capital of Canada. I have managed to do a little bit of sight-seeing and have seen some cool places like the Parliament building, the Rideau Canal, and lots of beautiful museums located downtown. It was delightful experiencing the completely different atmosphere of a new city.
Some advice to current DP students – appreciate your teachers, take time management very seriously (we all know you won’t), and if you don’t know what you want to do or who you want to be, there’s nothing wrong with taking some time off to figure it out. You’ll come out much happier if you give it some thought and ask for advice. Everyone at BIS is always there to support you :).
Sofia Ligai – Class of 2018
“I want to start by saying that BIS has literally changed my life. If not for the two-year IB Diploma programme at BIS, I would have been burning the candle at both ends studying in a Chinese high school, without having a clue about what to do with my life. Before entering BIS, I never thought I would be interested in Psychology or anything related to it. And here I am, a happy first year Bachelor student at Leiden University in the Netherlands. The IB Diploma opened up new opportunities and chances for me to explore different fields of studies in countries around the world, which brought me to study Psychology here. Only after commencing my university life, I realized how well the two difficult IB years prepared me for the overwhelming amount of work one should finish within strict deadlines at university. We say that IB is tough, but BIS teachers made these two years much easier than they could have been, and more interesting for us. Our teachers not only valued students’ opinion, but encouraged us to express our thoughts freely and were always there when we had difficulties, doubts or questions of any sort. Their support, kindness and professionalism were motivating me not to give up half way through. Besides, the school encourages you to be involved in extracurricular activities and challenging projects, which in turn provided us with more chances to explore and find out where we belong. Thanks to a supportive and encouraging studying atmosphere, students in BIS set high goals and do their best to reach them. I am also grateful for the amazing people I met and the precious memories I have from these years. BIS is not just a school, it is a big family!”
Viktoriia Tian, Graduation Class of 2018
“Had anybody asked me five years ago where I see myself in five years, my predictions would have most likely appeared to be inaccurate. I am now an IB DP alumnus and a first-year student at IE University in Madrid, Spain, studying Business Administration, but at the beginning of 2014, when I was about to start my first day at ESCA-Bishkek International School, it did not even cross my mind what awaited me in the coming years. The IGCSE and then the IB programs allowed me to dive into the yet unfamiliar world of international education. The new skills and the knowledge acquired throughout these years eventually helped me to get a scholarship into the university I dreamed of and, as I now realize after the first semester of my undergraduate studies, prepared me well for the workload of the university. I have to admit, however, that my four-and-a-half-year journey at ESCA-BIS was thorny, especially because our class was the ‘pioneer’ in the educational systems introduced for the first time in our school. Nevertheless, our teachers were always there to help and support us until the very last exam. I do not think that I would have been where I am now if I had not become a part of ESCA-BIS. I will never regret the decision made five years ago to come to this school and I will always be grateful for the benefits and opportunities it gave me. I sincerely hope that our school will continue to grow and provide a top-notch education for years to come”
Daniil Kim, Graduation Class of 2018
“I studied the IB Diploma at BIS from 2016-18. It was the most interesting experience full of new insights, highlights, and support from teachers. I felt the deep difference between BIS and other schools, as here every single student takes responsibility to work hard for their exams, to be part of the community and discuss any topic together collaboratively. The educational system is not lecture-based, there is a full interaction between students and teachers in class. The best part about it is parent’s involvement in their child’s education, which is, unfortunately, not usual in public schools. The one quality I gained and want to mention is acceptance. People in this environment taught me to accept any problem I face in my difficult moments. Here acceptance does not mean resignation or being inactive, but it does mean questioning “This is happening. What I will do now?” There was a time when I faced numerous failures and would feel so depressed about that, but being able to accept it helped me to stay motivated and move on for the next step. Before joining BIS, my Mondays would usually start with “Omg! Today is Monday! I have a History”, but BIS turned Monday oppression upside down to “Yay! Monday! I’ve Computer Science”. This is the transformative school in Kyrgyzstan that focuses on a shared vision with others for a better future. After BIS I won a scholarship to study social entrepreneurship at Watson Institute in the US”
Regina Zhyldyzbekova, Graduation Class of 2018
“My name is Leo Brezina and I was an IB Diploma student at BIS for my senior year, 2017/18, as my family moved from Tashkent to Bishkek. After graduating from BIS, I enrolled at Mannheim University, a research university in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, for my Bachelor in Economics. Despite only spending a year of my studies at BIS, I was still able to completely immerse myself into the community of the school, and this one year will always be a bright memory of my high school time. Apart from the first-class education that BIS has to offer, it is also worth mentioning the incredible offer in extracurricular activities, ranging from football to chess club, and the great opportunities to compete in sports tournaments with other international schools in Central Asia. BIS is very welcoming towards new students of any nationality and from the very first day I was involved in all class discussions and activities. The community is very open to new members, and what made it such a pleasure to be part of is the fact that support came from all sides, no matter if teachers, students, staff or even parents. It felt like everyone was eager to contribute to the academic and personal growth of each student. This kept me on track with my studies and provided an environment that supported me in any situation. In Bishkek, there is no other community like this in terms of diversity, open-mindedness, and acceptance. I am certain that the future for BIS is bright and its development will exceed any expectations. Always remember one thing: you will never feel alone at BIS.”
Leo Brezina, Graduation Class of 2018
“Studying in Bishkek International School was a great chance for me as it gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore a new international world. BIS is a unique school where I developed both communicative and academic skills. I met interesting people of various nationalities and backgrounds and learned much more about different cultures. Despite the IB Diploma Programme being so challenging, our teachers always supported and helped us. Two years of studies enabled me to prepare for university life, to be more active and brave. Writing essays on many different topics in all subjects helped me to choose my major program. Now, I study Psychology at AUCA and feel very thankful for the knowledge and valuable experience that BIS helped me to acquire.”
Kamila Kulenbekova, Graduation Class of 2018
“I have attended ESCA for a short time, but I already know that this is the school I want to attend. The school’s small community is not overwhelming and is easy to adjust to. The students are friendly and the staff is incredible, probably the best staff team I will ever encounter. The atmosphere in the school encourages creativity and academic excellence. Several words cannot describe ESCA. One has to be at ESCA to really feel the dynamic sensation that the school radiates.”
Aikanysh Toktonazarova, BIS alumnus
“I have been in ESCA for more than 4 years and have enjoyed it since I started. The environment in ESCA is family like and welcoming. In ESCA there is a huge variety of nations, there is no racism, nobody is bullied and you can get a lot of nice friends. I am very lucky because not everyone has the chance to get a great education like this one. I have moved up because of the support the teachers give to every individual student. If I get stuck on anything it is very easy for me to just ask the teacher and they will answer with pleasure. Because the school is small we can know almost every student and teacher personally. It is nice when you know everyone and they know you.”
Malina MacDonald, BIS alumnus
“ESCA is a place where students meet new friends, where they meet new teachers and where they are taught. My first impressions of ESCA were my classmates and teachers. When I started, I could hardly understand English and I was usually helped by classmates as they explained things to me. And the teachers are always friendly and cheerful. I like the method of teaching as teachers always explain topics with examples, especially in science where we have a lot of experiments. Prior to joining ESCA I did not like math but Mr Comar opened my eyes and now I love math and it’s interesting how I can easily solve math problems. In ESCA “I learned a lot and many subjects became my favorites, like Physics, Mathematics, History and Biology. Teachers here are the best teachers for all the years of schooling. They always help and explain new topics with examples. I think that new students must choose ESCA because it is a very good school with the best teachers. I very much like the methods of teaching and I think others will enjoy it too.”
Bek Belekov, BIS alumnus