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Hear from our Graduates

Hear from our Graduates

Lee Jing Han Althea

Harvard University

Government

 

Why did you originally decide to pursue an IB diploma? What appealed to you about the DP?

I found the IBDP’s emphasis on writing and essay-based assessments exciting compared to other curricula. I liked the prospect of IAs and the EE because we could explore a specific area of the subject we’re interested in through writing and research. Reflecting on my two years in the IBDP program, I realize that I have a balanced mix of growth in academic knowledge and life skills. 

 

How has the DP programme has helped you reach where you are today?

Because of the sheer workload of the IBDP, I was able to pick up time management skills and better plan out my schedule for the week. I developed systems to keep my assignments submitted on time but still enjoy free time outside of school-related work. The IBDP has certainly helped me grow closer to my classmates and teachers as I learned that clarifying doubts with others can help achieve better understanding of the material. I don’t think the IBDP program is designed to be accomplished alone. 

How did IB help you to become a better person or better learner? Which of the attributes of the learner profile have been more developed in you? 

The CAS requirements were also a unique experience for me as I began incorporating time for reflection on my projects and hobbies that I wouldn’t have done otherwise if I didn’t do the IBDP. Writing up reflections and articles allowed me to confront my feelings behind each project and activity – whether that be of satisfaction or disappointment. I began to realize the importance of reviewing projects and planning ahead on improvements. This, to me, was also a reflection of the IB learner profile to be a thinker, inquirer and reflective. 

Who inspired you most as an IB student?

At moments when I felt too stressed or overwhelmed, I would look to the seniors for inspiration. Talking to seniors and alumni from ACS was definitely a source of motivation for me as I was able to learn from their experience and tips on how to navigate the IBDP without burning out. Their success and knowledgeability of the IBDP program was truly inspiring as they went through the experiences I did when studying. 

 

What advice can you give to current IB students?

A piece of advice I would give to current IB students, as generic as it sounds, is to take things one step at a time. It’s so easy to look at the list of tasks an IB student must accomplish (on top of university applications and personal matters) and begin to feel overwhelmed. My advice is to accomplish tasks in small amounts, within the deadline of course, instead of rushing out mountains of work that are hastily done. By setting attainable goals in a shorter timeframe, I was able to manage my stress levels. And most importantly, it is important to find a good community whether in our outside of ACS to achieve the work-life balance. After all, studying all the time will only lead to burn-out. Spending time with loved ones and hanging out with friends gave me energy to keep going throughout my two years in the IBDP. The people you surround yourself with can determine the attitude and energy you move forward with in life (and for current students, the IBDP). 

 

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Hannah Patricia Halim

Nagoya University

Agriculture

 

Some words suitable to express my IBDP journey are perhaps intense, challenging and eye-opening. 

Why did you originally decide to pursue an IB diploma? What appealed to you about the DP?

As someone who came from a non-English based school before coming to ACS, I was grateful to have the chance to learn more about international curricula through IGCSE first before pursuing IB. From the one-year experience, I found learning under the curriculum quite new and fascinating. Other than this, after talking to my seniors including my sister who pursued IBDP, I became very interested in continuing my studies with the course. Some aspect that appealed to me was the chance to write my essay based on research I should do on my own. Two years later, I am glad that I decided to take this path as I feel that it has allowed me to realise my full potential and even helped me to enrol in the university I was aiming for with a full scholarship. 

How has the DP programme has helped you reach where you are today? How did IB help you to become a better person or better learner?

After finishing IB, I realised that I have become way more critical about everything that I am doing. I paid more attention to details and was able to manage my priorities better. Furthermore, I personally felt more confident in myself and what I am working on from my experiences of doing CAS, my Extended Essay and Internal Assessments. I believe that the teachers’ guidance throughout the process also played a role in boosting my self-confidence that I was capable of doing something I aimed for. With their help too, I also learned that making mistakes is not bad at all but in fact, an experience that will significantly improve you from your previous level. From my experiences in taking IBDP, I was able to learn continuously about the importance of time management. The course taught me how to filter which are my priorities and thus to spend my time doing each of them effectively. With this skill, I was able to continue doing my hobbies and even have sufficient resting time, therefore being balanced. Hence, I think that some of the attributes of the learner profile that have been most developed in me are balanced, thinker and risk-taker.

What advice can you give to current IB students?

As someone who has gone through this programme, I am not saying that taking this course is easy. Throughout the process, there are lots of significant ups and downs that I’ve gone through. However, a mindset that I would like to share from these experiences is that everything happens according to His plan. The difficulties that you might encounter in this course will help prepare you for your great future. Trust the process and try to do your best every step of the way. Another advice I would like to share with those pursuing this IBDP programme is that it is very helpful to seek additional guidance from your teachers or seniors whenever you encounter some challenges. Communicating with people, especially those who have experienced these problems might help you take away some stress and can even be the key to your success in taking the course. To the current IB students: You got this! 
 

Andrea Christine Priscilla Makatita

University of Melbourne

Psychology
 

Why did you originally decide to pursue an IB diploma? What appealed to you about the DP? How has the DP programme has helped you reach where you are today?

Deciding to pursue the IB diploma was one of the best decisions I’ve made throughout my high school life. The Diploma Program especially interested me because I love self-development. Prior to doing the IB, I always had issues with time management and prioritization skills. Knowing that the IB requires various responsibilities outside of academics, tests and exams, I was interested to continue my studies in the DP as I wanted to improve myself in that aspect too. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, I was intrigued by the idea of writing a 4,000 word essay regarding a topic that I’m truly passionate about. Overall, the IBDP taught me how to be a more responsible learner and a much more considerate person. CAS really helped me achieve this as I learned the importance of prioritizing my community alongside my studies. Thus, the IBDP humbled me, making me realize that I should be using my skills to help those around me instead of reaping the benefits solely for myself. By taking the IBDP, I also found my passion in psychology. It made me understand how much I love developmental psychology as I’ll get to work with children diagnosed with various developmental disorders and educational needs. 

How did IB help you to become a better person or better learner? Which of the attributes of the learner profile have been more developed in you?

From all the attributes of the learner profile, I mainly developed the skill of being a risk taker. Throughout Covid, I received a lot of opportunities to lead NPOs/ NGOs, take part in various volunteering activities and even start up my own organization. Before Covid and taking IB, I would not have said yes to any of these opportunities. However, taking the IB taught me that taking risks could sometimes lead to more positive outcomes. Thus, I decided to say yes to these opportunities. By the end of these 2 years, I co-started 2 of my own NGOs, led 4 different NGOs/ NPOs, took up a part-time job and spoke in a conference hosted by the United Nations Association (UNA) Indonesia. Without being brave and taking numerous risks, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this much in just 2 years. 

Who inspired you most as an IB student?

Out of all the people who have inspired me as an IB student, the most influential person in my life would have to be my mom.  Growing up, she taught me the importance of being selfless and caring about others. When I was younger, she’d plan yearly trips during the summer to give food to the homeless or people we saw on the streets. She’d bring me to various mission trips where I got to see less fortunate children gather to listen to God’s words. Moreover, she’s the reason why I’m mainly interested in helping children with developmental differences as she used to love bringing me to orphanages that housed children with disorders like ASD, down syndrome and severe ADHD. She’s shaped me into the person I am today. This helped me a lot especially when going through CAS as I didn’t see it as a chore. Thus, I really did enjoy my time in the IBDP. 

What advice can you give to current IB students?

I’ll leave my juniors with two main sets of advice:

  1. Make really good use of the time you have. If you have a lot of free time during the IBDP, you’re probably doing something wrong. Make use of every free period to get work done. Though it may be tiring at first, the benefit of finishing things prior to the deadline and having more time to check your work is very satisfying (trust me, I went through it). 

  2. Support one another and know that there are others in the same boat as you. I found it very helpful to find assistance through my friends and understand that they’re struggling with the same things I was. It made me feel less alone and that I had a support system that would be there during my worst days. This understanding definitely helped me through many burnouts, crying sessions and mental breakdowns. Other than knowing this, learn to be there for your peers too. You don’t know what they may be going through, so always be considerate and learn to support them throughout their ups and downs.  

 

 

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Chew Yu

University of Hong Kong

Psychology

 

Why did you originally decide to pursue an IB diploma? What appealed to you about the DP? How has the DP programme has helped you reach where you are today?

I decided to pursue an IB Diploma as I am aware of the comprehensive development that it provides, and how it is able to prepare students for their university life in all aspects. I went into IB feeling somewhat unprepared and anxious, as I could not foresee what I’d be encountering, especially with an online mode of learning. As time progressively went by, I went through many distressing nights, piled-up deadlines, failures in assessments and massive amount of workload, just like every typical IB student does. These moments are definitely uneasy and difficult to manage, but they have all built up who I have become at this point in my life. The breadth and complexity of the IB courses allowed me to grow into a better learner, as I am always challenged to explore and delve deeper into new knowledge and ideas. From someone that is rather inflexible and reliant on fixed knowledge to study, I have slowly developed into someone that is inquisitive and is willing to explore beyond the syllabus. Throughout the course, I had a drastic change in my study method, as I’m beginning to implement a more active way of learning rather than being fully dependent on study materials.

How did IB help you to become a better person or better learner? Which of the attributes of the learner profile have been more developed in you?

Among all the attributes of the IB learner profile, I personally believe that thinker, balanced, reflective and open-minded are the four attributes that have been developed in me. I am more willing to accept and take in different perspectives from others, and I have learned how to balance between academics and social life with the integration of CAS into the programme. I believe that these positive qualities will continue to be carried on and will be beneficial to my future education. 

Who inspired you most as an IB student?

Throughout the IB course, there are a lot of people who have influenced and inspired me in different ways. I appreciate all the IB teachers for putting in an incredible amount of hard work and patience in every class, and for going through all the up-and-down moments with us. I would especially like to thank Mr Giovanni for his constant enthusiasm that made our Biology class come to life. His incredibly creative delivery of content not only made the classes much more enjoyable, but as well inspired us to truly embrace what we are learning and fostered our interests in different aspects. I would also like to thank Mr Xu Hui for always recognizing my potential, and for motivating me to accomplish skills and targets that I thought weren’t possible. 

What advice can you give to current IB students?

A piece of advice I would give is to always put yourself in a bigger picture, and do not be afraid of mistakes. IB is a learning experience, it focuses on personal development and therefore, regardless of success or failure, there will always be something to gain. Always try to push yourself to challenge something new as you’ll be shocked at what you can achieve, as trite as it may sound. Lastly, make sure to find your balance, and try your best to enjoy the process. 



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