Name: Marisa Dünkel
Years attended GESS: 1990 - 2005
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.