Four fears, four achievements: from the IB Diploma to Frankfurt School

Posted on 21st Dec 2017 in University Study, Diploma Programme, New Zealand, Germany

Duong Nghiem, a student at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, says that studying the IB opened doors for her across the world...

If I have to be honest with you, my two years on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme was the most stressful time I ever had to go through – but its benefits were very rewarding.

The workload on the DP can be overwhelming. At the same time, you are required to complete 150 CAS hours of Creativity, Activity and Service. 

But trust me when I say this: after the IB, doors of opportunities opened for me. The IB credits are recognized worldwide and facilitate the access to all the most prestigious universities worldwide. In my case, it led me from New Zealand to Germany, specifically to the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

As a person who has gone through the decision and application process, I wanted to condense my experience into four challenges and four ways the IB helped me overcome them.

1. Language Barrier

If you don’t speak a word of German, this might be the first problem you think of. It was the same for me. I did my IB Diploma entirely in English and when it came to university applications, I could not utter one word in German. So when I found out Frankfurt School offers Bachelor and Masters programmes in English, without any German requirements, I knew this was my chance to go to another country to explore the new education system.

2. Vietnamese, Kiwi and German

I have never met anybody else with this combination and yet I am lucky to have my identity shaped through these three different cultures. My IB journey was the door that opened me to the Kiwi culture and pushed me to explore other cultures. IB students come from all over the world. In one class, we had American, Japanese, Australian, Korean, Chinese, Kiwi and Vietnamese students.

Frankfurt School is also proud to have students with such diverse backgrounds. In my year group, we have people who come from all over the world. Diversity, interestingly, doesn’t divide people. Diversity embraces everyone and yet, strives to bring out the best in each culture. Embrace all new things that different cultures teach you. I have done so and now have Vietnam as my roots, New Zealand as my soul and Germany as my home.

3. Knowledge on the subject

As I mentioned before, the workload of the IB programme is quite demanding but it equips you with basic good knowledge for university. Moreover, it taught me how to manage my time and build on my essay writing skills. I now never feel lost when I have to write a scientific paper for one of my classes!

4. Geography

In case you didn’t know, Germany is exactly on the opposite side of the world from New Zealand. Moving to Frankfurt was a big decision for me to make, as it meant I would move to a new city again and would, once again, be far away from home. Nevertheless, after my experience in such a diverse environment with enthusiastic friends from different cultures, I was urged to expand my horizon. The IB taught me to keep my options open and strive for great things, even if it’s half the world away.

Duong studies the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with focus on Banking at Finance.