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The pathway to Cambridge and beyond

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The ISP Scholarship Program provides life-changing opportunities for Czech students for whom an ISP education would otherwise be out of financial reach. These young people of outstanding promise and potential are selected, not only based on their academic ability, but also their attitude and potential to contribute to the continued development of the ISP community. 

As with all of the school’s graduates, ISP’s unique educational experience will shape them and open the doors to opportunities that they could not have imagined before.

The ISP Scholarship Program was initiated 21 years ago, and so far, 31 Czech students have benefited from these scholarships. Our scholars come from very different socioeconomic backgrounds and have very different stories to tell us. Most of them join ISP in Grade 9, bringing diversity, vitality, and excellence to the ISP community. All of them engage on a life-long learning journey that drives them towards university studies and other scholarships.

Each scholar has a unique story to tell. Without exception, they all share a sincere appreciation for their scholarships. 

Catching up with Bety Pechacova, Class of 2021 and Scholarship Recipient

How has being the recipient of an ISP Scholarship affected your life? 

Being a recipient of the ISP scholarship has been life changing. The education style at ISP is very different to what I was used to from the Czech schools I had attended, and it opened my eyes to new ways of learning and thinking. The teachers at ISP undoubtedly played the largest part in this and I am very grateful to all of them because I developed many skills and got comfortable with a lot of concepts and types of assignments, which often gets overlooked in more memorization-based teaching. ISP also opened a huge variety of new opportunities to me, for example through support with applications for more scholarships and universities abroad or through opportunities to participate in initiatives and events like TEDx.

A Scholarship with Life-Changing Impact

Have you a specific memory of your time at ISP that you would like to share? 

There are plenty of “bigger” memories but I want to share a detail that still makes me smile when I think about it – for weeks after I started attending ISP, it seemed bizarre to me that students and teachers greeted each other with a “Hi,” because in Czech, the equivalent of that, “Ahoj,” is way too informal to ever use in a student-teacher interaction, especially by the student. Some of it might just be a difference in the language, but to me, it is also a simple demonstration of the friendly atmosphere at ISP and the approachability of teachers and everyone there. 

Informal Atmosphere, Approachable Teachers

Where in the world are you and what are you doing now? 

I am currently in my first year studying Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. This programme starts off quite broad so this year I’m taking Physics and Mathematics as well as Chemistry and Materials Science but starting next year, we specialize a bit more and I would like to study Physics. So far, being here has been even better than I expected – the supervision system (weekly lessons usually with an academic and one other student for each subject) is great and I have learned plenty that way and there are many opportunities beyond academics, such as societies and events that often involve getting access to spaces and getting to speak to people that I thought I could only have dreamt of. The student community here is also exceptional, and I’ve already built friendships that I think will last a long time.

Physics and the Natural Sciences at Cambridge

What do you intend to do in the future?  

There are many paths open to me because I’m at such an early stage in my career so even if I lay out a detailed plan now, I know things will change. However, right now, I think I would like to do a PhD after my Bachelor’s and Master’s studies here and then go into scientific research. I am also interested in education and the environment so I will see what I can do in those areas as I get nearer to the end of my degree.

Beyond the present moment

If you hadn’t attended ISP, how do you think your life might have turned out differently?

It’s difficult to say where exactly I’d be now if I hadn’t attended ISP, but I am sure I would be quite a different person. I changed a lot throughout my time at high school as probably many people do and thanks to ISP, that meant becoming more confident and knowing a lot more about myself, and the experiences over the three years at ISP shaped a lot of the person I am now and I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to be there for that time thanks to the scholarship.

ISP shaped the person I am now