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"Now that I am at home for December break, I have had time to think and reflect on my experience so far, from classes to residential life and from the cafeteria food to the school visits to other countries. I can say that my time at CIS has been improving me physically and mentally."
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.

CIS prioritizes academics and is aware of the IB curriculum rigor, which is why they have made sure to support students in a way that makes it as non-stressful as possible. At the classroom, I have been taught by the best teachers I ever had; teachers that are passionate, inspirational and want to see us succeed. I can see this especially that I have chosen particularly demanding courses and, to see my teachers so willing to help us not only pass but excel has been amazing. Along with the teachers in the classroom, the tutorial hours and study hall, academics become a challenge that we as students are confident to overcome. Moreover, every month, we have an award ceremony where we are given certificates according to the IB learner profile to keep us motivated and encourage us to improve.


After a long day of school we head back to our rooms to talk, relax and maybe finish off some work, which is why it is important that residential life stays a calm and relaxed atmosphere. This has been possible due to the relatively small student body and the staff that make sure everyone has their own space and their privacy is respected.

One of the other things that CIS focuses on is the food. Every meal is more appetizing than the last and is perfectly cooked while also being healthy, which is important as sports are a big part of our school. Because of the diversity in the student body, the school listens adapts to all the individual dietary needs and restrictions.


Volleyball, football, basketball, badminton, tennis, swimming, running and chess, CIS offers a place for everyone's favorite sport. I enjoy the variety of activities that I am able to choose and how the school concentrates on athletics to keep us healthy and relieve stress. Back home I lacked the space to do exercise and do sports. This was gradually affecting me, but coming here has been making me work on my weaknesses and develop my discipline. I am grateful for being here and having so many doors open for me to discover and find myself. However, these aren't the only activities that CIS has been doing.


I have visited two new countries and explored their culture and history. I've been to both Germany and Poland. Our visit to Krakow, Poland, has sincerely changed me. I saw the difficulties that an entire country suffered in recent history. Seeing everything in person rather than only reading it in a textbook made me gain a much more empathetic perspective on life. I recognize the privilege I have and this makes me want to use the most of my time here to give back to my community.
With the year finishing, I would like to close off by giving my gratitude to CIS for all the doors and opportunities that the school has given me so far, for improving my strengths and overcoming my weaknesses, for helping me enjoy my time here and for letting me slowly discover myself and my place in the world.