an eye-opener for my son in all the best senses of the word
Nicolas has been interested in performing for a long time. When we first heard of ISTA we thought that it would be an amazing opportunity for him to be a part of an organisation designed for international school students with such great teachers, management and sponsors.
During his participation in the ISTA Performing Arts Academy at the Western International School Shanghai I noticed that Nicolas became surer of himself and happier. He just blossomed. After the first course, I asked Nicolas why he liked ISTA so much. He answered that he was able to express himself without judgment. I think that this contributed tremendously to increasing his self-esteem. I think that the timing is perfect too. At 15, Nicolas is smack in the middle of adolescence and being a part of ISTA is making this complex period easier for him (and us) to handle. While he has always been a social person, being part of ISTA has pushed him even further in his ability to have empathy and understanding of others.
What has surprised me the most about his participation in the programme is his absolute love of it. I knew that he would like it but I never expected this level of commitment. He is totally dedicated to it and it is making him be a more responsible teenager as a result. We have physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components in our personalities. The arts are important to me because they allow us to express and/or to appreciate the world using all of these components.