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Boston and Providence – So many great schools, so little time!

Marie Vivas is the IB Americas University Relations Manager. She has overall responsibility for university recognition in the Americas region, working closely with admissions professionals counseling university bound students.



It’s been a while since I took you along on a road trip. I spent the past couple of weeks meeting with colleagues in a region packed with great colleges and universities that welcome IB students every year.

What do we do when we visit universities? Well, this trip included a little of everything.

Quite a few universities asked me to come in and present to their entire admissions team about the IB. This is a sort of extended IB 101 where we do an overview of the IB and its programmes and then focus on the Diploma Programme and the Career-Related Programme. The great news is that in all of the schools I visited there was good familiarity with the IB and they all had published policies.  That left us free to focus on their questions about courses, changes to the programmes and recruiting strategies. We timed these sessions to coincide with admissions training sessions on reading and processing applications.

At some institutions we had smaller meetings with admissions and enrollment management leaders. While these meetings did include updates and programme information the focus was much more on ways to recruit and better serve IB students.

One of my favorite meetings was with faculty members at one university who had great questions about course content and assessment. Why is this so important? Because professors are the subject matter experts who set the standards for advanced standing and credit granting at most colleges. A faculty that understands and recognizes the rigor and depth of our courses will make sure that students are on the right track to succeed in their majors.

University recognition is really about building and maintaining relationships with our colleagues in higher education. The IB is a dynamic institution that does a great job of building upon its foundation of rigor, engagement and internationalism to provide students worldwide with an excellent preparation for university studies and lifelong learning. University relations is all about making sure that the key staff on campus are informed about changes and innovations in our programmes.

Brown University


The Boston area and the Providence region are popular destinations for IB graduates from all over the world. On this occasion I managed to visit 11 great schools with a wide range of programs and campus styles – from the urban to the suburban to the college towns. Still, there are so many more area schools that I could have visited if I had had more time…

Thanks to all of my colleagues who welcomed me to their offices and their campuses. Thank you for arranging just the right meetings with just the right audiences. Thanks for your desire to learn more about the IB. Thank you for your service to our students.

If I missed your school please know that I will be back in the area soon and would love the opportunity to visit your campus and make a presentation.


If you are in another region and would like to host a workshop or a presentation for your team please contact me via email

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4 Responses to Boston and Providence – So many great schools, so little time!

  1. Susan Whalley November 15, 2014 at 07:50 #

    Hi Marie,

    We are “IB for All”. Our high school in Hyannis, MA serves students of all ability ranges from Cape Cod and beyond. Thank you for making the trip to NE to continue creating bridges between hs and colleges! Most of our students stay in NE for college. It’s good to know you have been advocating for IB!

    Could you tell me what schools you spoke with on your visit? It will help us to build upon your efforts.


    Sue Whalley
    Sturgis Charter Public School East Campus

    • Marie Vivas November 17, 2014 at 12:00 #

      Hi Susan,

      Quite a few of the universities I visited mentioned your school as a good example of IB in the region! I only got to 11 schools this time. I will definitely need to go back. So, in alphabetical order:




  2. mehreen January 3, 2015 at 10:52 #

    Hi, i live in Pakistan Islamabad, and i have been teaching for 8 years now,was teaching pre schoo; earlier, and now taking grade 2 IB, this IB system has introduced in my school recently,i was thinking if i can do a diploma in IB programme, could you please kindly guide me about the procedure.? Thank you.

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