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BBIS Alumni Story: Kristian Smedegaard

BBIS' diverse and multicultural community creates a unique learning environment that gives a much more holistic understanding of the world; something I consider to be one of my greatest advantages in life.
Tell us a bit about yourself? When did you graduate from BBIS?

I graduated in 2018, and although that was four years ago, it feels so recent. Thinking back, my time at BBIS completely reshaped me. When I joined in the 8th Grade, everyone was incredibly welcoming, and I instantly felt like I fit in. The values instilled in me back then have followed me into adulthood and helped pave my current path.

I would describe myself as an outgoing, curious, and passionate person. I take every opportunity to live my life to the fullest, whether that is learning a new skill or visiting a new place.

Although, I didn't realize it at the time, my years at BBIS set me up to succeed. The understanding of different cultures has made the world more approachable, and the rigor of the IB has made my time at university less strenuous. I like to think that both things contributed to my nomination and receipt of the ECIS Award for International Understanding upon graduating.

What did you do after you finished school? What are you doing at the moment?

After graduating, I knew I wanted to take some time off from studying before continuing my academic journey. This resulted in two gap years filled with experiences, including military service, working in the US as a lifeguard, and even teaching secondary school German for a year.

Presently, I am going into my final year at the University of Portsmouth, in the UK. Here I study Cyber Security & Forensic Computing, for which I am the course representative. Besides being a student, I am also an ambassador for the Danish Cyber Security Championship, where I give talks on how young people can get a start in Cyber Security.

When I am not hacking or writing reports, I spend most of my time pursuing my private pilot license. In the coming months, I will also be interning as a forensic investigator with the Danish National Police's Special Crime Unit.

What did you enjoy the most during your time at BBIS?

The best part about BBIS is the sense of community and belonging. You can tell that the staff - from teachers and principals to security guards and cafeteria staff - are passionate about their jobs. This makes them easy to connect with; some I even consider to be friends. Additionally, the vast number of extracurriculars allows everyone to pursue their interests alongside their studies. Whether you are into sports, arts, or something entirely different, there is room for you.

In my final year, my parents moved away for work. I wanted to stay in Berlin and complete my studies, which was possible through the support and understanding of my friends, teachers, and the school administration. Ultimately, BBIS became a home.

Did you pursue any of your passions while attending BBIS?

Many of the opportunities given at BBIS have impacted how I live my life. I was involved in the Student Council, which helped develop my leadership and public speaking skills. I also partook in the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, which I completed at the gold level. The programme allowed me to explore my passion for the outdoors, which has become an integral part of my life. Most recently, I went on a hiking trip to Iceland where I used many of the skills taught through DofE. Lastly, musical initiatives such as BIMP and Musical Mania helped my creative side flourish and allowed me to connect with students from across the entire school.

What would you say to students considering joining BBIS? Why should they choose the school?

There is no reason to not join BBIS. The location is historic, the facilities are excellent, and the opportunities to thrive are plentiful. The diverse and multicultural community creates a unique learning environment that gives a much more holistic understanding of the world; something I consider to be one of my greatest advantages in life.