*Messages from the IB Diploma Students

Ochanomizu Women's University
Faculty of Arts and Education
Department of Science and Humanities

Eko Sasamori

IBDP Cohort 1- Working together to
overcome difficulties

On coming to Japan after living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia since the age of 4; I wanted to continue the IB studies I had begun in Malaysia so I chose Sendai Ikuei Gakuen and transferred into the 2nd grade. Being shy, at first I wasn't very good communicating with people; but as the IB class was only a small class, and lessons involved numerous opportunities for presentations and sharing opinions, I soon began making friends. Now I can relax and be with my classmates as if I were with my family. In our 3rd year, almost all of us were busy beginning our recommended entrance examinations, the homeroom teacher played an important role, giving us careful guidance and support as though she were our mother. Sendai Ikuei Gakuen was the first school in the Tohoku area to implement the IBDP, and as we were the first cohort of IB students, I have a real sense that the teachers and students worked together and overcame all manner of situations. Even though the teachers also had other Foreign Language Course classes, they dealt with us sincerely. I am extremely grateful to them.

Through my IBDP studies,
what I want to study at university became clear

My main memory of the IBDP program was writing the 4000-word Extended Essay. We were working on the Extended Essays while simultaneously preparing documents for university entrance so we spent sleepless nights and were encouraging each other via SNS. In Literature and History lessons, it is fun to hold discussions and exchange opinions. I believe the charm of history is that there is room for imagination and discussion. I have come to realize that compared to European history the history of South east Asia is not so well known; and I would like to delve deeper into researching it. At university, I would like to undertake deeper research of that theme.

Through debate practice,
I have gained a broader perspective

In my studies in the IB lessons, skills I have developed are research and essay writing. We write numerous essays, including reports for each subject; and the Extended Essay. I think all the students, including myself, developed research skills in both Japanese and English. In Japan, having an opposing opinion to others is often viewed negatively but the advantage of debate is that you are exposed to a variety of opinions and thus can develop a broader perspective. Through the IB lessons I grew accustomed to debating. Though It was a busy two years, to keep it enjoyable, we independently made the effort to decorate the room and plan events for times such as Christmas and Halloween. It was 2 years that were definitely worth doing.