MBTS is proud to shine a spotlight on one of its alumnae: Hannah Ebanks, who started as a Toddler in the school’s pioneering class in 2000, and graduated from the Middle Years Program in 2011. We recently caught up with Hannah, who is currently studying Journalism in Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Read all about her recent adventures in the wide world beyond MBTS and Cayman:
I was part of the very first group of students at MBTS in 2000; you can find my name on the sliding glass doors that divide the Toddler and Casa classrooms. And I was a part of the first Middle Years Program graduating class in 2011 — MBTS is basically where I grew up. My parents would have to drag me off the playground or out of the classroom – I loved going to school so much.
After MBTS, I attended high school at Cayman International School (CIS). I completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in 2015. I’m currently a sophomore at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. I’m majoring in Journalism with a minor in Marketing Communications.
I am really passionate about traveling and exploring the world, something that MBTS is probably responsible for — playing with the puzzle maps, investigating the continents, and growing up with people from around the world. Prior to starting university, I took a gap year in Paris, France where I took French courses and cultural electives. After that experience, I became an advocate for study abroad at Emerson College, encouraging students to spend a semester abroad. And not only college students, but high school students as well: my program asked me to be a representative at a Gap Year Fair in the Boston area and I also gave a presentation at CIS about the benefits of studying abroad. Since starting university, I have already studied abroad twice: a summer program in Aix-en-Provence, France and I am currently at the Emerson College campus in the Netherlands, where I have had the opportunity to visit ten cities this semester, including Reykjavik, Iceland and Santorini, Greece.
I think that studying abroad is so beneficial because it allows you to experience first-hand and practice values that make you a more well-rounded human being, such as communicating with different people, being open-minded and self-reflection.
I would say that looking back on my time at MBTS, I definitely appreciate my French classes. It was where my love for France and the French language began, which has clearly had an impact on my life. (Merci, Madame Wendy!) I will never forget the Pizza Song or the days where we got to try French foods. And there have been several instances where something I learned back then has been useful. When I was taking my French courses in Paris, I would remember something I learned back in my sixth grade French class.
As for the more practical knowledge, I definitely have a better developed sense of geography, thanks to the Puzzle Map Blitz, which has helped me in my studies and life in general. Also, I learned how to give a proper handshake, and speak confidently to many different people, which I think has been really useful in helping me make a good first impression when I’m introducing myself.
I think the the foundation and initial development of the values I mentioned about learning from studying abroad (communication, open-mindedness, and self-reflection) was laid and really emphasized in my Montessori education. While I was at MBTS, I was always taught to listen to others and really think about what I was going to say next in response. The life lessons of grace and courtesy is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.