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School: Juanita High School, Washington State, USA
Studied: Cambridge International AS & A Level English Literature, Mathematics, and History; Cambridge International AS Global Perspectives & Research, English Language, and Biology
Went on to: University of Southern California's World Bachelor in Business
Cambridge AICE student Kevin Huerlimann, a 2020 graduate from Juanita High School in Kirkland, Washington, recently spoke with us about his experience in his high school’s Cambridge program. Kevin is currently enrolled in the University of Southern California's World Bachelor in Business, which is a partnership between the University of Southern California, Italy’s Bocconi University, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Kevin chose this unique college program because of his interest in global perspectives—fostered by his work in high school attaining the internationally recognized Cambridge AICE Diploma.
Within the Lake Washington school district, students have the option to choose between several high schools. When he was looking for a high school, Kevin knew he wanted a rigorous, well-rounded education with a global focus—and a diploma recognized around the world. Juanita High School’s Cambridge program was an excellent fit.
“I've always been interested in international relations – the bigger global picture,” he said. “The reason I chose the Cambridge program was because there was a big focus on global perspectives. That really intrigued me.”
Kevin wanted to make sure his high school education allowed him to explore different interests, while also giving him the skills and knowledge he would need for college. His high school decision also came down to a desire for a deeper education, and a challenge.
“I felt like the Cambridge AICE Diploma would give me a very full education,” he continued. “It covered so many different subjects and allowed me to really explore what I was truly interested in. You need your sciences, your social sciences, your math, all of that, to become a really educated individual, especially when moving into college.”
Through four years of high school, the Cambridge program pushed Kevin to build up not only knowledge and critical skills, but also confidence.
“Initially when I went into high school, I wasn't very open,” he said. “I was very shy. However, this challenging curriculum taught me a lot and really pushed me to always go further. I wasn't a very good writer when I came in, but after four years, I've become a much, much stronger writer.”
Kevin’s favorite class was Cambridge Global Perspectives and Research — this skills-based course challenges learners to think critically, analyze evidence, and compare perspectives. Student learning is assessed through a team project and presentation as well as a written examination.
“Global Perspectives really helped me fine-tune my research skills, critical thinking skills, and how I view the world today. It focused on the Cambridge method—looking at the different sides of global events and analyzing different opinions and sources.”
The Cambridge curriculum’s focus on practical problem solving, coupled with student collaboration, helped Kevin gain skills he’ll take forward in life.
“The skills I've built helped me become used to working in teams, solving difficult problems, and using critical thinking. Being part of the Cambridge program really comes to life when you're able to solve bigger problems not just by yourself, but with a group of people and the support of the teachers.”
Kevin values the variety and depth of his experiences with the Cambridge program—and feels prepared for the challenges of college.
Kevin added: “I now have a huge toolbox to handle all the different things that are going to be thrown at me in college. The Cambridge program makes sure that when you arrive in college, you are set. I think admission officers understand that Cambridge students have the skills that will ensure they are successful.”