What year or years did you attend AIS-Salzburg and at what grade levels?
I attended AIS-Salzburg from 2014 to 2017 (wow it seems like such a long time ago), from year 10 to year 12.
What is your fondest memory of attending AIS-Salzburg?
So many; I think I have a lot of fond memories connected with certain people or situations, and they all tie into one pleasant association with the place in general.
Have you remained in contact with any former AIS-Salzburg classmates?
It’s a fact that you can’t stay in contact with all your classmates, even with those who you thought you would (your paths diverge, and that is normal). However, it always makes me happy when I get a chance to talk to my classmates, even if by that I mean replying to each other’s Instagram stories, and it makes me even happier when I get a chance to see them. And, most importantly, my close friends from AIS-Salzburg are still my close friends who I can always rely on despite not seeing some of them since graduation.
What have you done since graduating from AIS-Salzburg?
I am currently finishing my second year at the University of Glasgow. Throughout that time, I have done some volunteer work in Spain, Glasgow and back home, in Latvia, including some volunteering in museums and galleries (my degree is History of Art and Digital Media & Information Studies so that’s exactly the experience I’m looking for). I have been also writing for the magazines, interning as a Social Media and Marketing Coordinator at a social enterprise, and being involved in many clubs and societies including surfing club, ski and snowboard club, art-appreciation society, boxing club, dancing club, etc. (honestly so many, I just wanted and want to do everything – that’s what the school taught me). I have been travelling a lot, meeting a lot of interesting people, and making friends with people from all over the world. And enjoying all of that.
What aspects of your education at AIS-Salzburg assisted you in the success that your further academic and professional achievements represent?
I think the most important thing that AIS-Salzburg taught me and assisted me in is getting out there, being curious, and not being afraid to leave my comfort zone. Moving into the international community for the first time, it helped me become globally and culturally aware, which is an essential graduate attribute in our modern world. It taught me diligence (study halls do have a positive effect), and despite finding myself lazy at times, I am constantly doing something or being somewhere just because that’s the regime I got used to, and the regime I actually prefer. Regarding academics, my research and writing skills which I have to use a lot at university have definitely been largely shaped owing to the AIS-Salzburg, and the same applies to all aspects of learning, including working in teams, presenting, staying organized, and managing time.
Are there particular moments or memories that have stayed with you over the years which are related with your enrollment at AIS-Salzburg?
Walking down the memory lane, there are many memories which stayed with me over the time: going on school and ski trips, trying to catch the first bus to town after classes end to enjoy some “freedom”, driving to RIF on Wednesday mornings while listening to music (because, to be fair, I was still sleeping and didn’t really feel like talking to anyone), having breakfast with my classmates, getting restricted once (both memorable and educating), exploring the city and nearby places, being in a basketball team, living with my roommate, doing group projects, having conversations with teachers about all kinds of things which interested me and which they could give me answers about, and sitting on the stairs with other students right before each study hall and talking about random things. This is what I remember the most. Also, I often walked back to school on Friday and Saturday nights rather than taking a bus, and the walk through the castle and past the lake is something I still have a very clear vision of.
Do you have any advice for students at AIS-Salzburg or applicants to the school?
They say your university years are the best years of your life. As much as I agree with that statement and as much as I love being a university student, I quite often find myself thinking back to my high school years. I think sometimes I’m even being a bit annoying when I start talking about Salzburg to my new friends. That’s why the most important advice I would give is to enjoy it; you will never be able to live through that experience again. And enjoy every aspect of it, because then, all of a sudden, you realize that you are now an adult responsible for feeding yourself, doing your laundry, taking yourself to the hospital if needed and arranging all kind of appointments, and responsible for yourself in general. Also, try yourself if many different clubs that the school offers; it will be easier for you when you graduate to navigate through university if you already know what kind of things you enjoy. And make close connections with teachers, that is, be friends with them – there will be no such opportunity after high school, and it’s a tremendous support that you can get from them!