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News > Profiles > Alumni Profile: Emily Gumal

Alumni Profile: Emily Gumal

Former IBDP scholar Emily Gumal ('18) is currently studying for her Masters in Dance and Studio-Related Studies at the Florida State University in the US. Read more about her journey here...
6 Oct 2022
Written by Farena Cooper
Emily Gumal ('18)
Emily Gumal ('18)

"Before joining the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) program at ISKL, I was just another Malaysian kid who had completed her SPM. However, after graduating from the program, I gained many new life experiences and perspectives," says former IBDP scholar Emily Gumal ('18), who is currently studying for her Masters in Dance and Studio-Related Studies at the Florida State University in the United States.

Emily, who joined ISKL in 2016 after completing her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) at a national school in Sarawak, shares that she followed in the footsteps of her sister, Katherine Gumal ('16), also an IBDP scholar.

When asked what she gained during her time at ISKL, Emily shares, "The IBDP program opened many doors for me and gave me opportunities I would never have had. Meeting new people worldwide while attending Singapore, Manila, and Taiwan dance conventions or making friends with Malaysian and international students during a Global Action Program (GAP) trip to Cambodia are some unforgettable experiences I've had. In addition, I had the opportunity to learn new subjects and languages, which I had never been privy to."

She also shares how the IBDP helped her to be future-ready and prepare for undergraduate studies in college as she learned how to research papers, cite works, juggle time commitments, participate in extracurricular activities, and excel in her studies. "Seeing as I double-majored with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance with Honors and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English and Creative Writing with a Publishing Track, the IBDP program helped me prepare both mentally and physically for my undergraduate studies. This, in turn, prepared me for the rigorous college experience, learning to juggle dance and academics while balancing work and play."

To earn the IBDP Diploma, students must study six subjects (three at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL)) and complete the Diploma Programme (DP) Core. Emily describes how she took HL English Literature, HL Theatre Arts and HL History, SL Biology, SL Mathematics, and SL French Ab Initio. "Before choosing my subjects, I knew I would pursue Creative Writing and Dance as my majors in college. Therefore, taking HL English Literature enhanced what I already knew; I love English and Writing and wanted to pursue it as a career. Taking HL Theatre Arts was partly due to not taking HL Dance but also because I love theatre and the performing arts; I wanted to expand and grow as a more well-rounded multidisciplinary artist. " She also adds that other subjects didn't necessarily influence her career choices; however, she did enjoy taking them and didn't need to take maths in college as she had already taken SL Mathematics for her IBDP.

When asked about advice for current IBDP scholars, Emily shares," Don't be afraid to try new things and throw yourself into as many activities and experiences as possible." She explains how the IBDP program offers many different experiences and opportunities for all its students. She adds, "as someone who prioritizes work over play and believes strong academic results are essential, it is equally important to take advantage of all the opportunities in the various programs, GAP opportunities, extracurricular activities, and so on."

Emily concludes that thanks to the IBDP, she gained more knowledge about the world, saying, "ISKL is like the world in miniature, with people from all over and plenty of experiences to explore. My time at ISKL wasn't just about studying, although that was very important; I learned about people, gained exposure, and co-choreographed dance shows! My experience at ISKL was so well-rounded, and I loved it!"

Were you an IBDP student? How did it help to prepare you for your future studies? Share your story at [email protected].

Find out more about the 2-year International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) Scholarship for Malaysian SPM leavers here.

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