What made you want to study for the International Baccalaureate?
It was portrayed to us as a qualification which offered greater opportunities, and allowed us to access more prestigious universities. The breadth of the curriculum also appealed to me, and the opportunity to diversify was definitely a selling point.
What is your fondest memory of being an IB student?
The sense of achievement when I finished! It was one of the hardest things I had to do, and I enjoyed the feeling that, no matter what results I got at the end, I had thrown myself into every aspect of my studies.
What was the biggest challenge/learning experience from your time studying for the IB?
Learning to organise myself around my studies. The time pressures for the IB were a lot greater than anything I had experienced before. For example, free periods don’t really exist when you’re studying for the IB. Also, due to the extra-curricular activities you are required to do as part of the IB, you had to organise your free time very well.
How did the IB help you get to where you are now in your professional career?
One thing that the IB tries to instil in you is the importance of life skills outside the classroom and the value of different learning & assessment styles. You grow accustomed to some of the pressures you will face in later life, for example giving presentations and interviews.
For example, in Higher Level English, you had to complete a 15 min presentation element, as well as an interview style analysis on any one of three different texts, which certainly kept you on your toes.
What are the specific challenges for IB students when it comes to choosing, and applying to, university?
While the IB allows you to maintain breadth, it can be difficult to select one or two subject courses and/or hone in on a particular pathway for the next three years of your life. You’re also unaware of the options available to you, as someone who has studied a broad curriculum.
As a former IB student yourself, what do you think is the main benefit of BridgeU?
When you’re searching for university courses, BridgeU allows you to take advantage of a platform which offers a broad overview of every course available to you, based on the six subjects you’ve studied, as well as future courses you’re interested in pursuing.
Other course searches out there only allow you to filter based only on specific course names, and can leave some options hidden from view. This means that your university search isn’t tailored to your ambitions and aspirations.
Why did you want to join BridgeU?
BridgeU instils in students a sense of global ambition. At such a young age, it can be difficult to find universities which are right for you as an individual, wherever they are in the world. University can be a tricky time in students’ lives, so it’s absolutely crucial to find somewhere which is suited to you as an individual.
What one piece of advice would you give to IB students making their university/career choices now?
Try to think broadly when you consider your next step. There’s no reason why you should only be looking at universities which are geographically close to you, and studying abroad will likely be one of the most rewarding experiences of your young adult life.