Laura Berchtold de Oliveira Camargo started at Academia Matura in January 2020 and will graduate in summer 2022.

She is currently accepted to an English-speaking university in Germany and will soon start studying Graphic Design. This interview reveals why she chose Academia as her school and what she benefited from.

How did you find Academia Matura?

I found Academia Matura while searching online for schools to do the Matura or a similar programme. I was immediately enthusiastic about the English-language programme. I have been learning English since I was five and German since I was 13 years old. I was certain I would do better in a language I am more familiar with, and with The British International A Levels, I would get an internationally recognised university entrance qualification.

Why are you studying for an International Matura, and what are your further goals?

My dreams are to expand my knowledge and be able to work in an area I’m interested in. I believe that having a Matura and studying my interests will get me there.

Why did you choose Academia Matura?

I moved to Switzerland from Brazil in 2016 and was pressured by the system to do an apprenticeship. However, that was not my goal; I wanted to study and expand my knowledge. As I was searching for schools, Academia Matura couldn’t have fit my profile better: 1. It is strength orientated; I had to select only six subjects that were tailored to my intended degree of specialization; 2. It gave me flexibility by providing an individual timetable; 3. I only needed to invest time and energy in subjects that really interested me. I asked for information by mail, and I got a very quick answer. Also, the administration was so quick, easy and kind, and I could start right away.

What makes Academia Matura attractive to you?

The best part of Academia is its flexibility. Having private lessons, I can work part-time, pursue my hobbies and invest time in my interests while taking classes and finishing my diploma. Also, if something comes up, I can talk to the teachers and reschedule our class to another time or day.

I am very happy I found Academia and that they gave me the opportunity to do the International A levels; they definitely brought me closer to my goals and dreams.

What is your experience so far?

I started my studies at Academia at the beginning of 2020. My experience up until now has been good. The teachers have always looked out for me and helped me whenever needed. They also helped me see where I could improve and gave me tips. During Corona, I found out I worked well when having online classes, Academia gave me the opportunity to keep taking my classes online, but when needed, I can choose to have on-site classes.

What is going well, and what can be improved?

I have fun in class and studying as I can plan things on my own. The classes are adapted to my own learning methods. However, it can be challenging to keep my motivation for my studies if other things are happening in my life. Private lessons also mean that you are on your own in class which can sometimes impact motivation and make it even more important to find a balance between school and your time for friends and hobbies.

What was your educational path before you started at Academia Matura?

I arrived in Switzerland from Brazil in 2016; I was in the 8th grade then. I went to a public school in my city, Biel. My goal was to enter a Gymnasium, but as I didn’t have much experience in the language, I was pressured to do an apprenticeship as a veterinary assistant. However, I knew I wanted to do more and study.

From Matura to university

You’ve been accepted to the Berlin School of Business and Innovation in Hamburg for the Graphic Design Bachelor Degree awarded by the University of Creative Arts in the UK. How did the Matura programme help you?

The International A Levels opened the door to an English speaking university in Germany. Academia supported me whenever I was struggling and prepared me for independent self-study.

What subjects did you take to prepare for your studies?

I didn’t need any specific subjects for this Bachelor degree, but I believe that by taking German, English and Maths, I will have a head start in school.

Do you feel that you are well prepared for your studies? Why?

I believe I will be ready for it because my A Levels covered the most important subject for my Bachelor, English. All my classes will be held in English, just like at Academia, and I know that I will be able to keep up with ease.

My tips for more motivation and stamina

What advice do you have for all those who have just started the Matura programme at Academia?

The more you study, the better you will be able to take your exams, and there will be fewer chances of having to retake them. Don’t wait too long to start planning your next step. I got a bit overwhelmed because I started rather late to look for universities and plan my next steps – due dates for applications to universities can be very tight.

How did you motivate yourself to keep going?

I had a troubling time with motivation, especially during the pandemic. My exams were moved, and I had to study for them for another ten months before taking them. In the beginning, I didn’t see much point in studying as the exams were really far away. However, I was able to change my point of view by making lists or writing down goals for the week. Like this, I worked a bit almost every day, which motivated me to go to classes and study more every week.


Laura Berchtold de Oliveira Camargo, student Academia Matura Bern

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