Going Global with Kersi Pastakia
It’s graduation season and at Yew Chung International School of Beijing, our seniors are receiving their university acceptances and preparing to head out into the world. Kershasp (Kersi) Pastakia has received three acceptances and has a big decision to make. With big changes looming on the horizon, we asked Kersi to share his thoughts on his potential future paths and his reflections on his time at YCIS Beijing.
Please introduce yourself.
I’m Kershasp Pastakia, but I go by Kersi. My mother is Chinese, my father is Indian and Beijing is my home. I have lived here my whole life. I’m really into sports. I’ve played football, badminton, basketball and volleyball at school and have even earned sports scholarships from YCIS Beijing. Volleyball is my favourite sport. I think it requires the most teamwork and cooperation to win, and it has helped me develop my leadership skills the most. It’s also allowed me to act as a role model and mentor to younger students.
How long have you attended YCIS Beijing?
I started school at YCIS Beijing 15 years ago. I joined the Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme for kindergarten.
Where are you going to University next year?
Well, I’ve been accepted to three schools and I haven’t decided which to go with yet. I’ve been conditionally accepted to Warwick University in the UK, and unconditionally accepted at the University of British Columbia in Canada and the University of Sydney in Australia.
I’d say my top pick is Warwick University in the UK. My final grades will determine if I end up there or not so I’m really hoping that I’ve managed to get top marks. I kind of fell for the UK when I went to visit Warwick University. The people were very warm, their accents are pretty cool and I just felt the whole environment was welcoming, on and off campus. I really liked the food too, I think the British have good food.
What major have you chosen and why?
I basically picked a different major for each of the three universities I’ve been accepted. I did this based on the strength of the programmes available at each. If I go to the University of British Columbia, I’ll major in International Economics and Finance. If I go to the University of Sydney, I intend to double major in Commerce and Law or Economics and Law. As for Warwick University, I’ll be majoring in Law if attend that school. I’m pretty good at maths and arguing, I enjoy economics and finance too so considering all of that and the fact that I’m a pretty clear organised thinker, those majors seemed natural choices.
How do you believe your time at YCIS Beijing prepared you for University?
The close-knit community and cohort groups at YCIS Beijing really gave me a lot of direct support and guidance so was able to get a great education and really develop as a student and person. Plus the bilingual and bicultural environment and curriculum helped me get used to interacting and connecting with people from diverse backgrounds.
What are you most looking forward to at University?
Freedom. Being away from home and my parents and taking on responsibilities and decisions for myself. I’m also looking forward to meeting new people. I know everyone at YCIS Beijing. It will be exciting to meet new people and finding a new niche for myself.
What are some of the things you are going to miss the most?
My friends: Everyone is headed off to universities around the globe. As an international student, I’ve already lost friends due to relocations but sometimes I get to see them again when they visit Beijing. I think that's going to change now. Many people won’t be coming back and I’ll lose Beijing as a home-base to reconnect with old friends.
School: I’m only 18 and I’ve been here at YCIS Beijing for like 15 years, so I’ve grown very comfortable with the school routine, environment and staff. I’ll miss the comfort of knowing what to do and when. I know exactly what to expect and how everything works here. I’ll miss the familiarity of YCIS Beijing
China: I think I’ll miss the Chinese culture. I’ve grown up in China and I’ll be going to a western country for University so I worry the new norms, customs, practices and traditions might be very different from what I know and it all might be a bit disorienting. I’m a little worried about fitting in and experiencing culture clash.
My Bike: I have a motor-bike and I’m not sure I’ll be able to take it with me to university. I’ll really miss my bike if I can’t bring it with me.
Do you have any advice for next year’s seniors at YCIS Beijing?
It might seem like you have a lot of work and effort ahead, but try to stay motivated and focused. Your senior year grades are really important. You should have fun, but don’t forget to study. You’ll have plenty of time to have fun and relax in the future, but this isn’t the time to take it easy or mentally check-out. Keep up the hard work, it will be really worth it.
We wish Kersi all the best on his future journey and are pulling for him to receive top-marks so he can find himself at Warwick University next year.