News | 03 April 2023

“They really made me feel like I could achieve anything I set my mind to”

We spoke with former student Emelie de Lancey about her best memories from her school days at Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet Södermalm (IEGS) and what she is doing today.


Former student Emelie de Lancey graduated from IEGS in 2013. Today she is 28 years old and just released her first children’s book. We spoke with her about her best memories from school and what she has been doing since graduation.

What have you been doing since you graduated?
“My aim after graduation was to move abroad to experience more of the world first hand. In my final year at IEGS, I earned a scholarship to study at Fudan University in Shanghai for a year, after having studied Mandarin at IEGS. In Shanghai I met my now-husband and we moved together to the UK, where I studied my bachelor’s degree in International Relations at King’s College London. This degree sparked my interest in crises, and I decided to continue down that route studying a master’s degree called Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation, at Lund University in Sweden. I also did a few internships, including 6 months at the Swedish Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, in between my bachelor’s and my master’s, which was an incredible experience.” 

What are you doing right now?
“I am currently working with crisis preparedness at SOS Alarm, and have also just released my first children’s book Det brinner i skogen! (“The forest is on fire”). The idea for this book came a couple of years ago when one part of my job was to monitor forest fires in Sweden and I started thinking about how to explain forest fires to children. I recently visited IES Solna to hold a workshop about writing my book and working with crisis management, which was so much fun.” 


Workshop at IES Solna

Looking back, what do you value most from your time at IEGS?
“I will always be grateful for the teachers I had at IEGS. They really made me feel like I could achieve anything I set my mind to and always cheered me on. I grew a lot during my years at IEGS, both academically and as a person, and I have the support from the teachers to thank for that.” 

What is your best memory from IEGS?
“In my first year, my house (King house) won the choir competition, and I remember that being such a joyful day! Overall I really enjoyed all the extracurricular activities at IEGS, because it was a really fun way to learn new things and be part of a team.” 

Do you have any dreams for the future?
“I dream about writing many more books in different genres. I also hope that I will get the chance to meet more young people to talk about books and writing with them.”