Bridget Theophile, Old Girl and IB Graduate

I completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme in November 2017 at Kambala and my experiences within those two years have shaped me as a student, global citizen and person. The decision to do the IB was not one I made lightly. For me, my subject choice would have been the same had I chosen HSC or IB, so the decision ultimately came down to the benefits of smaller class sizes and the syllabus itself. I believed—and still believe—that the IB offers great depth and range of knowledge, particularly within the Higher Level subjects.

One of the most significant reservations I had undergoing the IB was the divide I thought it was going to create within my year group and between my friends. While I did grow extremely close to my fellow IB students, it didn’t cause the great rupture I was expecting, but I rather realised that with the right attitude it was very easy to stay engaged with the whole cohort.

The IB is very much a marathon spanning two years, one that requires a pretty consistent work ethic throughout those years to ultimately do well. The benefits of this included a great depth of understanding of each subject studied. The syllabus itself, particularly when it came to sciences, was challenging and demanding but incredibly interesting and wide-reaching. At the same time, it could also be draining, and finding balance in my life during this period was difficult. The IB was great in that the need for balance is built into the program. I had to continue my sport, musical and volunteer commitments, which I may have otherwise been tempted to drop, and in doing so found myself as a happier, healthier and more well-rounded student. ‘Well-roundedness’ is a commonly quoted advantage of the IB, but it is true that doing the IB developed me not only academically but helped me discover my areas of passion outside of the classroom in a way that the HSC may not have.

I emerged from the program extremely well-equipped for my university studies. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne and have just completed my first semester. The level of content covered in my Higher Level subjects has made the transition to university smooth and manageable. Theory of Knowledge made me a more confident, respectful and articulate participant in discussions and my extended essay equipped me with strong research, essay writing and referencing skills.

My IB experience was overwhelmingly positive and I feel as though I was challenged academically, philosophically and personally, I have emerged with the knowledge to go about my future with purpose and confidence.