For most students in the Philippines, studying in another country is probably on your bucket list. If you’re aching for the taste of an education abroad, you might be interested in understanding something called the IB diploma.
IB stands for Internationale Baccalaureate. It is a non-profit educational foundation that guides students by creating internationally respected and recognized programs that help students adapt to a rapidly developing world. The IB organization offers four different programs. These programs include the Primary Year Program (Ages 3-12), the Middle Year Program (Ages 11-16), Diploma Program (Ages 16-19), and the Career-related Program (Ages 16-19). The Diploma program, the program I’m currently in, is what I’ll be focusing on today.
You’re most likely asking yourself, right about now, “So… how’s IB supposed to help me (or my child) study abroad?”
With the IB, you will be taking the same examinations as 3,000 other schools in 150 countries all around the globe. These exams are assessed not just by your teachers, but by the IB organization as well. What is great is that in over 75 countries all over the world, over 2,000 universities recognize the IB diploma and the high standard that it upholds its students to.
Top universities all around the world look for the best of the best. With the extreme work load, you don’t only meet requirements that are normally the same amount expected from that of university students, you also learn real life skills, such as time management and organization.
IB’s Rigorous academic system
The IB program has 6 subject groups, from which you have to choose a minimum of 6 subjects to take up. These 6 subjects must consist of 3 Higher Level (HL) and 3 Standard Level subjects (SL). HL subjects, just as the name suggests, are more challenging. You’re required to write 1 Internal Assessment paper for each subject in addition to the final examinations for the 6 subjects,
Holistic education with CORE
Apart from these 6 subjects, you have 3 CORE requirements. IB refers to these requirements as CORE because without fulfilling these main necessities, you will not receive your diploma. The 3 elements of DP Core includes Theory of Knowledge (ToK), Extended Essay (EE), and Creativity-Activity-Service (CAS).
- ToKconsists of 2 complex papers on “how you know what you know”.
- EEis one research paper on one of any of the subjects you’re undertaking, though it’s only one, it’s a 2 year long research paper.
- CASmainly focuses on the mental, physical and overall wellbeing of the student. This element requires you to delve into:
- Creative experiences – like learning a new instrument, or painting a mural for school;
- Active Experiences – such as joining a marathon or jogging to school for the next month;
- Service Experiences – this focuses more on selfless acts or service, such as solving the school’s paper waste consumption.
In short, the IB doesn’t only focus on your studies but also on your wellbeing. Universities abroad often look for students, who not only have great work ethics and grades, but also have a wider perspective on the world, are well-balanced (with the help of CAS), and have knowledge that build on characteristic and personality. Apart from your grades, these components are valuable when looking for a great university candidate. In fact, it’s common for IB alumni to find university much easier than those who have not, mainly because of how mentally prepared IB trained them to be.
In short, IB’s rigorous academic system, concern for well-rounded students, and globally recognized name, make it something you should seriously consider, especially if you want to study abroad.
You might be interested in some schools offering the IB Program in the Philippines: