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Maria Agustina Ramirez was a high school student at the International School of Indiana (ISI) from 2002-2006. Maria’s ISI experience prepared her for her college career at Harvard University, where she graduated with a degree in economics.

From there, her various jobs allowed her to work around the world in places like Spain, Germany, Brazil, and London. Maria now works in Mexico City as the chief operating officer of the Corporate and Investment Bank for BBVA Bancomer, the largest bank in Mexico.

Maria credits her international success to her time spent at ISI where distinct academics truly prepared her to face the world.

1. With benefits like language immersion or the IB Diploma Programme, what drew you most to ISI?

I was drawn to ISI for three main reasons. I was looking for a very rigorous academic program with an international mindset that would prepare me for university, which is what sets the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program apart. I also always knew that I wanted to work internationally, with a focus in Latin America. The language immersion program gave me a linguistic skill set which allowed me to easily transition into roles in different countries. Finally, and most importantly, I wanted to attend a school where I would be exposed to classmates with different backgrounds and experiences. ISI is by far the most diverse school in Indianapolis. 

2. ISI has a curriculum that focuses on the arts and shaping their students’ outlook on international relations. In your experience as an ISI student, how do you think this unique approach to learning sets ISI apart from other schools?

ISI is a school that goes beyond teaching a set of facts; it teaches students how to think critically and make their own assessments of the world. Having been in several educational environments, I can say that ISI is one of the few that teaches you to approach complex issues with several perspectives in order to reach your own conclusion. This skill set is something that stays with you throughout your entire life.   

3. From student clubs and groups, to a wide-range of athletics, what extra-curricular activities, or community-building events, were your favorite to get involved with at ISI, and how did they help shape the person you are today?

My favorite extracurricular activity at ISI was the Timmy Foundation. As a part of this organization, I traveled to Honduras with a group of ISI students to provide medical translation services to underserved populations. This experience taught me how important it is to serve society. 

4. Considering the impactful opportunities ISI presents to its students, like the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) project and the overall international experience, what were you able to gain from your ISI experience that has stuck with you throughout your life?

My experience at ISI has profoundly marked the way in which I view the world. My experience there with classmates from different countries has taught me that while we may come from different cultures, we all share a similar set of values and goals. The experiences that I have taken away from my time in high school has greatly helped me to integrate and work together with different colleagues during my professional experiences abroad in Brazil, the UK, and Mexico.

5. What advice would you give to parents considering ISI for their children? 

We live in a world that is increasingly globalized and interconnected, and where it is important to be able to easily transition between languages, cultures and different contexts. ISI is the only school in the state that prepares students for this global context, and that uniquely positions individuals to take advantage of the opportunities presented on the world stage.

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For the second-consecutive year, ISI is proud to claim a National Merit Finalist among its students. Claire Kaneshiro of Indianapolis -- 4.66 GPA, a near-perfect SAT score, and fluency in Chinese, Spanish and English -- is among 15,000 students nationwide chosen for the prestigious honor. Claire now is eligible for one of 7,500 one-time scholarships awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Program. Those awards are expected to be announced in mid-May.

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ISI in the news: ISI, Hamilton Lugar School team up for Language Summer Camp featuring Arabic, Mandarin
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Looking for a unique summer activity for the kids? ISI is partnering with the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University to launch a new language immersion-focused summer camp June 14-25 in Indianapolis. The new ISI Language Summer Camp will offer main programming in two languages — Mandarin and Arabic — to students Pre-K through grade 12. No previous language experience is required. Registration is now open.

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Boys basketball, swim teams finish seasons with winter sports records
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Despite schedules and practices disrupted by COVID-19, the ISI boys closed out the 2020-21 winter sports season on a high note. The basketball team finished third overall in the 10-team Pioneer Conference, the best final conference standing in ISI history, and the swim team finished eighth out of 11 schools in the ISHAA state sectionals, a season finale that included a school record in the 100-yard backstroke.

 

 

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ISI in the news: "Hoosiers by Choice" campaign, TV station feature Head of School
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What makes Indiana a great place to live? That’s the focus of a new video campaign sponsored by the Indiana Destination Development Corp. highlighting people from all walks of life who chose to make Indiana their home. And among those recently featured: Head of School Elizabeth Head, who was lured to Indianapolis more than two years ago from her school leadership role and longtime home in Costa Rica.

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ISI senior wins $500 local essay contest from Daughters of American Revolution
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She only had one shot, two hours and a proctor watching over her as she crafted her essay, the topic a secret until she opened a sealed instructions envelope from the Daughters of the American Revolution. But in the end, senior Juliette Albert walked away with the $500 top prize for her 550-word entry in the Indianapolis chapter’s annual Good Citizen Award contest, the International School of Indiana’s first local winner in in the national contest in nearly a decade.

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