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Alumni Advice: Transitioning to University

Last Monday, our Grade 12 students engaged in an insightful Q&A session with a friendly group of ISA alumni who took the time to return to campus to give our senior students a glimpse at the road ahead, with peer led encouragement and motivation for life after high school.

Seven of our Class of 2023 graduates shared advice and first-year university experiences with our Grade 12 students. The alumni are IB Diploma holders, which has granted them access to universities across the UK, including the University of Glasgow, Herriot-Watt University, University of Reading, University of Aberdeen, University of Hull, and Edinburgh Napier.

A huge range of topics were covered from budgeting and housing issues to workload management, social integration, and resource accessibility, with the session providing the students with the ideal chance to gather firsthand words of wisdom from those who have been on the same path before them.

A recurring theme was the profound impact the IB curriculum had in easing their first year at university, from cultivating essay writing skills and fostering critical thinking abilities, the IB provided a robust foundation for a seamless transition to university. All alumni agreed that having studied the IB had empowered them to confront academic challenges with confidence from day one. Notably, one student shared her decision to not take an essay writing skills class at university, having already honed these skills during the IB. This opportunity not only optimised her timetable but also gave her spare time to prepare for other university modules. While many acknowledged the heavy workload of the IB, they found that it helped them in their university transition as they considered their first year at university less challenging than their peers.

The alumni offered useful advice and key money-saving apps that the Grade 12s could benefit from and gave insights on how to deal with difficult situations and address conflicts when living in shared student accommodation. By covering the importance of being involved in societies and taking time to socialise, the alumni shared tips for making friends in a new environment.

The event was kindly organised by Heather Barker, our High School University and Career Counsellor, who emphasised the pivotal role of peer-to-peer learning and alumni engagement in fostering the growth of the next generation. With a primary objective of assisting students in securing desired university placements worldwide, Heather highlighted the unique attributes of an IB education. Notably, the IB curriculum is globally recognised for its comprehensiveness, serving as a benchmark for high school education. Universities both in the UK and across the globe acknowledge the IB - eliminating boundaries for IB students when applying for higher education opportunities.

As we close the door on another successful event, we look forward to watching the continued growth of our students who are equipped with a global education that will set them on the right path to future success.

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