- Name: Nadine
- High School: Regents International School Pattaya
- Nationality: Swiss/Indonesian
Who are you and what is your background?
Hello, I’m Nadine. I’m from Switzerland and Indonesia. I got my IB diploma in 2019. The subjects I did were English literature HL, Mandarin B HL, Business Management HL, Math SL Environmental systems and societies SL and psychology SL.
What led you to choose Japan for your studies?
I’ve always really liked Japanese culture, Japanese food and just the peaceful lifestyle that I would have here so when I was looking for universities, I found NUCB and I thought it would be a good fit for me.
Did you have any trouble adapting to the culture?
Not really. I’ve lived in Asia my whole life so I’m used to Asian culture and my Dad used to live in Japan so he told me a lot about what life is like here. Also, I have been here on holidays before so I am pretty familiar with the country.
What helped you the most when you first settled in Japan?
For myself, it was kind of a special case because I have a Japanese friend who is already living here, who I met when I was still living in Thailand. She and her family really helped me out a lot. Settling in is difficult but if you can find someone who knows about Japan, who could help you. But if you don’t really have friends or anyone, I am sure that people at the school will be willing to help you.
Do you miss your home country sometimes?
I go back home to Thailand every holiday. I always talk to my family through messaging, I send them photos so it’s alright. Also, I have never lived in my home country so I am used to living in a different culture.
What do you think makes the IB Diploma Programme special?
The fact that it gives you the choice, that you are able to choose what subject you want to do, and you are able to go into those into a lot more details than a regular school where you just have to do everything that you are assigned. There are also specialized subjects that you probably would not find anywhere else like ESS, Sport, Psychology, and are probably difficult to find in a regular high school
As an IB student, were you able to develop any specific skills?
Personally, the IB helped me with time management skills, especially towards the second year of IB. You are met with so many deadlines and it’s your own responsibility to make sure you are up to date with all your work and getting things done. I liked the fact that, because you had to choose from a different range of subjects, you did have a variety of things to study and you had many options, you were not forced to choose your career so early on in your life. That is important because, when you are at that age, you don’t really know what you want to do in the future.
What did you do before the IB?
I did IGCSE. It is a lot more exam-based and we didn’t have as much course work whereas some subjects were more heavy on the course like drama art.
Was it challenging to switch from one system to another?
I think that IGCSE was a good stepping stone towards the IB because it really helped me to prepare for IB.
What is the main quality a student needs to have to be successful at IBDP? What advice would you give?
Time management and an initiative spirit are needed. The teachers are not going to tell you what to do. You really have to learn how to do things by yourself, you have to take charge of your own work and manage your time because they are not going to be there to pull your hands along the way. For example, for the extended essay, you really have freedom over what you want to do, you can choose the subject, the topic, it is really up to you to do research and find what you want to write about. By any means, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are really feeling overwhelmed, don’t keep that inside. It may seem scary to speak to teachers but they are always gonna be here to help you. If you really can’t meet a deadline, you can ask for an extension.