Voices (ISL Stories)

Meet Alexis Rakochy

Learn more about Alexis Rakochy, Alumna (Class of 2017)

Class of: 2017

Where are you living now?
Moving from Luxembourg to London in September 2021

What did you do after you left ISL?
I moved to Evanston to study Global Health and Sociology at Northwestern University. 

What did you study at University?
I studied Global Health and Sociology. Since I attended a liberal arts college, I was able to take a range of courses outside my majors as well. 

What are you doing now?
I have completed the language and civics requirements for the acquisition of Luxembourgish nationality. I am about to travel to Evanston to celebrate my undergraduate graduation. I will be attending the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine this fall to study the Control of Infectious Disease.  

Do you think that your time at ISL helped you pursue this? If yes, how? 
My time at ISL was able to foster my passion for social justice and also helped clarify the field I was interested in going into in my future. I studied geography and biology in IB and knew I loved them both- especially the “Food and Health” IB geography unit. Ms Charnaud pointed out to me that public health is a field where both of these classes intersect. I ended up writing my extended essay on the Spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone, thereby solidifying my interest in the control of disease and public health. 

In terms of getting through college, my time at ISL made that far easier. A lot of my college friends struggled with the workload and organization but I was used to that from the rigorous IBDP we undertook. It made a big difference and high school credits are also part of the reason I was able to graduate early! 

What advantages has studying at ISL given you? 
The close connections I was able to make with my teachers were very beneficial. I was able to receive immense support in completing my IA’s and extended essay, as well as great advice. I appreciated the ease of communication with my teachers and their willingness to help.  

What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL?
I’d say to find a club to join! I was really happy to be a part of the Global Issues Network and many sports teams during my time at ISL. Also, talk to your teachers! They are willing to help and so are the university counsellors. Ms Byrne was there to help with any question, big or small. 

Were you involved in any clubs/activities at ISL? What did you enjoy about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
I think that being a part of a team helped to make me into the person I am today.  I developed leadership skills as well as collaborative skills. I also made some amazing friends that I still have today.

Volunteering during high school was also something that I think was very important. Whether it was through Global Issues Network fundraisers, volunteering to help at refugee centers, or raising money for our Cambodia CAS trip, it all really helped me learn and to see life on a global scale. 

How did your time at ISL help shape you as a person?
There are lots of opportunities to get involved at ISL and I think that the requirement for CAS, beyond just during your IB years, is wonderful. It really helps foster awareness as well, helping create well-rounded people. I was able to take charge in many extracurricular projects which was an amazing opportunity for my organization and leadership development. 

What do you think is unique about ISL?
Attending an international school creates open-minds. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn in an international environment. In addition to hearing a multitude of perspectives, I was able to develop my language skills. Something that I really appreciate was being given the opportunity to self-teach Spanish when it was not a language option at the school. Instead of taking German, I was able to continue my Spanish studies in place of this, going on to earn a 5 on the Spanish AP exam.

If you could thank a teacher or staff member, who would it be?
I had quite a few amazing teachers in high school- to name a few Mr Thomas (who has left), Ms Charnaud, and Ms Schweifler. Mr Thomas always made chemistry fun and he made difficult topics approachable. Ms Schweifler is the person who introduced me to the field I am in now and supported my extended essay writing. Ms Charnaud was the first one to hear me out and put a name on my interests. I am so grateful for these amazing teachers who always went above and beyond. 

Describe ISL in 5 words:  


  • Alumni