The “Founders’ Lecture Series” has already become a tradition of the International Heritage School. Every month, speakers with valuable experiences are invited to spread messages of wisdom among students to help them become engaged and responsible global citizens.
The 2021-2022 academic year brought yet another series of meetings with remarkable guests who honoured us with their presence, generously sharing their thoughts and views. Students and teachers had the privilege of receiving useful insights in the fields of diplomacy, education, leadership, academia, science, politics, media and communications. These success stories, the positive examples shared, and the diversity of topics determine students to think, form new ideas, and understand things more deeply.
At the initiative of director Robert Ford, the program fulfils step by step the founders’ mission – to prepare students for the challenges of the future and to provide them with a modern, quality education, worthy of an international school. Each topic of this years' series was truly captivating, keeping all participants active, interested, and intrigued.
The first session of “Founders’ Lecture Series” of this year took place with our reliable collaboration partner: the British Embassy in Moldova. Gary Davies spoke about the benefits of the UK higher education system and what the UK has to offer to the world. The Communications Officer Igor Zaharov spoke about Britain as a country and many stereotypes people have about the British, while Iulia Tvigun spoke about her time studying in London and doing research, and how it impacted her view on so many things. The meetup ended with a Q&A session, with many questions from our curious young people, being an enriching experience for the Heritage Community.
The “Founders’ Lecture Series” program continued with Viorel Bostan, who talked about his love for Math and his educational journey from Moldova State University to Romania and then to the USA. Fortunately, he decided to come back and fulfil his academic dreams here, in order to inspire the next generations. He talked about the necessary skills of future professions, but the participants also learned about the satellite created by the TUM that has been launched into space with the ISS. At the end of the meeting, students and teachers got invited to visit the recently launched Observatory at the Technical University.
Continuing our list of remarkable speakers, within the 3rd session of the “Founders’ Lecture Series” Heritage students and teachers met Mrs. Laura Hruby, who gave an inspiring lecture about the transformative power of education through her own example, telling students about her impactful exchange to France as a student, but also how she decided to dedicate her life to diplomacy. An amazing journey of learning, exploring and sharing with the world. As always, there have been several other national schools joining the session, therefore the Q&A session has been very interactive. She suggested readings, talked about personal stories and experience, sharing her views on ways to become a person that succeeds in life.
Our 4th guest speaker was Dr Howard Williamson, who received the titles of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (2002) and Commander of the Victorian Order (2016) for his lifelong youth work of excellence. He did research at the University of Oxford, has worked extensively with governments in the UK, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova to write youth policies, being also the co-president at the Council of Wales Voluntary Youth Organizations. The conversation he had with the students was an unforgettable experience. They kids were curious about the way he sees the future of youth, what to do if they are too worried about their future and what skills young people need to develop to be successful in their future careers. The lecture ended with Howard playing an Irish song on his harmonica, which melted participants’ hearts. The feedback from those who attended was excellent, especially our guests from the public schools were very impressed.
Students and staff really enjoyed the fascinating discussion they had with NASA leads in the beginning of 2022. They went on a virtual trip to Mars guided by two NASA experts, Richard Davis, the Co-lead for Mars Human Landing Sites Study, and Bob Collom – the Integration Lead for Science and Exploration on the Mars Recon Team at NASA Headquarters. This 5th session was the longest ever Founders’ Lecture at Heritage International School, with the most questions asked. The excitement of our learners was beyond limits, they kept on asking some of the most unusual questions regarding space exploration. The speakers shared wonderful insights about their NASA plans and work, but also spoke about sustainability, preservation and love for our Planet Earth!
Our 6th Founders' Lecture of this year was held by the guest speaker Liuba Tobenco. An impressive and inspirational speech from a young woman (aged 21). Her success story of how she started her first job while still in school, then got another job, and so on, just took her to picking her studies in the field she was interested in. Working in a global corporation and studying at the University in Budapest at the same time, is a good example for our students, especially for those who are hesitant in choosing a career path. Her story is proof that volunteering is very important in shaping someone's direction and career in life. Our Student Council members got many ideas of future collaboration with the community.
We had the privilege to meet Violeta Agrici at the 7th Founders' Lecture. She spoke to our students and schools around Moldova, giving a very insightful talk about representing Moldova in the world, mentioning what we stand for as a country. She gave us details about her time in Spain as country ambassador and what that experience meant to her, but also about how young people could get into diplomacy and what an “international relations” faculty really means.
“Don't be afraid that you don't know what to do” – stated Alexandrina Cheptanaru within the 8th session of the “Founders’ Lecture Series”. She spoke about the importance of extracurricular activities in high school for shaping the choices in the future career. Math camps, debate competitions, getting a mentor in school or outside of it, getting involved in volunteering – all these helped her choose what she wanted to do next as a further education and career. She highlighted the importance of learning languages and face-to-face communication skills, spoke about her life in the Netherlands, the Dutch lifestyle, free time activities, and how she develops her passions as well, besides working.
The 9th session of the “Founders’ Lecture Series” was so inspiring! The guest speaker, Paula Erizanu, is a freelance journalist who writes for The Guardian, BBC World, the Telegraph, Bloomberg News, etc. She shared her story of studying in the UK in high school, then at the university and in a master’s programme, and how she got into journalism. One thing our students learned for sure: with small steps one can reach far. This lecture was held in the Heritage library, thus the students were able to ask all their questions in person, which made a very warm conversation about learning, patriotism, and moral duty for one's country. Paula also pointed out the importance of media literacy, why checking facts is crucial and how to be a good digital citizen in terms of consuming quality information.
The final guest speaker of the “Founders’ Lecture Series” was Valeriu Turcanu, a law graduate in French public law and a double degree student in Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the Aix-Marseille Univérsité (France) and at the Sherbrooke University (Canada), who writes and implements national and international projects in the Republic of Moldova in the cultural and educational field. He spoke about how a young person can change the world for the better, by taking small steps and by working hard to achieve their goals. He visited us physically and had an honest conversation with our students in the school library, where everyone felt free to ask questions about how a young person changes a career, or dreams big and reaches success. It was a meaningful reflection for our learners at the end of this impressive series.
We are grateful to the speakers who were present and contributed to the enrichment of our holistic curriculum. We are glad to host and that we can offer other schools in the country the opportunity to participate and interact with such valuable people. In addition to building an exceptional educational environment in our school, we also cherish social responsibility in order to inspire other schools to do the same and create together a better future for students in Moldova.
In the next academic year, a new “Founders’ Lecture Series” will be organized, and we look forward to continuing this beautiful project because this is international education. This is Heritage.
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