As a child in primary school I always struggled since I was not the most enthusiastic person. I always tended to avoid studying and instead did other things that I now find pointless and regret. All this changed once I joined the family of the American Academy. This school managed to shape my character and throughout the years and helped me evolve into a better person and made me who I am today.
Today, I am studying at EHL (Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne), the number one School of Hospitality in the world which is based in Switzerland. My journey to now has been long but I am grateful to my teachers and mentors at the American Academy for assisting me along the way and making this journey much easier for me. As mentioned from a young age I was not interested in learning, so I did not have any future academic goals in life. I was not planning to study anything until my teachers pointed out my potential and advised me in the best way on how to push myself and better.
One of the most important factors and the person that played a decisive role in changing my mind and helped me understand that there is something out there that fits me, was my academic counsellor Fotini Nicolaou. I really want to thank her for providing me with this opportunity because without her I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Mrs. Fotini was the person who introduced me to this course as she was aware of my parents’ background in the hospitality industry and my character, she recognized that this course might actually be the one for me. Therefore, since the American Academy has been collaborating with different universities all over the world, I was fortunate enough of having the opportunity to meet representatives from various top Hospitality Schools from all over the world. After listening to numerous representatives and my counsellor’s advice I decided to give it a try and seize the opportunity. Additionally, as my parents are in the industry, I recognized that it would be helpful for the future if I ever wanted to expand our family business. Once I had a clear plan in my mind and enough support from my school, I decided to apply to a Hospitality School where I was accepted. Despite the fact that I already had a place, the school counsellors wanted me to pursue greater things and push myself further to achieve better; thus, I was encouraged to participate in a worldwide competition hosted by EHL. Eventually, I applied and managed to win a place amongst the Top 10 worldwide. This was an unforgettable experience as I had the opportunity to visit the school in Switzerland and instantly realized that this is where I belonged. I am pleased that the American Academy facilitated this once in a lifetime opportunity.
The events that followed my achievement have forever changed my life. Without losing precious time, my counsellor convinced me to apply to the university, even though we knew that the chances to be accepted were low. Thankfully, completing my application and presenting myself in the best possible way with the assistance of my counsellor, I got accepted! Credit should go to my school, the American Academy Larnaca, since through the curriculum offered over the 7 years of my studies they ensured that I would have all the knowledge and certificates required. As the school curriculum operates in accordance with the English curriculum, I had no problem with my qualifications which is one of the challenges that many students have to face while applying to my current university.
Furthermore, the staff at the American Academy did not only support me in getting accepted to this exceptional school, but it also helped adapt to the environment with ease. I point this out since EHL is an extremely strict school where discipline and respect are their most important values. On a daily basis it is required that we are cleanly shaved and that we are wearing suits that are perfectly ironed and in good condition or else we are not even permitted to enter the campus. I faced no problems with these rules, as it was the American Academy has similar values and ideologies, insisting on uniform and a well-kept appearance.
At this moment in my life I feel content and glad that my school assisted me in taking such serious decisions that changed my life and are impacting my future in such positive way. Moreover, I am proud to be a member of the American Academy Alumni since it gave me the opportunity to enter one of the most prestigious schools in the world where the competition and standards are high. It is an honor for me to be here and I know I am making my school and my teachers extremely proud since I am also the only Cypriot student currently attending this school (after Marios Michailides graduated – also an American Academy Larnaca Alumnus). Lastly, I would sincerely like to thank my school for the support and especially Mrs. Nicolaou for always being by my side and believing in my potential even when I didn’t believe in myself.