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News at GESS

Alumni Questionnaire: Marisa Dünkel
Posted 02/10/2014 01:00PM

Name: Marisa Dünkel

Years attended GESS: 1990 - 2005

Nationality: German

Current location: Munich

Current occupation: Event Manager 

1.  What do you miss most about your time at GESS? What is your fondest memory?

Definitely the people, be it class mates, teachers or other staff. It was a great time in which everyone seemed to bond and work towards one goal: creating a good atmosphere.

My fondest memory would be the after school activities, in particular basketball practice and tournaments. Kids from all grades would come together and be part of a team. 

2.  What do you miss most about Singapore and your life there? If it has been a while, what do your remember most about your life in Singapore?

The convenience of things: being able to pop into the supermarket at 11pm, having hawker centers and swimming pools in near vicinity and not having to plan your day around opening hours of post office, shops etc. The sun is also a great benefit.

3.  Do you think your time in Singapore and your time at GESS had an impact on your future life? If so, can you describe it?

I would definitely say yes to that. You learn to adjust to situations very quickly: you make friends faster as there is a constant change ever few years when families come and go. You are also able to see things from various perspectives because you are among various different cultures. You also learn to respect people from other backgrounds.

4.  Is there any piece of advice or any experience you may like to share with current GESS students of fellow alumni, e.g. choosing the right university, finding a job etc.?

Make sure passion is in everything you choose. It makes no sense to go to uni and study something just for the sake of making money. Money will come naturally if you are passionate about your job or study choice and can then also perform well. And amongst all the stress of daily life, remember to breath and give yourself a time out! J 

5.  Tell us a bit about where you went after you left GESS and what happened to you. (Any interesting information you like to share with fellow alumni, funny, adventurous, entertaining stories that make an interesting read are welcome!)

Being a Third Culture Kid placed some “unrest” in me and I constantly had ants in my pants to go and explore the world, never feeling satisfied for long periods of time in one place. So after Germany for studies and spending half a year in China, it was off to Boston to experience the cold and hard winter.

After 18 months and two hard winters I decided to seek the sun and spent a year in the Maldives…where I noticed that Singapore was “home” in a way. So I spent three years there before traveling India for 3 months and now settling down in Munich. It is great having two homes (my family is still in Singapore and Munich is “my new” home now).

I guess growing up in Singapore and spending time at the GESS just opens your mind and makes you crave for more. 

6.  What are you currently doing and what plans do you have for the future?

My motto is still the same as when I was at GESS: work hard but treat yourself. Go out into the world and explore, broaden your horizons and live! 

7.  We would love to get a quote from you on why you would recommend GESS to other students, parents or teachers.

GESS is not just a school or an institute. It is a community in which everyone from parents, teachers and students work together. During my time  there was a mutual respect between teachers and students and it was good to know that your teachers not only went to work every morning but that they also had a genuine interest in your life, your hobbies, your difficulties in a certain subject. They NEVER gave you the feeling you are just a number or just a regular student.

The best proof for this is when past students from GESS visit Singapore and then always make a trip back to school to seek out their old teachers. I have never heard of this happening in regular schools in Germany. 

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CPE registration number: S72SS0010G
Registration period: 22 June, 2017 – 21 June, 2023

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IB Curriculum

The English speaking European Section of GESS is a fully fledged International Baccalaureate World School, and one of the few in the world who are authorised to deliver the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (IBDP).

Since opening in 2005, the European Section has grown rapidly to become a school with a reputation for quality education with a strong community feel. We now have over 600 students. The vast majority of our students are European passport holders, for whom GESS represents a vital connection with home. Students are thus provided with a safe, friendly and familiar environment in which they are challenged to thrive as they grow into independent and responsible global citizens.

Our academic and pastoral programmes are designed to support this demographic and ultimately to prepare our students for returning to Europe or for entry into European universities. To this end we endeavor to support mother tongue language acquisition so that our students do not lose this vital connection with their home culture. Fortunately, given the high entry requirements into European schools and colleges, this also means that our students are especially well prepared for study all over the world, particularly North America, the UK and Australia.

The Pre-School department provides education from 18 month to 6 years in either English or German. Children are placed in groups according to their age.


German Curriculum

Since the school was founded in 1971, the school has evolved into a school with two sections. As an accredited “Excellent German School Abroad”, the German Section of the German European School Singapore (GESS) offers all major German school leaving certificates. The European Section is an authorized IB World School offering education in English across all three IB programmes.

The German Section supports the students to develop their German roots. We give them wings for the linguistic demands of a globalized world through our differentiated English programme from grade 1 onwards. In secondary school some subjects are taught in English. Our students are benefitting from numerous bonding activities and have additional space to enjoy the internationality of the school.

Our Pre-School department provides education from 18 month to 6 years in either English or German. Children are placed in groups according to their age. 

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