IB Student Experience and Success
#IAmAnIBAlum I am currently in my first year of the Life Sciences Gateway at McMaster University. I hope to specialize in Molecular Biology and Genetics in my second year. I always had an affinity for science, which was supported and encouraged with the HL biology and SL chemistry courses I took in IB. IB also really helped me confirm my desire to be a researcher. The IA’s are without a doubt an opportunity for advanced research, requiring new skills and strategies that students need once they enter post-secondary, skills that are otherwise difficult to acquire at that stage. My excitement for those assessments showed me that I wasn't just attracted to the idea of research, but that I actually liked doing it too. I worked hard and had my biology internal assessment, which was an exploration into the environments of anode cells in microbial biofuel cells, published through the European Scientific Journal. Although it was not the only reason, having published a paper showed my initiative and desire to research at a professional level, which has helped me obtain a position in the McMaster ABEL lab for the next school year and join the SynBio competition team at McMaster. McMaster is one of the most research-intensive universities in Canada, and that really sealed the deal since I knew and now have confirmed that I wanted to pursue extensive and professional research in my post-secondary career.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Bishop Macdonell most definitely helped me prepare for university. It gave me an awakening, slightly abrupt but manageable awakening, that good results only come with good efforts. It gave me a holistic approach to learning, meaning I saw learning as a greater good for myself rather than for my next test or exam. I would definitely recommend the program to people who think it is a good fit for them. The desire to want to learn and go that extra mile ultimately brings positive results from within the program.
I still dream of being a researcher, but upon seeing the various avenues of work, I am slightly more open to where I can go. I know I would like to pursue a Master’s degree at an accredited institution, possibly go abroad and do some courses/programs or complete degrees so I can experience various lab environments. Whether I remain in academia or enter industry is now up in the air. I want to give myself the freedom to develop not only as a student and researcher but as a professional person through the various opportunities I hope to experience in my undergrad, which can hopefully lead me to a lifestyle that I fit better in. I am certain that I will remain in a STEM field to some extent and continue to feed my curiosity in a field that I like for as long as I can.
- Binjal Pradhan, Bishop Macdonell International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Alum.
#IAmAnIBStudent I decided to take the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Bishop Macdonell because I had enjoyed the advanced learning from the foundation courses, and I wanted to continue in that learning environment. I also enjoyed the teachers and heard that it prepares you significantly for university. The classroom environment itself is my favourite part – the students and teachers really make learning fun.
In IB, physics is my favourite because I can actually see applications for using it in the future. It is also enjoyable content for me. Outside of IB, music has been my favourite course because I am able to play instruments I never would have been able to try before. I really enjoy playing in the year end show alongside my classmates. I have had so much fun with that.
Other students should consider IB at BM to get a real sense of how your learning can evolve and be fun. The projects and assignments in IB combine all of the skills you have been taught in the IB courses and further supports you when it comes time to plan and develop your extended essay. For example, with my music, I am trying to improve on my own abilities as a producer and a writer; incorporating different sounds and literary techniques in my lyrics. I think the motivation for that has come from CAS, and seeing how much I have learned, and how much fun I've had, with trying these new experiences.
After IB at BM I hope to get into an engineering program in Canada, either in aerospace or propulsion.
- Luc Gignac, Grade 11 Bishop Macdonell International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Student.
#IAmAnIBStudent After hearing testimonies from former students, parents and teachers, I knew the Bishop Macdonell International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme was the right fit for me because of the challenging but supportive environment and benefits the program offered, such as international recognition, university credits, and the modern curriculum.
The advantages of this program are uncontested. This program offers essential life skills that get lost through the expectations of typical mandated education. The hands-on experience, interdisciplinary approach, global-mindedness are fundamental for the future. The IB program puts students on a path of success while ensuring that students are balanced, participating in sports, creative endeavors and service work.
The DP at BM has helped me to become a more cognizant individual and active member in society. As I read, I recognize the implications of the text in my world and others. In conversations, I am able to connect and communicate with others in highly intellectual conversations, enabling me to learn new information and help others. Additionally, being in IB has helped me to refine my ability to focus and compartmentalize my tasks, whether it be completing applications for schools and scholarships, in my sports or volunteer work. I am a nationally-ranked track and field athlete and have also won and been nominated for numerous awards regarding volunteer work and community service.
After the Diploma Programme, I will be attending university in either Canada or the United States in the pre-med track (health sciences, medical sciences, biomedical, etc), where I will also be joining their track and field team.
- Meah O’Donnell, Grade 12 Bishop Macdonell International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Student.
#IAmAnIBStudent My sister was a part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, so I was exposed to it when I was in grade 4. I saw how hard she worked, and I also saw all the benefits the program offered her. I have always looked up to my sister, so seeing her learning in the IB program inspired me to participate in it as well. Then once I was in school and started to learn more about it, I was excited to begin because I thought it would be the best fit for my high school career.
In the Foundation courses I enjoyed building effective study habits that I have used all throughout my high school experience. It can be hard to learn how to study, but the Foundation course helped me figure that out, which has benefited me my whole high school career thus far.
As of right now my favourite class in the Diploma Programme is Psychology. I like this class because I really enjoy all the topics we’ve studied. I was interested in what we were learning and was eager to learn more.
I think that other students should take IB DP at Bishop Mac because it sets you up for success. It helps you build effective study habits that will help you succeed; it also teaches you things that will make the next steps after high school less daunting because you are confident and able to apply all the learning you’ve done to new experiences. There is really no reason not to take it, there are only benefits to taking the program in my opinion.
My goal is to go to university in Canada, I am not totally sure what program, but I am intrigued by law or something to do with psychology. I may also go into a business program as any of these programs are a great foundation for when I actually figure out what I would like to pursue.
- Meghan Claerbout, Grade 11 Bishop Macdonell International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Student.
#IAmAnIBStudent I chose to enter into the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for a number of reasons: I wanted to be challenged academically and be pushed to work hard and produce good work that I can be proud of; I wanted to have the best chances possible of getting into university programs of my choice and be equipped with the proper skills (such as time management and good studying habits) in order to succeed; and I wanted to be surrounded by students that I know are there to learn and grow just as much as I am and who are also committed to creating a positive learning environment for all of our benefit.
So far, I have really enjoyed how supportive and committed the IB teachers are at BM. All of my teachers have been kind and are willing to do what they can in order to help me, as well as my peers, to succeed in this program - more than I've experienced thus far.
The CAS portion of the program has helped me to go outside of my comfort zone and commit to trying new things that will not only help me to create relationships and get involved within my community, but will also help me to better myself and the skills I will need to succeed in life.
I think that other students should take the IB DP at Bishop Macdonell because it's a new experience that in various ways is different from the school experience we are used to. Personally, I've met and developed relationships with some really great people; it's a chance to not only meet a good group of people that could easily become close friends. The program will also prepare you for whatever you might want to do after high school, whether that's university, college, going right into the workforce, etc. The program may favour skills you would typically need for university, but the things you learn in the DP can easily be applied to other pathway options as well as quite simply becoming a more focused, open-minded person.
After high school I plan to go to university, preferably in Canada (but I'm open to other locations as well). I'm not set on any programs yet, but I know that the University of Guelph has some animal biology and zoology programs that I am greatly interested in.
- Morgan Kennedy, Grade 11 Bishop Macdonell International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Student.