I GRADUATED!! My thoughts on the IB programme


GENERAL INFO

For the last two years, I have been enrolled in the IB programme. The IBO is a global organisation, providing education for children and teenagers around the world. Here is their mission statement:

”The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.“

I personally have not been doing the Middle Year Programme but only the Diploma Programme.
The IB asks you to choose six subjects out of subject groups. Your choice here may be limited by the subjects your school offers, but most schools I know off do offer a wide range of subjects.

For each subject, you choose whether you take it as a higher level or standard level. Usually, people take three higher level subjects and three standard level subjects.

For this post, I am not going to go into detail about how the subject combinations and the IB works too much since there is so much information out there (I actually really recommend Wikipedia if you don’t know where to start). However, if you have any questions please write to me and I am happy to answer them to you as best as I can.

Here are my subjects:

Higher Level:
English B
German A
History
Biology

Standard Level:
Maths
Business and Management

As you can see I had four higher levels and I was totally fine so if you are interested in taking four highers then I would recommend trying it out and if the workload gets too much you can still drop one of your highers.


MY THOUGHTS

My thoughts about the IB programme are extremely positive and I am so grateful for everything I have learned. I know the IB community sometimes makes it look like the programme is absolute hell and sucks your life out of you with no social life and free time left, but that is really not the case. Of course in the end, especially the last weeks and months are intense and you have to study and revise a lot, if not constantly but to be honest that is what I expected. I think my honest review would be that you certainly have to do your stuff and it is not like you will have hours and hours of free time, but at the same time it is not like your life is lead by the IB. Actually, let me rephrase that it kind of is …

 

KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES

It of course totally depends on your aims and priorities. As a tip or recommendation, I would make sure I have them straight for me while you are in the programme. For me personally, I take school seriously and want to give it my best. On the other hand, did I come all the way from Germany to England and had a little adventure in front of me with living abroad in a boarding house and I wanted to explore the English culture and find new friends and try out new things. I settled in the middle and in my first year I was living the life and had the best time. I did my school work but it was not my only priority which I am so grateful to have made that decision because now looking back at it I can say I lived and have stories to tell and memories in my heart. The definitely confronts you with that decision because you do have to decide whether you want to invest all your time into your studies because sometimes it can really be a lot. After I had let myself have all these essential experiences in year 12 I decided to focus more on school in year 13. I still enjoyed the boarding life in year 13 but I did dedicate more work into school, which was really necessary because of all the coursework which are to be written in each subject, my extended essay of 4000 words as well as your theory of knowledge presentation and essay. Since I am really eager to do well I started focussing more on school and dedicated more time to it. I personally wanted to do Anthropology where I was quite relieved to find that the grades that I needed were not as crazy as with some other courses like law and medicine. Of course, having Anthropology in mind I still really enjoyed exploring England’s culture whenever I could. One really big boost for me was when right before Christmas and therefore the end of the first term of year 13 I got an email. The email asked me to log into UCAS (which is the official university application website in the UK) because there was an update to my status. Not really expecting much I logged into it and found one of the best surprises. I GOT A CONDITIONAL OFFER FROM UCL! I was so surprised and never thought I would actually get an offer but I did and so, of course, I had a good reason to start working hard. The last weeks I really really did a lot a lot of maths since this was the subject I struggled most in. And let me tell you, in the end, this let me improve by two grade compared to my mock exams in January.

 

HAVE A GENUINE INTEREST

I also studied a lot for history higher level. Now as a human being which has a normal logical brain I would have dropped this higher because in history taking the higher level really does make a difference to taking the standard level in terms of effort but I was so interested in history that I kept going and I don’t regret it. So another advice would be if you are really interested in your subject then keep it even if you could drop it because honestly, I learned so much more in history HL. Of course, this is if you are a bit flexible with your grade if you are at risk and you really need to get a certain grade for uni then maybe don’t risk it. Nevertheless if you can then I would recommend to only choose subjects you are genuinely interested in and you will see it will make your life so much easier!

 

ASK YOUR TEACHERS

Another tip would be to build a great relationship with your teachers! It really makes a huge difference! I honestly had the best teachers ever and when you get on with them so well it just makes your life so much easier. Show them that you are interested and I promise you they will help you as much as they can- at least my teachers really did. Don’t be afraid to go up to them and simply ask them. This was something which after a while in class I realised: If you don’t get something just ask again because from my experience most of the class didn’t get it as well but sometimes people are too afraid to ask again- including myself-.

 

COMPLETELY IGNORE THE ALIS TEST

The last tip I have is so important!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t take the Alis Targets serious at all. The Alis targets are based on a test you do in the beginning. It is kind of like an IQ test but not really. Based on your answers the system will make a guess what your final grades will be and therefore what your targets are! Now let me tell you I don’t think they are accurate at all!! LIKE NOT AT ALL! Most of the time they will be so much lower and in the beginning this really made me doubt myself but in the end, it proved to be so wrong and my results were way above my alias predictions. So please know that very few people get great allies predictions and they rarely predict more than a 6 so basically, my message is just to ignore them. If you can don’t even look at them!

 

YOU DO YOU

Another tip would be to not compare yourself to anyone. This hs probably been the most difficult for me because I have so many incredibly smart friends who are just unbelievable. Please just don’t compare yourself and be proud of what you are achieving at the moment. I know this is easier said than done. Also, don’t believe everyone some people are really good at making it seem they are way more intelligent than you and in the end, you get the same result or even a better one. At least this is what happened to me.

I hope this helped a little bit! Honestly, there are so many thoughts I have about the IB and maybe there will be a part two…

I really love the IB and I am forever grateful for everything it has taught me! I would not be the person I am today without it. The people you meet during the IB are incredible and I am really thankful to have all of them in my life.

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EYP National Session Liverpool

The European Youth Parliament National Session for which we got selected earlier this year was a very unique and defining experience for me. The session took place in Liverpool at the Liverpool Hope University and went over four days from Thursday until Sunday. It was organized by other young EYP alumni all of whom are currently studying.

We arrived with our school delegation of 8 people but were all assigned different committees. My committee was “The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs” or “LIBE”. We later also named us the “Libabes”. Our committee had the most amazing (obviously being very objective here) chair person to guide and help us during the session.

On the first day, we had one day of team building which was actually a lot of fun and really helped to get to know everyone. In the evening there was an event called Eurovillage where every school prepared food from one country (we were representing Denmark) which was reeeaaaaaal fun and well cool!

On our second day, we started with the committee work and worked all day on our informational- and operative clauses for our resolution towards our topic :

With a rise in the number of passengers experiencing harassment while travelling, or being denied travel on gender, religious, cultural and ethnic grounds, how can the European Union act to ensure safe travel for all while maintaining its stance against discrimination and ethnic profiling?

Our committee worked so well together and we all were so stunned by how efficiently we worked and how pleased we were with our resolution. I will have the final resolution attached at the end. We then had a pub quiz in the evening which the Libabes, unfortunately, didn’t win. At 12 o’ clock at night the resolution booklet of all committees was released and we spend the night preparing for our debate the next day. We went to sleep at 3 and woke up at 6:30.

On the third day, there was the GA or General Assembly or in another word the debate. We debated 7 resolutions some of which passed some off which didn’t. Our resolution however passed !! In the evening we had a concert where delegates sang and performed. It was a really good evening full of support, new friendships, and shared interests.

On Sunday we debated the last two resolutions. After the closing ceremony of the GA we all got little envelopes with little notes from our committee. It was a truly amazing experience and the people I met were people that were inspiring and interesting as well as fun and I hope to see them all again. The session ended with everyone from the board to the organizers to the delegates listening to “Imagine” and saying goodbye.

The photos from our amazing media team on the EYP Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/liverpoolnational2017/photos/?ref=page_internal

 

Our Resolution :

 

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European Youth Parliament Regional Session: My experience

hi,

These pictures were taken at the EYP North-West- Regional Session that we attended two weeks ago. This is the delegation from our school. There were 12 schools in total that attended the conference. You might think: What is this thing she is talking about?

Well, let me explain the concept of EYP to you.

EYP stands for European Youth Parliament and was created for young people to raise their voices and share their opinions. The conference is laid out like a debate with every school preparing one resolution to a current affair which they then either defend or attack. Our topic was the implementation of the “Sugar Tax”. We got assigned to defend the Sugar Tax, so we prepared a defense speech and presented it at the conference. After us, there was another school which attacked the resolution of the “Sugar Tax”. After that, the debate was open to the floor where everyone there could participate. After three rounds of open floor, we did our summation speech. After our resolution and debate, we also took part in other debates during the open floor debate.

Here are the topics we debated on:

IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT US ELECTIONS AND THE DIVISIONS THEY HAVE CREATED, WHAT STANCE SHOULD THE EU TAKE ON BUILDING RELATIONS WITH THE NEW ADMINISTRATION TO ENSURE THAT THE EU’S PRIORITIES ARE ACHIEVED?

WITH THE AFTERMATH OF BREXIT SHOWING A SHARP RISE IN HATE CRIMES, HOW CAN THE EUROPEAN UNION PROTECT ITS MINORITY GROUPS FROM RACIALLY MOTIVATED CRIME WHILST SAFEGUARDING ITS CITIZENS’ RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION?

IN LIGHT OF RECENT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY SUPPORT FOR AN ARMS EMBARGO AGAINST SAUDI ARABIA, FOLLOWING THE USE OF EU-MADE ARMS IN SUSPECTED VIOLATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, WHAT STEPS SHOULD THE EUROPEAN UNION TAKE TO ENSURE THAT IT MEETS ITS ETHICAL OBLIGATIONS WHEN EXPORTING ARMS?

WITH 38% OF EUROPEAN CITIZENS SUFFERING FROM MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS ANNUALLY, HOW CAN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES BETTER SUPPORT PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS, SUCH AS DEPRESSION, AS WELL AS FOSTERING POSITIVE MENTAL WELLBEING AMONG THEIR CITIZENS?

WITH AN INCREASING NUMBER OF REGIONS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, SUCH AS SCOTLAND AND CATALONIA, EXPRESSING A DESIRE FOR INDEPENDENCE, HOW CAN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ITS MEMBER STATES RESPECT THESE AUTONOMIST REGIONAL DESIRES WITHOUT PUTTING ITS OWN UNITY INTO QUESTION?

 

And the best of all this was that 3 schools got selected to be part of the EYP National Session in Summer!

And guess who is going to be a part of that? Yes, we got selected to go to nationals!

Helena

PS: the event took place at Liverpool Town Hall which meant, we also got to use the toilets that the queen used… just saying

 

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Travel Diary: York

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Y O R K

This has been the first time I have visited York or actually been to Yorkshire and I had lots of fun! The small streets, all the tea rooms -especially Betty’s-, the view from Clifford’s Tower, the soap race across the city, the English charm and the friendly people all came together perfectly well. Even the sun came out to say hello. We had two days to spend in York, which was really nice and if you have the time I would recommend taking two days.

Here are a few ideas and tips<3

There is the “York Pass” and if you are interested in visiting a lot of places and sights it might be interesting for you to check that out.

Places and Sights

City wall

Fun Fact: York has more miles of intact wall than any other city in England.

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York Minster

We all would be surprised if there was an English city without a Gothic cathedral. Right?! In fact, the York Minster is the largest cathedral in Northern Europe. It is also the seat of the Archbishop of York! Having seen a couple 100 cathedrals around Europe (at least it feels like it ;D ) I was surprised how huge it really is!

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Treasurer’s House

We only visited the garden of Treasurer’s House. The job of the Treasurer is to control the finances of the Minster but also to entertain important guests. This is the reason he was provided with this grand residence next to the Minster.

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Shambles Street

We definitely had to take a look at the famous shambles street. The Shambles is an old street with buildings dating back as far as the fourteenth century.

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Clifford Tower

The tower is providing you an amazing view of York!

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York Castle Museum

In this Museum you get an inside look at the history of York. I really enjoyed walking through the streets of York from former times. It felt like I was time traveling to visit Queen Victoria. Dresses and toys are exhibited as well. Seeing old classrooms, shops and also prisons makes you feel like in a movie, since there are authentic dressed people walking around as well. If you are interested in World War 1 you will get quite some information there. I had a good time at the York Museum!

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imageWhere to eat

Betty’s

to be honest this was my very favorite thing about York! I loved going Betty’s so much! For our second day in York, we had booked a tea session. I didn’t really know what to expect at first but it turned out to be a like you would expect a Downton Abbey tea party. We were brought to our table first passing a pianist who was playing while people were having there tea and scones. We got instructed to choose a tea, which I choose the Betty’s Afternoon Tea (apparently that’s what they are so famous for). We got served a little appetizer and they brought us a étagère with little sandwiches at the bottom and scones, little cakes and macaroons on the top. Sooo delicious! We also ordered a glass of champagne. If you’re looking for a treat while you are in York. You will definitely have your princess moment here<3

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Lucky Days

A very comfortable little tearoom and restaurant with yummy food!

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Fun Activities

 

Bus Tour

I very much enjoy hopping into a bus, driving through the city and learning interesting historical and funny facts. If you are the same, this is for you. You can hop on and hop off at every station you choose to and the ticket is valid for 24 hours. #thethingsthatmakelifeeasy 🙂

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Boat Tour

We didn’t do a boat tour after all, but it looked very nice! But keep in mind you probably won’t see as much as you do from the bus.image

 

York, I will definitely be coming back!

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My first blog post!

 

hello everyone,

my name is Helena and this is my very first blog post ever! I am 16 years old, love summer, my friends and family and here are some of my interests:

dance, travel, literature, classic old Hollywood movies, food, culture, photography, stationary …

I wanted to create this platform to write and post about my interests and document and share thoughts of mine.

I am also going to go to an english boarding school next year and wanted to have a platform to write all of my experiences about it.

 

I am very excited for this journey!

I hope you all have an amazing day!

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