The 2019 IB Cap Ceremony at Grenaa Gymnasium

IB students 2019: “Let’s go out there and make a change”

On May 24th Grenaa Gymnasium said goodbye to 43 IB2 students at a ceremony at the school. Parents had come from far and near to take part in the celebration, the so-called Cap Ceremony.

In keeping with tradition the Cap Ceremony had speeches, musical performance, presentation of awards and of course the ceremonial “cap crowning” of each student before a nice dinner was served. The dinner was of course prepared by the kitchen staff at Grenaa Gymnasium’s boarding school.

Graduation Anniversary September 7th 2019

Student speech: The IB experience

This year’s student speech was the co-work of three students: Valeriia Mukhai (Ukraine), Oliver Kirkegaard Laursen (Grenaa, Denmark) and Emmanuel Trier (Kenya/Switzerland) who shared their personal experiences of coping in a new culture in the beginning, followed by the evolvement of strong friendships and extra-curricular activities that caused many a future plan to be re-considered.

Oliver reflected upon the feeling that as an IB student the whole world had come to him in his home town. “My whole life I have been longing to travel and see the world,” said Oliver. “For many years I have walked the same streets, gone to the same destinations, and seen the same places … now, I walk with friends from all over the world. And what happens when you see things from a new perspective, is that you start to realise more about where you are from, and how that has shaped you as a person.”

From Kenya and Switzerland to Denmark

Emmanuel came to Grenaa with school experiences in both Kenya and Switzerland. “I didn’t expect a big difference when I came here. I thought I knew the kind of people I was going to meet and how things would be in Denmark. How naïve I was! Denmark is so different from Switzerland and even more different from Kenya.”

The boarding school: support and reliance

In contrast to Emmanuel, Valeriia was aware from the start that she did not know what to expect. “… this was something completely different. Seeing so many new opportunities, so many new boundaries to cross with so many different people. … As everyone present here can relate, our differences brought us together, … we are similar in the way we talk about our cultures.”
Valeriia is one of the many who lived at Grenaa Gymnasium’s boarding school during her IB-years and she stressed the atmosphere of unity and friendship. “We have learnt to be there for each other. We are the motivation for each other, we are support and reliance. … we have learnt to function as a group. We know each others’ strengths and makes it easy to ask for help. And let me tell you, I have never heard anyone say no.”

The 2019 IB Cap Ceremony 2019 at Grenaa Gymnasium

The experience of being taken seriously

Being teenagers in full swing reconsidering future goals and discovering possibilities, sometimes a little help is needed. Often it can be in quite practical matters. Oliver explained: “The school turned out to be this amazing place to learn and explore the creative sides of myself which I had never before dared to. … When we had an idea we wanted to bring to life, we were always met with smiles and opportunity from the school’s side. I would therefore like to say a big thank you to the school for always being supportive, and being a place where students a taken seriously and allowed to grow and explore.”

“I look at my fellow graduates and see musicians, engineers, doctors, lawyers, athletes etc. I see people… who are now world changers. Mind  you, event being supportive to someone can change the way they think. So let’s go out there and make a change!” Emmanuel concluded.