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Graduate voices throughout 2019

IB alumni from around the world share their stories throughout the year as part of our graduate voices series. They give advice to current students, reflect on their DP experience and share their accomplishments & adventures since graduation. They follow in the footsteps of our 2016, 2017 and 2018 contributors. This story will grow as the year continues, check back for more!

Expanding education

Stories and advice from IB alumni that focus on higher education: attending university, post-university studies and other educational paths.

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“What these changes ultimately reflect is universities’ growing awareness of the value in experience outside the classroom, and knowledge outside a textbook.”

Nick is now studying at the Australian National University. Nick has a particular interest in politics and is currently working at the Australian Senate in Canberra.

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“The intersectionality of my identities overlapping with the first-generation college student status created cultural ambiguities where ever I went.”

Kymberley is double majoring in Cognitive Science and International Relations at UC Davis. She is also a graduate of the Universal American School in Dubai’s IB program in 2017.

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“Thanks to my gap year, I’ve been able to regain the mental strength I lost and it has done wonders for my motivation levels to get things done.”

Ernest graduated from IGB International School in Malaysia and is currently on a gap year before he continues his studies at Dalhousie University in Canada where he’ll be studying neuroscience.


Don’t allow fear to keep you down—or rather out.”

Eman is a graduate of St. Christopher’s School in Bahrain. She is currently an undergraduate at the University of Bahrain, majoring in the English Language and Literature and minoring in French.

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“There are many major decisions in our lives as students since every step—little or big—we take builds our future.”

Duru completed her IB Diploma at TED Ankara College Private High School in Ankara, Turkey (2014). She continued her studies with a degree of BSc in Industrial Engineering at Bilkent University, Ankara (2018).

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“It is important for us to seek out experiences that help us understand the true breadth of the world we live in”

Eduardo is a graduate of Colegio San Agustín, Lima, Peru. He continued his studies on Journalism at the Universidad de Lima in Peru and Universidad CEU San Pablo in Spain.


“…as IB alum, we possess the soft skills that allow us to remain open-minded, caring and principled.”

Vitan is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. When not discussing politics, dogs or sunsets, he likes to involve himself in a range of different sports, be it Cricket, Basketball or Ultimate Frisbee.

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“As much as you try to fix the controlled variables, it seems like you can’t control the outcome of the study.”

Yuan is currently pursuing her degree in science, specifically a major in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, at the University of Hong Kong. She likes to experiment with new things and loves dancing and cooking.

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“If I was going back to school, it was to learn, any piece of paper at the end of it being merely an accident.”

Johan studied Management at Warwick University, UK and studies Mathematics at Linköping University, Sweden. Outside of class he rides horses and works to make an autonomous car not crash into a fence near you.

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“In fact, all of you are in the same boat here and the only way you can get through it is by supporting each other.”

Ayesha is a student at the University of Toronto in Toronto, ON Canada. She wishes to pursue grad school to study—well she hasn’t figured that out yet but is open to suggestions.

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Instead of thinking that something is impossible, see it as a challenge to take on and enjoy the process.”

Michaela is in her second year of studying English Literature at Lancaster University. She is activity seeking a sustainable lifestyle, and spends her free time going on hikes.

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“Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t understand something. Instead, embrace the uncertainties and be comfortable with your foray into the unknown.”

Aaron graduated from the IBDP at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Singapore, in 2015. He currently reads Medicine at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Singapore.

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“I can think of nothing more empowering for a mind than to learn outside of a tunnel.”

Elise finished the IB diploma in Vancouver, Canada, in 2016. She now studies Sustainable Business at SFU and intends to study law after finishing her first degree.

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“Be mindful about what you are learning in the final years of your secondary education.”

Vienna currently studies medicine at the University of Adelaide. Outside of her studies, she enjoys long-distance running, advocating for climate change action, and watching 2001: A Space Odyssey

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Asking questions is vital because it allows you to gauge your progress and understanding.”

Vidish is currently studying economics, with a minor in French, at Wilfrid Laurier University. Reading is one of his favourite things to do, and George Orwell’s 1984 is, by far, his favourite book.

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“It is inspirational to speak with someone who is further along your trajectory, especially in the midst of confusion and stress about upcoming life decisions.”

Rya continued her studies at McMaster University after the IB at St. Francis Xavier Secondary School in Canada. She is a Biology and Psychology major with a love of reading and writing.
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“Your life-changing transition will hit you when you go to or reflect on the place you came from.”

Rucha is a recent IB graduate from Indus International School, Pune (2018). She is now pursuing biomedical engineering at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

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“At community college, a “traditional path” doesn’t necessarily apply to all students.”

Vincent attended his local community colleges and then transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles where he earned his B.A. in Film and Television in 2018. Though employed at NBCUniversal, he hopes to someday become an IB Film instructor.

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“Through this exploratory period, I saw various paths to one place, learning the pivotal lesson that a major does not translate into a specific job.”

Seerat is a first-year at the University of California Los Angeles. Between classes, you can find her working in a research lab, debating or exploring LA. She is looking forward to sharing her experiences as a recent graduate with fellow IB students.

Building careers

Stories and advice from IB alumni who are pursuing their careers in many fields and have different levels of experience.

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“You might never find out about a fantastic opportunity if you don’t ask.”

Ritva studied at Victoria University of Wellington. She is passionate about helping communities thrive. She is the local Queensland Chapter Vice President of the non-profit organisation, Engineers Without Borders Australia.

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Xavier Bofill De Ros:

On science and people

“It was clear to me that I wanted to do research, to see first-hand what is not yet written in textbooks.”

Xavier continued his studies with a double degree at the University of Barcelona and a master’s at Pompeu Fabra University. Currently, he is at the National Cancer Institute, understanding the role of miRNAs on gene regulation.

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“The DP invites you to be part of a community: a community of IB learners, yes, but also the community of people who recognize the value of one another’s perspectives.”

Tara is a lawyer, curriculum strategist and trainer working in the public accounting industry, and in her spare time enjoys cross-stitching, writing and relaxing on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

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Sally Runions:

Speaking up for yourself

“We learned to talk with our teachers and to question why we were doing the work we were doing. We learned to start taking ownership of our education.”

Sally completed a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a M.S. in technical writing at Colorado State University. She now works as a technical writer for an industrial power supply company and moonlights as a poet.


“From internship to paid full-time, I found the amount of responsibility and tasks grew while the instruction manual shrank.”

Andrea is a graduate of Coral Gables Senior High School and Florida International University. She is an analyst for a local commercial bank with hopes to work in financial regulation and the advancement of investor protection.

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“My little world had been introduced to the idea that living in the UK was not the only option.”

Harriet Boston studied her International Business Bachelor’s degree in Utrecht, The Netherlands, studied abroad in South Korea and now lives in Canada working as a Digital Marketer specialising in working for start-ups.

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“Answering simply with a number will always somewhat undermine the complex and intricate process of learning a foreign language”

Berit is a former student of Steyning Grammar School in West Sussex, England. She is currently an undergraduate studying Hispanic Studies and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

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Alyssa Fernandez

What it means to be educated

“My status and value as a student weren’t based on state test scores nor about my basic proficiency in math and reading, yet that is the reality my students face.”

Alyssa is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and is currently a second-year Corps Member at Teach For America. 

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“If a supervisor asks me if I want advice, the answer is I definitely want it. Always.”

Anna studies History, Politics and Economics with a focus on Economics and Finance at University College London in the Class of 2020. She graduated from Anatolia College IB. She is passionate about finance, travelling, foreign languages and extreme sports,


“Language is an important part of our lives and the society we live in.”

Viola studied English linguistics at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Nottingham in the UK. Viola works as a research fellow at the University of Birmingham and is finishing her PhD thesis.

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“These experiences instilled in me the sense of responsibility toward local community and the audacity to act on ideas.”

Maharani globe-trotted to Japan’s Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (undergraduate) and then to UK’s Lancaster University (postgraduate) for her studies and looking to start her own business in the UK.


“We are better learners, thinkers and doers when we surround ourselves with individuals that will push us to think differently and challenge our ways of perceiving the world.”

Leilani is a graduate of Wellesley College, with a B.A. degree in Economics and Political Science. She currently lives in Lisbon, Portugal as a Fulbright Scholar conducting research on women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurship in the country.

To hear more from Diploma Programme (DP) graduates check out these IB programme stories. If you are an IB grad and want to share your story, write to us at We appreciate your support in sharing IB stories and invite you to connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and now Instagram!