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How IB Diploma program paves way for global universities

By Phong Van    April 3, 2022 | 05:00 pm PT
Present in over 150 countries and more than 5,000 schools, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) is favored for its prestige and the international pathways it opens for students.

The two-year program is widely accepted and recognized for entry into higher education and universities around the globe. Popular university destinations, like the U.K. and the U.S., will notice the IBDP in university applications and recognize it as a particularly competitive qualification.

Helping students discover their passion

It is critical for students to decide what field they truly want to pursue in university following their passion as it allows them to stay motivated and inspired in order to overcome challenges throughout their studies. Yet it is certainly not an easy decision to make for many young adults when entering university.

The IBDP helps students to further understand their strengths and areas of interests

The IBDP helps students to further understand their strengths and areas of interests. Photo by BIS

At British International School (BIS) Hanoi, students start the process of exploring their own interests by choosing their subjects right from Year 10 with the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). In Sixth Form (Year 12 & 13), the IBDP continues allowing them to choose subjects that they want to study at greater academic depth. This helps them further understand their strengths and areas of interests so they have a better idea of which field or university they would like to apply.

Park Sungwoo, who graduated from BIS Hanoi in 2021 with a perfect score of 45 points in the IB examination, is now studying at Yonsei University, one of the top-ranked universities in South Korea, which is also his childhood dream. While following the IB program at BIS Hanoi, he discovered a strong interest in business, economics, and mathematics that led to his decision to major in Business Administration at university.

"As many Sixth Form students are already aware, the workload of the IB Diploma is quite heavy. However, I believe that our efforts for the IB have been well worth it in light of the benefits that we will receive in future," said Sungwoo.

Providing students with knowledge and skills

The IBDP is a qualification known for preparing students far better for university study than any other. The program is specifically designed so that its core elements mimic the way university students study for their degrees. Through tasks like the extended essay, for example, students practice skills like independent research, thinking laterally and creatively, and exploring subjects so that they shape their own opinions.

Studying the IBDP results in students who do not simply repeat what they have been told and memorize answers for their exams. They thoroughly understand what it means, why it is important and how their learnings fit within a global context.

Angela Lee, a Sixth Form student at BIS Hanoi, shared about her experience studying IB: "The main skills that we develop in the IBDP at BIS Hanoi are curiosity, creativity, research skills and collaboration. The IBDP really helps to prepare me for the future and for university."

The IBDP journey of a Sixth Form student at the British International School Hanoi.

Her academic resume is incredible: Head Student, U.N. Global Goals Ambassador, Student Council leader, avid volunteer and successful IBDP student. She has recently received an offer from from Saint Louis University, which is known by insiders as a premier institution in the U.S.

Preparing students for a global perspective

Aside from academic excellence, the IBDP inspires students to stand out socially and personally among millions of university applicants worldwide. CAS (Creativity-Action-Service) project is a core element of the IB program that requires students to participate in a variety of activities outside of their academic studies. When participating in truly worthwhile community projects, students must demonstrate initiative, perseverance, collaboration, problem-solving, and decision making. Thus, through hands-on experience, CAS allows students to improve their personal development while also becoming more culturally aware and developing respect for others.

Sungwoo (left) and Ha Minh (right) gathered signatures on a petition supporting children’s rights at their booth promoting the Sustainable Development Goals as UN Ambassadors of BIS Hanoi in 2020.

Sungwoo (L) and Ha Minh gathered signatures on a petition supporting children’s rights at their booth promoting the Sustainable Development Goals as U.N. Ambassadors of BIS Hanoi in 2020. Photo by BIS

"I feel very lucky to be involved in the IB Diploma Program. It gives us the freedom to explore our passion and all the opportunities motivated me to empower others and to have a global perspective of the world around us," said Ha Minh, BIS Hanoi graduate (Class of 2021).

Since 2016, BIS Hanoi has been offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) to students aged 16-19. BIS graduates achieved top IBDP results and consistently outperformed the global average for four years in a row. Armed with the IB Diploma, BIS students head to universities all around the globe to continue their education, from Stanford University, Duke University, New York University (U.S.), King's College London, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (U.K.), University of Toronto (Canada) to Yonsei University (Korea).

To learn more about the IBDP at BIS Hanoi, visit their website.

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