My Transition to JIS

By Eva, Grade 10 JIS Student

If I were to explain my transition to Jakarta Intercultural School in one word, it would be “relief.” I was dreading moving to Jakarta from the U.S.A at the beginning of last school year, but JIS has so many new student programs, community building events, and opportunities to explore shared interests that my transition was pretty smooth. I’m proud to say I go to JIS, and already feel right at home with my classmates after a semester.

The school is known for its large workload, but it also has a vibrant and welcoming community to guide students through the daunting expectations. New high school students will be paired with “Dragon Buddies;” JIS students who can answer any questions about the schedule, campus, opportunities, or clear up any confusion. Mine helped me understand Google Calendar, IASAS, CAS, SLA, and all the important acronyms that everybody seemed to assume I’d know already. Because of them, I could recognize a face in the crowd on my first day, and knew to join the high school musical (In the Heights, this year), which was the best decision I ever made.

While I know not everyone has this great experience with their Dragon Buddy, the program itself exemplifies one of my favorite aspects of JIS: It TRIES. It seems that every other week, there’s a new lesson on mental wellness, assembly on anti-discrimination, SCA-hosted community event like a movie night or fair, or more. Four times a year, a Well-Being Survey goes out to all students; Counselors reach out to anybody with responses that indicate a need for support and immediately provide a space to talk. Service Clubs – ranging from art to environmental to humanitarian work – help keep students involved with their community, but also provide chances for friendships. The attention to students’ wellbeing, at least for me, is visible and deeply affecting.

The effort from JIS’s teachers and students is admirable. It seems very open to change and progress. Once I settled down a bit and learned who to talk to and what meetings to attend, I realized just how many of my peers are deeply invested in bettering their world. JIS is the perfect place for them to learn how.

It would be impossible to talk about my JIS experience without mentioning the campus. It’s beautiful, and every now and then I re-realize that. It’s very green, very large, and there are so many PLACES to go. As a new student, the most important ones to be aware of are: the Huts, the new library, and of course, all the school buildings.

As for the library, it’s architecturally stunning (like much of the school) and nice for independent work. Students are given an Honor Pass, which is a study/free period. I usually spend my time reading in a Hut, walking around with friends, or in the library, where there are study pods and specific rooms for group and silent work. The Glass Box lets you get food (the pretzels are good) with your ID card, and there are Study Pods in the F Module where people go to hang out. You’ll become very familiar with the field or tennis courts if you do those sports, or the Fine Arts Theater if you’re a fine arts kid like me. Basically, JIS has facilities available for all sorts of work, interests, and free time.

Academically, JIS has made me feel seen and accomplished as somebody who hates unproductivity. There’s a lot to handle at first, as with any high school, but I’ve gotten better at managing my time out of necessity. There are also National Honor Society tutors available, and most teachers are willing to give personal help.

My best advice would be to join clubs, reach out, and meet people, because once you find a good group of friends, school life becomes a lot easier. There’s no softening the blow of being a new student without any connections yet, but if it helps, people tend to be really nice here. Meet them in classes, Activity and Service clubs, and through shared interests – and you’ll be fine.

I would hope most new students share my opinions, but I can only speak as someone who’s immediately fallen in love with the people, campus, clubs, and… yeah, Theater program. I can barely remember the few days as a new student where this place seemed intimidating!


4 thoughts on “My Transition to JIS”

  • John Doe

    Wow look at the size of that school!

    • emcreons

      Yeah I know it’s crazy right!

  • Karina

    I wish to go to this school…

    • emcreons

      Me too!

Comments are closed.

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