Becoming an IBDP Student at ISN Nice

Two senior students, Evrard and Emma, from ISN Nice, one of our Globeducate international schools on the Côte d´Azur, share their experiences of becoming International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme students.

Emma Baumgartner has just completed her first International Baccalaureate Diploma year at ISN Nice and is sharing her experiences with us. Emma is 17 years old, was Deputy Head Girl throughout Grade 11, and writes and edits the ISN Student Gazette.

Hello everybody, my name is Emma Baumgartner and I have been at the International School of Nice for 12 years now. I am 17 years old and aspiring to become a mechanical engineer. Reflecting on this year, I have seen the progress I have made and the things that my first year of IB has taught me.

Before starting the DP programme, I completed my IGCSEs where I was first introduced to the subjects that I am now studying – Maths, Physics, Computer Science, English and French Language and literature and Economics; as well as the idea of preparing an important exam at the end of two years. On entering the IB diploma, I had a clear idea of what was expected of me and the level of organisation and motivation required to stay on top of my workload. However, I found that managing coursework and staying up to date with my CAS portfolio, TOK coursework, and writing my Extended Essay was more challenging and required me to adapt, especially as I had never done such activities before.

Reflecting on these extra activities, I am very thankful for CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service) which has allowed me to develop as a person in a less academic environment and TOK, which has helped me develop critical thinking. I am seeing how it also interlinks with my other subjects, like my English Language and Literature course, for example. As well as the ongoing research, reflecting and writing process of the Extended Essay which has taught me important research skills I am sure to use later on.

I am very grateful and happy to be doing the IB diploma, especially being able to select the subjects I most enjoy and excelling in them, as for many, these are the basis to what I wish to study later in life. As an aspiring engineer, I am thankful for the flexibility and structure the IBDP offers me, with the option of choosing two science subjects – Physics and Computer Science – whilst still being able to study language and literature as part of my programme.

Overall, my first year as an IB student has been quite successful. I am continuously aware of what is expected of me and the level of work I need to put in at all times. It can be tough, managing all the activities, workload and free time. However, I realise that this first year of the DP programme has allowed me to grow as a person – be more open-minded, critical and analytical and thrive in my school environment.

Evrard Dujardin has just completed his first International Baccalaureate Diploma year at ISN Nice and is sharing his experiences with us. Evrard is 17 years old, was Head Boy throughout Grade 11, and aspires to be a surgeon.

Hi everyone! My name is Evrard Dujardin and I am currently about to complete my first IBDP year at ISN Nice in France. I have studied in the IB programme my entire life but adjusting to the Diploma Programme has still been a rollercoaster of emotions, and a very exciting time for me.

Upon reflecting on my experience with the MYP programme, it quickly became obvious that the Diploma Programme is a much more advanced and in-depth course. I had been prepared quite early for this transition which eased my adjustment. For example, in my MYP years, accomplishing my ‘Service and Action’ helped me develop the creativity and mentality required to pursue ‘CAS’ (Community Action and Service). Working on my Personal Project in Year 11 also enabled me to develop time management and research skills that are crucial for a successful Extended Essay at Diploma level.

I am very grateful for these advantages that the MYP course has  provided me with, which have helped me stay on top of deadlines. One of the greatest challenges as an IB student would definitely be to fight off procrastination. As I am writing this blog post, I am currently in the process of studying for my end-of-year exams, passing over the role of Head Boy to a student in Grade 10 and finishing off the first draft of my Extended Essay. Thankfully, I have prepared for this in advance and am therefore not stressing out under the pressure of approaching deadlines.

To manage your time effectively, the greatest advice I could give fellow students, or those embarking on the IB Diploma or MYP, is to follow things you enjoy. The IB course essentially teaches you how to learn, which is why it´s essential to be invested in your studies. I personally believe that the common saying “fake it ‘till you make it” isn’t applicable to IB students. As an aspiring surgeon, choosing the subject of Biology for my Extended Essay has been the best decision I could have made as it gave me the motivation required to work hard and to work smart. On that note, the powerful framework that the IB provides for learning STEM subjects is also a great bonus to take advantage of. For all the art students out there, don’t panic! The IB programme treats and supports all subjects equally. This equality and inclusion between each student definitely contributes to everyone’s ability to achieve the same learning goals and gives all graduates a fantastic foundation for future study and for going out into the world equipped to make a difference.

22 / 06 / 21