Did you know that there are 3,699 IB programs offered in the Americas? The International Baccalaureate Diploma, globally accepted by universities and considered the gold standard of education in high schools, is offered to 1.4 billion students across the world. To the high school students who are looking for a challenge: this is for you.
This is for the students who go above and beyond. For those students who are prepared for and willing to persist in the face of academic and time-management challenges, the IB Diploma Program definitely offers several clear benefits. In my 20 years of working at international boarding and day schools, I’ve seen that enduring a vigorous high school program is advantageous for a young adult. Here’s why:
Strong mental “muscles”
Students get to choose from a range of courses and decide which three courses they will attempt at the higher level and which they will study at the standard level. Higher level courses are essentially university-level courses and can often earn a student university credits. The level of academic rigor provided pushes students to stretch their limits and go the extra mile. This builds their mental “muscles” and makes them stronger.
Build critical life skills
As a result of taking this journey, students not only learn a great deal of academic content, but often more importantly, they learn skills and hone habits that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. They learn how to manage their time, think critically, synthesize information and myriad other skills.
Resilience, persistence and time-management
Perhaps some of the most important skills this program yields are resilience, persistence, and time-management. Throughout their two-year experience, students are constantly faced with course requirements, extended essay deadlines, CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service Project) requirements and TOK (Theory of Knowledge) projects, all of which are challenging and have concrete deadlines that must be met. As a result, by the time students get to university they are extremely well prepared to be successful.
The IB Diploma Program gives students the ability to learn, write, research, think, question, debate, and manage their time. Many Diploma graduates report that their first year of university was easier than their final year of the Diploma Program, that they were surprised to see their peers struggling with assignments that they found easy, and that they received college credits for some or all of their Diploma courses.
Ability to understand the world
Students who have taken IB courses have a higher World Quotient, or WQ, than most other students. The program is designed to be international in nature rather than focused on any one national curriculum. At EF Academy, one’s WQ refers to “their ability to understand the world and the people in it, regardless of cultures, borders, or beliefs. WQ is about the skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes that make someone an open, empathetic, adaptable, and culturally fluent human being. Building strong WQ requires stepping outside of your comfort zone, moving abroad, and immersing yourself in a different environment.” Pursuing the IB Diploma, especially at EF Academy, does all of these and subsequently increases our students’ WQ at the same time it increases their IQ and EQ.
The IB Diploma Program is for the knowledge-hungry student; it is extremely beneficial for those who can complete the diploma or earn the certificates. The rigorous nature of the program provides students with the skills to exceed universities’ academic expectations. By building skills such as time management, critical thinking and analytical ability at such a young age, a student becomes well-rounded and gains the ability to succeed in their future endeavors.
At EF Academy, we use the IB curriculum to both educate and help students towards personal growth. We supplement classroom learning with the guidance and support that students need to become intelligent, well-rounded individuals.