Completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is far from a walk in the park. The program is academically demanding by design in order to challenge students in their final years of high school to broaden their perspectives, use their critical thinking skills, and apply their knowledge. In the process of completing their IBDP requirements, students earn a better chance of gaining admission to the most prestigious and selective colleges and universities around the world. It’s not uncommon for International Baccalaureate Singapore graduates, for example, to head to the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, France, Australia, Germany, or China for their tertiary education.
The benefits of earning an IB diploma extend beyond giving students a competitive edge in their college and university applications. The lessons and skills that they learn while going through the IBDP will be of much use to them regardless if they choose to pursue higher education, kick start their career, or see the world. This is because the IBDP equips students with the resources they need to solve the following modern-day challenges:
Adapting to Changing Living and Working Environments
More than just a challenging academic program, the IBDP is designed to help students develop their physical, emotional, intellectual, and social capabilities and strengthen their ethical grounding. To do all of these while deepening their love of learning, students must be able to develop personal discipline and excellent time management skills. The program molds students who have a clear understanding of their abilities and their personal values with the skills to apply them to real-life situations. Knowing who they are as people can help these students adjust to unfamiliar events and turn what others perceive to be failures into opportunities to learn about themselves and their environment.
Solving Problems That Require a Broad Perspective
Graduates of the IBDP are familiar with rigorous academic practices and have the skills needed to pursue their own specializations if they elect to do so. However, the program particularly excels in providing students with an international perspective and nurturing their capability to apply an interdisciplinary approach to real-life issues. Learning about individuals and societies is an integral part of pursuing an IBDP certificate. Before they graduate, students are also required to write an extended essay, which is an in-depth interdisciplinary exposition that focuses on a current global issue. The ability to tackle complex issues and consider the perspectives of a wide range of people when solving problems will continue to be useful to IBDP graduates once they pursue their careers, initiate their passion projects, or take on leadership positions in their respective organizations.
Engaging with Globalized Audiences and Markets
Students are required to gain a high level of proficiency in one or more languages other than their native tongue while they’re enrolled in the IBDP. Multilingualism not only has many benefits for the developing mind, but it also has plenty of applications in the workplace. A multilingual person understands how language affects and reflects a person’s perspective and the way they approach certain topics. Thus, a multilingual IBDP graduate can typically communicate with an international audience and consider the perspective of the person they are conversing with. This gives them a better chance of understanding each other better and reaching an agreement.
Assessing Information and Improving Their Skills
As mentioned above, the different IB programs nurture a student’s love of learning. This is true no matter if a student completes all four of the available programs in the IB continuum or if they only go through one. The IBDP, for one, has a core topic called the theory of knowledge (TOK) where students are given the opportunity to reflect on the nature, scope, and application of information. This particular course helps students become aware of their own perspectives, explore complex concepts, and use different methods of inquiry to assess information. Also, in the process of writing the extended essay, an IBDP student has the option to choose a global and contemporary topic that is aligned with their interest.
The ability to think deeply about various topics and improve on what they know are important skills, especially now when many jobs are being relegated to artificial intelligence and other digital technologies. IBDP students can use these skills to make nuanced judgments, recognize interconnected issues, and gain new capabilities that will give them a competitive edge in the workplace and in their personal endeavors.
Understanding Different Perspectives and Values
Many IB students are used to dealing with an international student body. They do more than just learn languages, they also exchange ideas and converse with students whose mother tongues are different from their own. Consistent exposure to people from different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds helps IB students maintain an open mind when communicating with others, as they have to consider where the other person is coming from to fully understand what they mean to say and the intentions behind their words.
The skills, knowledge, and discipline that an IB student can pick up from the Diploma Programme will definitely improve their chances of gaining admission to their ideal university or company. But more importantly, these will prove to be useful in helping them lead meaningful and fulfilling lives as global citizens.