By Flora Maile Felix
In May 2017, I graduated from Campus Wien West with an IB diploma. In September 2017, I started studying law at the University of Vienna. This may not sound very special at first, but within the first few weeks at university, I realized that going through the Diploma Programme (DP) really helped me to transition from school to university.
“Even though it seemed hard at first—it was one of the best preparations for university.”
Like most DP students, the programme ended for me with the exams—which means, I had to study a lot. When you go to an Austrian university, the amount of things you need to learn might seem like an unscalable mountain at first. Luckily, as I did the exams recently, I took the studying techniques I learned during the two-year programme and applied them to the subjects I had to study for university.
During the last year of the DP, the written assignments I had to do for every single subject seemed like a very big task to me, but the teachers supported us a lot. Writing those assignments with a teacher´s help was a great preparation for the assignments at university. Not only did I learn how to stick to deadlines independently but I also learned how to research, find sources, and finally put all of this together on my own. And even though it may have seemed hard at first—it was one of the best preparations for university. When you are attending university, you need to work independently and as I already had the skills to do that, it wasn´t a very big challenge for me anymore.
“I am thankful that I had the opportunity to take part in the DP—otherwise I neither would have grown as a person nor into my role as a university student.”
One of the courses I had to attend in my first semester at university was called “Legal and constitutional history of Austria.” This course expected the students to work on a professional historical level and to assess the given sources. Since I attended history classes in the DP, I was already capable of using the needed techniques and apply them to the tasks in that history class.
The skills you develop during the two-year course of the DP really helped me to get into the way of working at university and concentrate rather on my subject than on how to deal with the subject. For example, I know now how to organize my ideas and express them precisely.
My DP history class was just one example of how a course helped me adapt to the new environment at university. My English and German teachers also encouraged my entire class to take our expression of thoughts to another level. Our German teacher would always challenge us to find the right words and phrases to say exactly what we meant. Those skills are very important when it comes to law. You need to be able to convert your thoughts clearly into words.
I am thankful that I had the opportunity to take part in the DP—otherwise, I neither would have grown as a person nor into my role as a university student.
Flora Maile Felix graduated from Campus Wien West in Vienna, Austria with an IB diploma in 2017. She now studies law at the University of Vienna and joins us this year as a 2018 alumni contributor to share her experience as a recent graduate.
To learn about the IB alumni network, visit ibo.org/alumni and read about our 50th anniversary featured graduates to see where other students have taken their studies and careers.