Voices (ISL Stories)

Meet Susan Zhong

Learn more about Susan Zhong, Alumna (Class of 2020)

Where are you living now and what are you doing?
Currently in Valencia, but I will be moving to Boston in January. I’m doing a double major in Electronic Production and Sound Design + Film Scoring, and a minor in Video Game Sound Design at Berklee College of Music.

Do you feel that ISL adequately prepared you for this next step in your life?
Yes, ISL prepared me well on many aspects, academically and taught me how to work collaboratively and creatively, for example working with bands, which really helped me to grow as a musician. 

What has been the most challenging thing to overcome since leaving ISL and transitioning to your new environment during a global pandemic?
I think it’s the fact of studying online for a whole year. Dealing with the time differences and staying really late for zoom class, especially with bad internet connections and struggle to work on music pieces collaboratively with people from different time zones. 

What advantages has studying at ISL given you?
As a music student IB music definitely prepared me well for many of my classical music theory courses, and other classes also prepared me well for liberal arts courses.

What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL?
Participate as much as you can in school events. The experiences you gain from different activities could be really beneficial in unexpected ways. 

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 was a member of the Business club, ISL News Team and Jazz band. I was the treasurer of the business club for a year, which definitely taught me how to manage money better. The jazz band really helped me to grow to become a better musician as I learned many useful performance techniques like improvisation and building jazzy chord progressions. 

Describe some of the things that ISL does above and beyond teaching and learning:
For me, ISL gave me many additional performance opportunities, and helped me become more and more confident with my performances. 

How did your time at ISL help shape you as a person?
It made me more confident, considerate, open minded to new ideas, and helped me to think creative and independently. 

What do you think is unique about ISL?
The diverse environment that gave me opportunities to learn about different cultures and people. 

If you could thank a teacher or staff member, who would it be?
That’s hard to pick, all of my teachers were super supportive and nice to me. And I respect them and would like to thank them all. 

Describe ISL in 5 words:
Endless Opportunities, diverse, supportive, friendly. 

  • Alumni