- Name: Akiko
- High School: Nagoya International Senior High School, IB Diploma Programme
- Nationality: Japanese
Who are you and what is your background?
I am Akiko and I am 23 years old. I am Filipino-Japanese and this is my 13th year living in Japan. I spent my early childhood in Malaysia. Although I was born in the Philippines, I have never lived there.I accomplished the Diploma Program and received a bilingual diploma in 2017.
What do you think makes the IB program special?
I feel that the IB program stands out among other programs in the sense that it not only prepares students for academic success, but also equips them with life skills such as the ability to collaborate with others, carry out research, have an open mind, and so much more. I personally feel that IB has helped me develop both interpersonal and intrapersonal skills through discussion based classes and frequent opportunities to reflect. I am especially grateful for this as it has helped me discover what my passion is. Additionally, the experience of writing an Extended Essay has definitely prepared me for university and perhaps even for graduate school. Apart from learning all the fundamentals of writing a research paper, this experience has taught me how to persevere and keep on moving forward. I still remember my exchanges with teachers as they helped me refine my research. I have looked back on this experience several times throughout my time as an undergraduate student and even now that I am doing my master’s degree.
What did you like about being an IB student?
I enjoyed being able to have discussions with my classmates and with my teachers. It was an awesome experience being able to hear different perspectives and learn from each other. I also enjoyed being able to decide how to present my knowledge in each internal assessments. I feel like this is also another feature that should be highlighted. Until I started IB, I didn't experience much freedom in how I chose to demonstrate my knowledge. In IB, though, I decided how I would carry out my research, so it was much more engaging and I have retained much more knowledge than when I didn't get to choose the method.
What do you think are the main qualities a student needs to be successful in the programme?
3Ds: Determination, Dedication, and Discipline.
IB is exciting and fun, but along with that comes a lot of deadlines and some setbacks and being a high school student in and of itself comes with many demands. To be able to persevere through these things, I believe it is key that students have these qualities. I must admit that I click on the “next episode” button when I should be writing an essay or be tempted to throw in the towel, but it takes determination, dedication, and discipline to close the Netflix tab and to pick yourself up again when you feel overwhelmed.
What advice would you give to future IB-DP candidates?
You may have heard great things about IB and scary things about it, but I hope you'll see what it's like for yourself. This would be a great opportunity for you to learn and expand your horizon and learn many things about yourself as well, guided and supported by highly competent educators. My practical advice for IB candidates is that they begin to observe and analyze their own learning styles. This will help them be efficient in their studies which will also help them have enough time to have fun, relax, and most importantly, sleep. If I could redo my time in high school, I'd do this so I could have worked "smarter, not harder."