By Andrew Arth ’19
Hello Friends, and welcome to week 2 of the blog. The number 1 question I get asked on tours is why did I choose to pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma. “Do you even plan on going abroad?” they ask. “Is it better than AP?” or “Why do you need a second diploma?” are the two follow-ups which I always am ready for. Well, let’s start with the basics.
Yes, IB is a secondary diploma which is an addition to your George School diploma. No, it is not required by George School, in fact it is wholly optional. No, it is not “better” than AP and AP is not “better” than the IB, they are simply different entities. And to answer the last question of why, I think it is more important to understand the minds of George School students. As a community we are a group that tends to seek out knowledge, to question preconceived notions, and lean into the unknown. We embrace dissenting opinions in search for a greater truth, in search of the light. So, you may be asking at this point, “Well, how does this at all relate to the IB?”
In my opinion, the IB only helps to expedite this process of in-depth thinking. It truly is a worldly education and an opportunity that not many are afforded. It places emphasis on real world skills like writing, field work, research, and reflection. The IB not only pushes the idea of exploration, it necessitates and places students in opportunities to do so. When writing Internal Assessments, you are evaluating and offering solutions to real world, modern day problems. You are not training yourself to be the problem-solvers of tomorrow, you are becoming the problem-solver of today. It is much more than an academic tick mark, a diploma to hang on the wall, and a conversation piece to impress interviewers down the road. It is a way of thinking and learning that is more holistic, encompassing, and reflective than any else, in my opinion. So when the question of “why IB?” is raised, I think to myself “why not?”