May 18, 2023
British-born Jennifer Turrell transferred as a junior from an International Baccalaureate school in the United Kingdom to Advanced Placement studies at AIS-Salzburg in 2020 and graduated in 2022 after two years in our program. Since graduating, everything hasn’t gone according to plan for Jennifer and like many college students around the world, she has had to adapt to circumstances and make hard decisions about her future. In this interview, we check in with Jennifer as she shares how life has been going and reflects back on her time at AIS-Salzburg.
AIS-Salzburg: How has life after AIS-Salzburg be going?
Jennifer: Life is very different. Despite living in the same city (Salzburg), my life has completely changed. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible people through my workplace, time spent at my favorite coffee shop (La Romana on the Linzergasse, would highly recommend), and my new neighbours. I have a lot more freedom than I did before, but with that comes A LOT more responsibility and living on your own in such an expensive city is challenging.
AIS-Salzburg: What made you decide to work instead of study?
Jennifer: I decided to take a gap year because I disliked Bath and the university I was attending. My plan was to go to the University of Salzburg in March, but many people encouraged me to consider other options. After learning about other students’ experiences, I decided that staying in Salzburg wasn’t for me.
AIS-Salzburg: Did your time at AIS-Salzburg prepare you for adult life?
Jennifer: I have to be honest, no school can prepare you for adult life, especially a boarding school where everything is done for you. Paying rent, budgeting, cooking, internet bills, phone bills, etc is not something you can be taught. You just have to figure it out as you go along. Working full-time can be incredibly stressful, especially working with customers, but it’s something you have to learn to deal with – nobody feels sorry for you.
AIS-Salzburg: What is your fondest memory or memories of attending AIS-Salzburg?
Jennifer: I loved sports day! I have to admit that I wasn’t exactly the best student when it came to attendance, especially P.E. (sorry Mr. Burns) but I thoroughly enjoyed sports day every year. It’s the perfect day to just have fun before AP and final exams make us cry haha.
Photo: Jennifer (green) at Sports Day 2022.
AIS-Salzburg: What did you enjoy about going to such a small international school?
Jennifer: I loved being able to go to the teachers as I needed. I had a big procrastination problem when I was at AIS-Salzburg, so being able to go to Ms. Kasberger after school to finish my homework before I went home was super helpful. Help is there whenever you need it, which I think isn’t the case in bigger schools, and each teacher knows each student very well.
AIS-Salzburg: Were there any teachers who made a major positive impact on your life?
Jennifer: Ms. Kasberger and Mr. Agardy 100%. One thing I absolutely loved about AIS-Salzburg is that no matter what, the teachers believed in me. Even if I didn’t do well on a test, or I didn’t do my homework, no teacher has ever made me doubt my dreams. In other schools, this wasn’t the case. Ms. Kasberger taught me to never listen to anyone who tries to criticize my goals and Mr. Agardy always made time for me, whether that be for my university applications during my senior year. Even now, although I have graduated, he still helps me whenever I have any questions about my future. It’s because of them that I still have the goal of becoming a veterinarian. I’m pretty sure I would have given up long ago if I had other teachers or didn’t go to AIS-Salzburg.
Photo: AIS-Salzburg teachers Jennifer Kasberger and Jeff Agardy were major positive influences on Jennifer Turrell during her two years at our school.
AIS-Salzburg: Do you have any advice for our 2023 seniors at AIS-Salzburg as they head into the final weeks of the school year?
Jennifer: DON’T. HAVE. MY. ATTITUDE. I don’t care if you don’t care about a certain grade on your transcript. Study for that test, even if you think you don’t need a good grade in that subject. Don’t abandon your normal classes for your APs. Figure out a study schedule, and prioritize certain things, but don’t push anything to the side completely – I’m only learning that now because I wish I would have done better. Also, please don’t get down if your top choice university doesn’t accept you – I promise that you will find your way in life, and you will go somewhere even better. There are a lot more important things in life than University, (that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study though). After high school, you will have much bigger problems than univeristy, this is only the beginning!