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Inspiration from IB Extended Essay Leads to Erasmus University

Class of 2021 Graduate Diana (pictured above, back row, second left with classmates on Charles Bridge) reflects on her years at ISP and how they influenced her path to studying Economics and Business Economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

Name: Diana
Citizenship: Russia
Destination University: Erasmus University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Grade Started at ISP: Grade 5

The IB at ISP – what are your abiding memories? 

The IB is definitely not an easy program to complete, but ISP made my IB journey much easier. A significant part of my learning took place outside of classroom hours, when my teachers kindly and patiently helped me to understand what I didn’t get in class. Throughout Upper School, I always felt comfortable asking my teachers questions, whether it was receiving feedback on my assignments, or simply having a conversation about current events related to the subject. 

Diana on Graduation Day

I have to admit that one of the best memories was finishing an IA (Internal Assessment), or the IB Extended Essay, and realizing that it meant we were much closer to completing the program. Of course, that included frantically checking your work over and over again to come sure it had all the sources cited correctly and no words were misspelled! 

What are you doing now and how has studying the IB @ISP prepared you for it? 

I am attending the Erasmus University of Rotterdam to study Economics and Business Economics. The IB curriculum for economics, and the way my teachers presented it to me, definitely played a role in my decision.

Diana (left) and best friend and fellow 2021 Graduate Aika

The IB program allowed me to gain and further various skills, particularly research and writing. I believe that the projects which to me seemed the most dreadful, the IAs and the EE, were actually the ones from which I benefited the most. They caused me to realize the amount of work, time and revision that goes into writing academic papers. Not many curricula that I know of emphasize the importance of efficient research skills and source evaluation. Considering that I will be undertaking a university degree in the Humanities area, this skill seems to be particularly valuable to me, due to the wide variety of information on the internet that we have access to today. 

The IB also challenged me in terms of time management. Before the program, I never had such a great amount of various academic work to complete, and make time for social activities alongside this. But after realizing that everything cannot be completed perfectly and fully, I began to dedicate more time to the activities that I deemed more beneficial to my learning. The IB changed my mindset from ‘the more I can complete the better’, to ‘focus on the skills I need to improve, not the ones I have already mastered’. 

Future plans – what do you intend to do in the medium to long term future and what do you take from ISP to the rest of your life? 

I hope that my Bachelor degree will allow me to learn more about Economics and Business and help me to pick a more narrow path to focus on for my Master degree. At the moment, I am very much open to any opportunities ahead of me and do not have a concrete plan of where I wish to work. I am glad that my degree is quite flexible and will allow me to explore different spheres of employment, rather than having a concrete path to follow. Something that I do hope to continue, is learning languages, which I very much enjoyed during the IB program and living in a foreign country. A particular skill that I will take from ISP to the rest of my life is critical thinking. My teachers and the IB taught me to question what I read and hear in order to make my own opinion.