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By Reem Sleiman
Reem Sleiman
Grade 11th student
Reem Sleiman is a Syrian and Circassian student at CIS. She loves to learn about religions and philosophy, as well as art and mathematics. She speaks English, Arabic, Spanish and Catalan fluently. She was born and lived in Saudi Arabia before moving to Spain at the age of 14. Now living in Karlovy Vary, Reem is doing the IB diploma program at Karlovy Vary.

Reem is contributing to CIS blog. Reem has been together with CIS for over a month now, and she thinks it is a right time to share her thoughts of the school now.

After an exhausting flight from Spain, I arrived to Prague where I saw a man holding a big sign with my name in it. He drove me to Karlovy Vary, where the school is located. As soon as we entered the beautiful school campus, it already felt like I was getting into a dream. My mood especially changed when I saw all my fellow students out of the windows screaming and waving at me, with more students waiting for me at the door. When I received this very warm welcome from both the students and staff, I already felt like I found my new home with my new family.


Although I arrived a week late, CIS made sure I integrate well into the school dynamics and activities. I had a cheerful conversation with Mr. Netto, the Head. I was given a wide range of subjects to choose from and was able to choose everything I had initially wanted, which would be suitable for my career choices.

Classes began and I was satisfied with my courses as demanding as they are. I saw that I have intelligent and experienced teachers in all my subjects, especially with after-class tutorial hours where they are disposed to sit with us for as long as we need and answer any of our questions. The IB, Carlsbad International School's curriculum, is known for its challenging program where students work hard and strive for academic achievement, and CIS respects that. Classes are intense, with so much to learn from. CIS makes this easy by having a small teacher to student ratio. This becomes much simpler to interact with the teacher and students.

After a long day of class, we had lunch at the cafeteria, and there has been no meal that disappointed me. Everything is meticulously and perfectly cooked, just like breakfast and dinner. Often times I found myself drooling while waiting in line. I very much respect CIS' decision of putting a lot of effort into cooking meals. These meals keep students in a positive mental state to continue their studies or extracurricular activities with a lot of energy.

CIS cares a lot about the extracurricular activities and ensures that students have a variety of activities to choose from: tennis, football, volleyball, chess, MUN… the list goes on. These activities are very necessary as they help relieve any stress that the workload from the classes could put on students. To me, they have been extremely therapeutic.

However, this is not the only thing that CIS does to keep us in a well state. CIS also organizes trips, big and small, to help get our minds off school, just like the recent trip we took to the zoo. We went to Plzen, a city that is known for its animal park. It was a beautiful tour and I took as many photos as my phone could let me. This won't be the only trip that CIS has in mind, which is why I'm very excited!
Day trip to Plzen Zoo. Video was produced by CIS student David Alexander.

It is also important to talk about the residential life and the students. The way that all the facilities, including the dorms, look so luxurious and well-decorated, makes studying and even life just much more enjoyable. Rooms are wide and, although I share my room with another girl, I find that I still have a lot of privacy in my own space which she respects.

I enjoy the diversity of the student body that CIS represents. This makes the experience much more multi-cultural when we have a community from backgrounds all over the world where we can teach and learn from each other. Everyone is friendly, caring and focused on their pursuits.

I have had an incredible month and have no doubt it will be like this throughout the rest of my journey here. I'm very much looking forward to what's to come. I trust CIS and am very grateful they gave me the opportunity to be part of this unforgettable experience.
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