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World Mag > WM Winter 2014 edition > Life Beyond AISB

Life Beyond AISB

There is a tangible sense of community and also a refreshing sense of hopefulness. This is personified by the members of the AISB Alumni Association that I have had the pleasure of working with.
Tim Battersby and family
Tim Battersby and family

As a newcomer to the AISB community, it’s easy for me to see what makes this school unique. Of course there are many similarities between international schools – transientstudent populations: teaching stafffrom diverse cultural and educa- tional backgrounds; high proportions of well resourced, well educated and professional parents; rigorous academic programs; competitive students; and wide ranging services and extracurricular opportunities. Indeed these are very fertile environments for growing highly capable global citizens.


So how do I see AISB differentiate itself? My first impressions are of avibrant learning community which seems to enjoy challenging and improving itself. I see that a lot of solid strategic planning and action over the last decade or so, has been paying dividends with increasingly strong academic results; and generally happy and satisfied students,parents and teachers.


There is a tangible sense of community and also a refreshing sense of hopefulness.This is personified by the members of the AISB Alumni Association that I have had the pleasure of working with throughout the last few months.

The commitment and energy of alumni organizations make a hugedifference to the current culture of a school. The professional yet fun approach to push forward alumni engagement that your AISB Alumni Association leadership team have shown is so refreshing and encouraging to me.

So what else have I seen in my first few months? Considering thedynamic global employment market, AISB seniors are still fairly conserva- tive in the higher education choices they make. Considerable numbers of kids are choosing to study what I consider traditional programs such as business, medicine, engineering and sciences. A handful look for more adventurous programs like advertising, performing arts, international relations and philosophy.

It might be explained that greater numbers of students already havethe plan to study their “base degree”and then follow on with postgraduate studies. It might also be that internationally mobile families encourage portable, well recognized careers for their kids. I see more kids than ever considering gap years, which both the universities and I encourage.

It is kind of ironic that our school days, spent in rich and fertile environments such as AISB, are also the days fraught with the challenges of adolescence. The average teenager has their hands full managing their looping emotions; a changing body and accelerating mind; fragile social dynamics; temptations; building their values, their self image; and trying to get enough sleep. Throw in a tough academic program and the new re- sponsibility of mapping out a future that meets everyone’s expectations. It’s no wonder not all students make the most of the opportunities at school, and most report feeling uncertain of their choices about their futures. Some are just not ready to see the bigger purpose of their school education.

This is where I see the potential for a wonderful intersection between past and current AISB students. With thebenefit of hindsight, further education and life experience, alumni are beautifully positioned to engage as mentors with current students. They will listen to you, probably more than to their own parents or teachers, because you were once where they are now.

You can relate to the AISB culture they live in, you have thrived and moved on into your bright new future. The example you show of how the grind of adolescence andschool somehow pays off, is realand tangible. Mentoring is not easy and often not done well. It needs to be genuine, consistent and realistic.What you can offer is: your stories ofgoing through the university search process, the life you found beyond AISB, and your professional insight into higher education and developing a meaningful career.

You may now appreciate the value ofyour network, in future-proofing yourcareer and maximizing your oppor- tunities. Establishing mentoring relationships between past and current students is a deliberate thickening of the bonds which can only benefitthe wider ASIB community going forward. What do you think?

Tim Battersby

High School Guidance and College Counselor



Originally from Adelaide, Australia, Tim gained a B.Ed then began teaching PE, Health Education, Outdoor Education, Geography and Humanities in various government and private schools in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. He’s always enjoyed being part of learning that goes on beyond the classroom, including coaching students in team and individual sports, adventure activities and expeditions.

Thirteen years ago he beganteaching internationally, firstat Bavarian IS; then ISHCMC, Vietnam; at the Prem Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand as the Director of Admissions and Public Relations. In the last eight years Tim has managed to squeeze in a Masters in Counseling, working in international admissions at the University of Notre Dame, Australia, and as a Human Resources Manager in the corporate sector. He is coming from the International School of Tanganyika, where Tim and his family loved living on the Indian Ocean and experiencing the natural wonders of Tanzania. He’s been lucky to take students to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro and down to the abundant reefs of Zanzibar.


Tim is married to Kathryne who has been teaching Kin- dergarten in the Elementary School. They met while working in Vietnam. They have two children, both born in Kat’s home city of Melbourne. They had their daughter, Harper, in June 2010, and in December 2013 had their son, Reuben.

Together, Tim and Kat love movies, discovering new places, markets, festivals, cultures and places to eatand drink coffee! Tim alsoenjoys team sports and ex- ploring on Enduro bikes.

Read the entire WORLD Magazine Winter 2014 edition here.


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