What is an IB class?
For those of you who don't know, the International Baccalaureate diploma program is a two-year high school program aimed towards students aged 16 to 19 years old. The program provides an internationally recognized education system for students who are entering university. To complete their IB diploma requirements, students are asked to take a series of pre-IB classes in their first two years of high school. Once students enter the official program, they are asked to complete assessments in six subject groups (studies in language and literature, language acquisition, individuals and societies, experimental sciences, mathematics, and the arts). Students are also asked to fulfill three core requirements: a 4000 word extended essay, 150 hours of volunteer creativity, activity and service (CAS) hours, and an epistemology course on the Theory of Knowledge. If you're deciding on whether to enroll your child into an international baccalaureate diploma programme, here are some reasons for considering an IB school.
International Baccalaureate Schools and Studying Abroad
Students with a desire to study abroad after high school may find their applications to universities in different countries more readily accepted with an IBDP diploma. An IB diploma is recognized in 75 nations at over 2,000 university institutions, and is administered at over 140 high schools word wide. While each university will require an individual, unique set of application materials from an incoming student, an IB diploma may assure a university that their international applicants have a standard of education that matches their own.
Coursework in International Baccalaureate Schools
In preparation for university, IB programs offer an enriched curriculum that mimics university coursework. In particular, the extended essay portion of the IB program requires students to get familiar with writing long-form pieces of argumentation on a single, focused topic. Students entering university with this previous experience in extended essay writing may find themselves more prepared for the length and depth that are required at a university level academic analysis.
Transitioning to University with an International Baccalaureate Diploma
There are a couple of perks that an incoming student may be able to receive as a result of their IB diplomas. Competitive scholarships are available for students with IB diplomas when they are applying for university. In the United States, 58 Colleges and Universities specifically have scholarship programs that are reserved for IB students.
In addition, students who take IB courses that are marked higher level (HL) may be eligible to transfer a high school credit towards their university requirements. IB courses are either taught at a standard level (SL) or a higher level (HL). Generally, SL and HL courses both provide students with a background necessary to help them excel into higher education. HL courses simply provide additional materials that help students gain a deeper understanding of a subject. Because of their broader focus, some HL courses are able to take the place of first year university courses. The University of Toronto has been known to accept transfer credits from IB students.
Deciding on a high school for your child is never easy. Each student should ideally enter a school that will prepare them for the lifestyle that they envision for themselves in the future. If higher education, easy transference into university, and time spent abroad are things that interest you and your child, an International Baccalaureate school and the IB diploma may be worth considering.