Drama, theatre and ISTA can really bring people all around the world closer together.
I am the mother of Tessie Yu from Good Hope School in Hong Kong, one of the participants at the high school ISTA festival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She also went to the HS festival in Singapore last year which seemed enriching to my daughter and is why I sent her to Cambodia this year.
She seemed to have enjoyed the Singapore ISTA festival in February last year and she got a lot from the festival, in both theatre and personal development, which is why I let her attend the one in Phnom Penh. She had also never been to Cambodia before so I let her go to Phnom Penh to explore more of the world. On one hand I hoped that it would improve her drama skills and inspire her on a new level and to learn more about the history of Cambodia. On the other hand I wanted her to develop her personal skills, meet lifelong friends and open up to people more. Before the festival I had many concerns, as a parent does, because my daughter had never been to Cambodia before and I was worried that she would not enjoy it and that the trip would not be as worth it. Five days later I was gladly proven wrong.
When she came back to Hong Kong Tessie could not stop talking about the trip—which told me that I had made the right decision. She seemed to have matured so much throughout those five days and she had learned so much both mentally and theatrically.