It may have been an intense two years studying the International Baccalaureate, but the hard work has paid off for Emi Foster.
The Penrith Anglican College student from Glenbrook was named joint dux of the college for an IB score of 42 out of 45, the equivalent of an ATAR of 99.4.
The anticipation of waiting until early January for the results nearly killed her, but Emi was over the moon when they came through.
“I counted down the hours ’til I got my results,” the 18-year-old said. “We were travelling in the car to Coffs Harbour so I hotspotted to see my results.”
And the good news has kept coming.
On Friday Emi was offered a scholarship to study physiotherapy at Sydney University, which means she’ll receive $10,000 for each year of the degree.
Studying physiotherapy has been on the cards since year 7, when Emi broke her finger and underwent hand therapy with a physiotherapist. She’s particularly interested in sports physiotherapy and dreams of being a physiotherapist for the women’s national basketball team the Australian Opals.
And being selected to referee at a couple of national schools basketball championships last year, she’s already moving in the right circles.
In August Emi refereed at the School Sport Australia Basketball Championships in Darwin.
“I had to study while I was there, but nationals was really good. I studied a lot harder before I went, and had trials [trial exams] as soon as I got back,” Emi said.
“[Over the two years] It was important to manage my time and prioritise my study, but I did other things as well. I still went out with friends … and I kept my guitar lessons up.”
Emi studied English, sports science, psychology, biology, French and maths over two years, achieving three band sixes and three band sevens [IB has seven bands].
“I had to work hard from the start,” she said.
Helping to keep Emi sane during the long hours of study was her 18-month-old Cavoodle Bonnie, who would lie on her mat by Emi’s feet.
“It was nice to have her presence there in study, she was really calm,” Emi recalled.
“I was really focused with her there. When I was finished a study session I would take her for a walk or go for a walk myself.”
When university kicks off in February, Emi plans to commute to Sydney from Glenbrook. She’ll also continue refereeing games for the Springwood Basketball Association, which includes coaching young referees, a job she particularly enjoys.
The International Baccalaureate is a globally recognised program, studied over two years. Students are required to study a second language, at least one humanities or maths subject, a unit on the philosophy of knowledge, and spend a year working on a 4000-word essay on a topic of their choice.
“I really enjoyed the course and it was awesome to be given the opportunity to study the International Baccalaureate,” Emi said.