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Student Stories

Student profile: Mia Willis

“I wanted to go to a co-ed school, but didn't want to go to boarding school or commute into the city daily. ACG Strathallan is local enough to not limit my after-school activities and allow me free time.”

Mia Willis is in Year 10 at ACG Strathallan. A top scholar and outstanding athlete, Mia lives in Clevedon. She started at the school in 2018.  

The thing I enjoy most about life at ACG Strathallan is that the school strives for excellence and appreciates excellence, without it being elitist. It’s a high-performing school, but it’s in my area which makes it feel very welcoming. I felt comfortable at Strathallan from the first Open Day I went to.

I like to think that I am well-rounded, and that I perform well at across the board. Being well-rounded was one of the goals for me at ACG. It allows me to keep my options open as my interests change. Currently I am enjoying STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) more than the more creative subjects (art and English), but I also really enjoy music.

A significant influence on my decision to come to ACG Strathallan was that I didn’t want to go to boarding school or commute into the city daily. I also wanted to go to a co-ed school. One of the biggest influences though has to be my club sports teams. Strathallan allows me to catch a bus from home in the morning and then I can get off at the pools for training. I can also make it home in time to get to water polo training. Strathallan is local enough to not limit my after-school activities and allow me free time.

I am interested in careers that relate to the subjects I am enjoying. Last year I took design and loved it, which really got me thinking about pursuing a career in STEM. But I’m aware that the world is evolving and that job opportunities will be changing as well. I need to be open to new and innovative job options, which might open up in the future.

I plan on going to university, but I don’t know what I’ll study, it all depends on what interests me in the next few years. I might even travel before university, to get experience, earn myself some money, see the world and help the community.

I’m heavily involved in two after-school sports, swimming and water polo, so I’m in the water for 12- hours a week. I’m hoping to add music back into my extracurriculars. I gave up violin to concentrate on the transition to high school, but I really miss learning music.

Some of my more recent awards and achievements are Second Top Scholar Year 9, water polo A grade league and nationals, and qualifier for Division 2 swimming nationals.

My favourite part of the Cambridge curriculum is that it is recognised internationally, so if I were to travel and go to university abroad, my education would be recognised, align with and prepare me well for first year university overseas. I’m a New Zealander, but I’ve only lived here since 2015. I was born in Australia and I lived in Canada for almost four years, so I want to keep my options open to study or live overseas again. The Cambridge system helps me to do this.