ISP’s Mission is to Inspire, Engage and Empower all learners to be Curious, Competent, Compassionate, Changemakers. Alumni Stories show how students take the ISP Mission into the world and continue to live by the school’s values.
Natalie Savic Madi (Class of 2007) currently lives in Prague where she is the Managing Director and PR Executive at a Prague-based Public Relations agency called M Consulting, an agency that represents international fashion and luxury brands on the Czech market. Natalie is also part of a select ISP club in that she is married to fellow Graduate Stefan Savic (Class of 2009), with whom she lives in Prague with their young son, Rafi (Natalie and Rafi are pictured above on a recent visit to ISP).
“ISP taught me to respect, but not to follow blindly, to be polite, but speak up for myself, to be considerate yet competitive at the same time. At ISP we were always encouraged to express our opinion and push our boundaries.”
Natalie was very much a ‘lifer’ at ISP, both in relation to spending her formative years at the school, and how closely her school is intertwined with her subsequent life. Natalie recalls; “It was August 1992 when I first stepped foot into ISP when I was three years old. I couldn’t imagine the people, the experiences, or the friendships that were to come. At the time I couldn’t fathom just how fortunate I was to be able to attend this school, and how much, besides an academic education, this place would give me.”
The idea of ISP being an integral part of her life is something that Natalie keeps returning to. She recalls her mixed emotions when graduating from ISP, saying; “In 2007, I completed my senior year at ISP, which was really a bittersweet feeling. It meant saying goodbye to the place where I grew up, the place which, as I realize today, moulded me into the person I am now.”
Fast forward another 12 years to 2019. Natalie found herself looking out the window, watching her wedding guests arrive. This was the day she describes as when she “I was fortunate enough to marry my best friend and fellow ISP alum.” Natalie stood there watching Stefan from afar as he greeted their guests, many of whom were returning to Prague. The guests had come from cities around the world, reflecting the couple’s international education. Many ISP alumni guests came from New York, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Brussels and more cities to be with the happy couple on their special day. As Natalie takes up the story, “some of those that attended our wedding I see quite frequently, but there were others I hadn’t seen in years. But, standing there in my wedding dress and seeing my husband welcoming our old ISP friends to our wedding really brought tears to my eyes.”
Thanks to modern technology it is easier than ever to stay in touch with friends all over the world, which definitely helps Natalie remain close. “I have a WhatsApp chat with two of my best friends from ISP. We started the chat right after my wedding, and for the last two and a half years not a day has gone by where at least one of us didn’t write something! I think that growing up at an international school wasn’t always easy. Lots of families only stuck around for a couple of years before moving on. Friends came and went, but many friendships built during those years at ISP have truly withstood the test of time.”
Pushed to name her most memorable moments at ISP, perhaps reflecting the centrality of the school to her life, Natalie focuses more on general memories; “I think that what overpowers all of the physical experiences is the emotional imprint that ISP left on me. I truly believe that attending this school allowed me to succeed in life. Having a child of my own now, I realize more than ever, how important growing up in that environment was.”
Natalie’s memories show a clear linkage with ISP’s current mission – to Inspire, Engage and Empower all learners to be Curious, Competent, Compassionate, Changemakers. This is clear when she says; “ISP taught me to respect, but not to follow blindly, to be polite, but speak up for myself, to be considerate yet competitive at the same time. At ISP we were always encouraged to express our opinion and push our boundaries.”
Unsurprisingly, Natalie sees her ISP journey as far from over, but perhaps the future sees a new role for her at ISP – as a parent. “I know today that I want the same experience my husband and I had for my son. I want him in a safe and encouraging environment. Who knows, he might be one of the first children of two Alumni to attend ISP!”
We await the next chapter in Natalie’s ISP life story!