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Aryan Raigangar: Graduating with the IB in Dubai

We brought together seven soon-to-be Diploma Programme (DP) graduates from all over the world to share their thoughts and perspectives on graduating during a pandemic. Aryan Raigangar, will graduate from at GEMS Wellington Academy―Silicon Oasis in Dubai, UAE this summer. He reflects on the IB experience, future plans and what makes him hopeful about navigating the post COVID-19 (Coronavirus) world with an IB skill set.

What was your reaction to the cancellation of exams due to COVID-19?

I felt a bit of mixed emotions. I was happy, sad and nervous at the same time. I was happy because there’s a huge amount of dejection having to go right into the exam during the pandemic, and we’re currently on a lockdown where cases are increasing by huge amounts every day. So, if we were writing an exam at this point, it would put me and my friends in great amount of danger. And at the same time, I was also happy because, there is huge amount of stress that was associated with exams and that kind of stress just went off my head, and I could relax more.

I was sad because I was really looking forward to the exam because I put a lot of hard work in the last couple of months to prepare. And I’m the kind of person who, in the end, always gets the grades because I study a lot. I’m kind of sad that I missed out on that opportunity, and I couldn’t show myself for what I could do. I was nervous because I was unsure of what the grades were going to look like, because at that point with the IB, we didn’t have any exams, we didn’t know the information about how the IB would actually assess our grades or even if universities would accept our grades.

“We are graduating and it is kind of emotional and happy at the same time”

What was the most memorable moment from your DP experience?

I think first of the challenging part was in the second year of the DP. We had all of our courses, all our internal assessments (IAs), our extended essay, our creativity, activity, service (CAS) projects and our theory of knowledge (TOK) reports due at that point, and that was a very challenging period, because everything was due at one point. I had to manage all those assignments along with other school-related activities, like extracurriculars. I think that was the most challenging part. I think the most memorable part of the DP was probably when all the assignments actually went through, and I had no control anymore. That was a big stress reliever, and I didn’t have a lot to do relating to the IB after that. I think that was the most memorable and probably second memorable will be right now, because we are graduating, and it is kind of emotional and happy at the same time.

“We are really looking forward to what things we can do at university”

What are your thoughts on what life will be like for students entering university in 2020 or beyond?

I think the IB did very well in preparing us for the university. One reason I choose the IB is because a lot of my friends told me is that their first semester in university was very easy since you already have time management skills, essay writing skills and you can really manage your work load really well, which is really important in university. I think IB prepared us really well for that and, especially for my goals and others graduating this year. I think we are really going to like university, because we are kind of missing the education environment. We haven’t had our last couple of months in school, and we missed the final moments. So, I think we are looking forward to university, and we are really looking forward to what things we can do at university.

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Aryan Raigangar is an IB diploma graduate of GEMS Wellington Academy―Silicon Oasis in Dubai, UAE. He plans on continuing his education at Bristol University in the United Kingdom this fall.

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!

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