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News > Alumni news > Alumni Spotlight: Marina Silveira Balloni '20

Alumni Spotlight: Marina Silveira Balloni '20

Meet Marina Silveira Balloni. She graduated from the Class of 2020 and is currently a first-year medical student at the University of Barcelona. Marina attended ASB from grade 8 until graduation.
Marina Silveira Balloni
Marina Silveira Balloni

Meet Marina Silveira Balloni. She graduated from the Class of 2020 and is currently a first-year medical student at the University of Barcelona. Marina attended ASB from grade 8 until graduation. Her two brothers, Lucas (G11) and Rafael (PK4), also currently attend ASB. We sat down to ask Marina about life since ASB. 

How prepared were you for life at university after completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) at ASB?

I was highly prepared. There is so much material to learn over the two years of the IBDP that now at university, I recognize many concepts that I have already covered, making my first months at university easier. The IBDP also taught me to manage my time independently, which was one of the most valuable life skills I learned. 

What experiences from ASB influenced your life today?

Three teachers marked my experience at ASB; Ms. Magda, Mr. Whitehair, and Ms. Monds. They all showed empathy in my learning and a high level of interest in my wellbeing and aspirations. I remember long conversations with Ms. Monds guiding us through the DP. She was also an excellent leader and communicator during the conflict with the IB results last year. Ms. Magda supported all our university admissions procedures in Spain, even going as far as to wait outside our selectividad examination to ensure everything ran smoothly. Mr. Whitehair transformed our demanding chemistry class into my favorite lesson from all my IBDP subjects. All my teachers offered support and were excellent at their job, but these three stood out for me, and they certainly contributed to why I can study medicine today at my university of choice.

How has the Covid pandemic affected your current studies? Reflecting on the last school year, what were some of the challenges you faced?

I am lucky to have a university that prioritizes first-year students and allows us to have in-person classes on campus, even though we have to wear masks in class and maintain a two-seat distance between each student. Unfortunately, due to government restrictions, we now have to move to virtual classes for a couple of weeks. We hope to be able to return to campus soon.

Last year, the biggest challenge for me was facing the IB results offered after the IB canceled their exams due to the Covid pandemic. I know I was not alone and that this was a common challenge for many IB students worldwide. Thankfully, the IB resolved this issue with a correction in my results, and I was able to enter my desired degree at the University of Barcelona. The experience taught me perseverance and persistence.

What are some of your favorite memories from ASB? 

Honestly, I have many. The memories range from fourth floor sprints to the soccer field to get a cookie from the food truck to being a part of the soccer team and participating in multiple tournaments with my friends. There's also fun memories of picking up some bread from the cafeteria in the 5-minute break between classes. Also unforgettable was our beautiful graduation ceremony that the school organized for us despite the pandemic. I'll always remember reuniting with my classmates after the lockdown to celebrate the years and bonds we created with each other. 

Are you still in touch with former classmates?

Thankfully I am in touch with many of my former classmates. Many of my friends went to the United Kingdom to study, for example, Ruben Peláez, who is studying Biochemistry at King's College London, and Carlota Dujo, who is studying Mathematics and Finance at Queen Mary University of London. My good friend, Michelle Brenner, is also studying medicine at the Autonomous University of Madrid, and Victoria Martinez (medicine) and Benjamin Rodriguez (biology) are both studying at the University of Navarra in Pamplona.

If you could describe ASB in one word, what would it be?


Once a Lynx, Always a Lynx!
#Lynx4Life #ASBtogether

Contributed: October 2020

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