Only in IB


Written 9.5.2015
Today I decided to talk about IB and studying, as some of you have been interested in to hear about it and I have to say that even though the whole IB-studying is one of a hell it still is the best decision I could have made!
First I could explain shortly, what IB is all about. It's an international education program which resembles high-school as the diploma is in the same level with the high-school diploma. It's acknowledged in many countries and you're able to apply into universities with the diploma pretty much all over the world. We study in English, six subjects plus TOK (Theory of knowledge) and CAS (creativity, action and service hours). The official website of IB is and from there you could read more if your anyhow interested in!
Okay, so about me and my studies. I've been studying in IB diploma program for a year now. However, this year is already my second year in high school as I've gone through the Pre-year already. I don't know about other IB-schools all over the world, but here in Finland we have the first "pre" year to prepare us for the true IB. So classmates and another language than my mother tongue used in lessons are already familiar things. Nevertheless the true IB has challenged me again. Even if the English was kinda okay already, the subjects have gotten harder and there's a lot more to do than last year. Now I'm preparing myself for the last tests of the year - I have a plan what to study and when to study and it seems like I won't have any other life than school for next two weeks. But then it's almost summer, yay! It will be worth of doing.

So how do we study? In English, in a small group. As our IB is a relatively small, we have distance teaching coming from Oulu. The whole process includes a lot of writing, Extended Essay (research essay of 4000 words), Internal Assessments (one from each subject, for example BM 1500 words + research work + 500 words of action plan and research proposal) and Written Assignments from English and Finnish (I don't even know the word counts...). So if you totally hate writing, then I would advice you to think twice. 
What do we study? Everyone have to study their own mother tongue, for me Finnish. Then we have the second language that is English. Those are (subject-)Groups 1 and 2, don't remember which one is which but anyways. Then the Group 3 is about individuals and societies, for me it means Business Management (BM). In our school also psychology is available in that group. Group 4 is about sciences; biology, chemistry and physics - which I study excluding physics. Group 5 is mathematics that are offered in three different levels. Last Group, Group 6 is the arts that we don't have in our school, so basically we can choose one more subject from Groups 3 and 4 - that's why I have both biology and chemistry.

And those levels then. We have Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL). At least 3 HL subjects should be chosen, I have four at the moment; English, BM, chemistry and biology. From math it's possible to choose from HL, SL and maths studies. Studies is the easiest one, but considered as an SL subject when applying to universities.
How it then feels to study in IB? Most of the time we have such a great time. You have to be a bit crazy to apply on IB, so that's why our group is such a weird thing. Studying is quite independent - of course we have lessons and homework and tests and stuff, but it's up to you what do you want to do. All the courses should be passed to be promoted to the IB2 but then again no-one is saying to you that you have too many absences or so. You basically have to take care of yourself and study, and you will survive. I personally have liked studying in IB a lot. Our system is closer to studying in university than it is to studying in high school, and it gets hard time to time. At the moment, when I'm writing this, I have fours big exams coming and only one week left to revise.

So I'm quite exhausted at the moment. But still, I have to say that there's so many positive sides in IB that I wouldn't change it for anything. People, IB-spirit, English. Those are the main things that I love!

ps. Sorry about the quality of pics. I just selected some random shots from here and there, representing what it might be like in IB. And probably I should also mention our very own classroom - we have sofa! Check out the third pic!

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4 kommenttia

  1. Tykkään kovasti tästä sun blogisi ulkoasusta❤!

  2. Anonymous22 May, 2015

    Can you study any other languages in IB?

    1. There are two language groups, so basically you can study two languages. Another one of those is your mother tongue and another one is English. In case of English being your mother tongue in our school it's possible to start studying Russian. So basically IB is not a language school - if you would like to learn many different languages then you probably should not choose IB. But if you decide to do the IB program, your English skills will improve a lot! :) And yeah, during the pre-year I studied Swedish!