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Nanjing International School
Nanjing International School
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Nanjing International School

Welome Back Sophie - An interview with returning Alumna Sophie Güesten (Class of 2017)

Scott Stevens


Where has your journey taken you since your graduation in 2017? How did your time at NIS prepare you for your post- school journey?

S.G: I Initially did a year studying Psychology in the Netherlands, however I wasn’t sure it was what I wanted to do and quite honestly I was struggling with being away from home. I spent the next year and a half working and traveling around, until I finally ended up at the University of Cape Town studying Biology. NIS prepared me very well academically for the level that is expected of us at University. However, I think the biggest thing that it prepared me with was the culture of openness towards any person, which exists at NIS, that has made it really easy for me to meet all kinds of amazing people since I’ve left school.  

What are your fondest memories of your time at NIS?

S.G: In general, all the ACAMIS events were always highlights for me. I also loved just hanging out in the lounge with the rest of our grade during lunchtimes. If I had to pick one favorite moment, it would have to be our last day of school (prank day), because our class all came together to organize this fun day and it was just a fab way to wrap up our time at NIS.

What sports did you play when you attended NIS? Why do you believe students should get involved in activities and sports whilst at NIS?

S.G: I played Basketball, Football and Badminton and was a member of the Swim Team. I absolutely think students should get involved with activities, as it’s a nice break from academics and you can make really great friends across different grade levels through the team dynamics.

How has the School changed since you graduated?

S.G: There are some new faces around but essentially it’s still the same NIS (with the exception of the fancy new EY center).

How did you settle on the path you wanted to pursue after school? What factors influenced your decision?

S.G: Ms Gretchen Galaty was a huge part in that. She was honestly the most supportive and amazing counselor we could have asked for. I have always been unsure of what I wanted to do, but she spent hours with me just showing me my options and also taking the pressure away from making such a big decision. When I decided to leave University in the Netherlands, she reached out from China to help me figure out my next steps and helped get me to Cape Town.

What have you been doing since your recent return to Nanjing and NIS? What have you enjoyed about your time here?


S.G: Besides doing my university course online,  I was helping out part-time with the Early Years classes, and assistant coaching the girls Basketball team with Coach Barder. It’s been great getting new experiences as a coach and a teacher, which are things I hadn’t considered doing before.

You have been involved in the sporting program once again as coach of our ACAMIS girls’ Basketball team. What have you enjoyed about the role?

S.G: I have always loved basketball, so just being able to engage with other girls who appreciate the sport is fantastic. I’ve learned so much about basketball just from watching the ACAMIS girls and coaching them.












  • Alumni