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School: Juanita High School, Washington State, USA
Studied: Cambridge International AS & A Levels in Maths, Biology, English Literature and History, and Cambridge International AS Levels in Global Perspectives & Research and English Language
Went on to: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA, to study maths and earth and environmental science
Career plans: To work for a federal agency such as NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) or a National Laboratory, specialising in climate system modelling
‘As my high school programme covered a range of STEM and humanities subjects, I studied Cambridge International AS & A Levels in Maths, Biology, English Literature and History, and Cambridge International AS Levels in Global Perspectives & Research and English Language,’ said Erika Anderson, former student at Juanita High School, in Washington State, USA.
I would highly recommend Cambridge qualifications as they prepared me extremely well for university.
‘We developed a strong understanding of each subject, especially the subjects we studied for two years such as biology. Although I didn’t choose my subjects, my maths and science courses reinforced my decision to major at university in a STEM field.’
Erika fulfilled her ambition and is now studying earth and environmental science, together with maths, at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, USA.
‘I would highly recommend Cambridge qualifications as they prepared me extremely well for university,’ she said.
‘The variety and structure of Cambridge exams meant I was ready for a range of different tests and assignments, and the Cambridge International A Level Biology course, in particular, was a taste of what university-level introductory lab science courses are like.’
The Cambridge Global Perspectives & Research (GPR) course was also particularly valuable, she added.
‘Although public speaking still makes me nervous, I can’t imagine what I would be like if I hadn’t taken GPR. The spontaneous debates and presentations, all part of the course, made me comfortable and confident when speaking in front of an audience, a skill which has proved immensely helpful at university.’
Erika’s other Cambridge courses delivered additional benefits.
[Credit earned for Cambridge International A Levels] reduced the number of hours I needed to take at school, allowing more flexibility for scheduling and class choices, and also gave me the opportunity to take additional study programmes.
‘English literature taught me the importance of carefully interpreting and analysing documents, while my English language studies helped me learn how to voice my ideas clearly,’ she said.
Cambridge International A Level subjects also earned Erica seven hours of study credit, which ‘reduced the number of hours I needed to take at school, allowing more flexibility for scheduling and class choices’.
‘It also gave me the opportunity to take additional study programmes,’ she added.
After she graduates, Erika is planning to ‘take some time to explore different career pathways’ with the longer term ambition of working for a US federal agency such as NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) or one of the National Laboratories.
‘I’m particularly interested in studying and modelling the climate system, especially the oceans,’ she said, ‘and so my plan is to eventually gain a Master’s degree, and even a PhD if I want to focus on specialised research.’
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