*Messages from the IB Diploma Students

Sophia University
Faculty of Law
Department of International Legal Studies

Hosei University
Faculty of Literature
Department of English Literature

Jia Qi Liu

To understand the world,
you need to study in various countries

After graduating from junior high school in Shanghai, I entered Sendai Ikuei's Foreign Language Course as an exchange student. Since my first year of Junior high school I wanted to study overseas when I graduated. Although my native country, China, is a wonderful place, if you study in just one country you tend to be limited to that country's way of thinking. To better understand the world, you have to study in various countries. That is why I chose to come to Sendai Ikuei as an exchange student. Before coming to Sendai Ikuei, I didn't know anything about the IB. The IB trial started when I was a 1st year student, and at that time Jim, the teacher in charge of the IB program, said to me, “You're good at English, why don't you try the IBDP”. That prompted me to join the IBDP.

A Philosophical subject that makes us challenge
the way we think about things

The first thing that came to mind after starting the IB class was ‘This is going to be hard”. In classes before the IB, you would be fine if you just prepared for the regular tests, but that wouldn't work for IB classes. In daily lessons, we had to write our own essays and express our viewpoints and thoughts. One of the subjects TOK (Theory of Knowledge), was a philosophical subject which made us challenge the way we think about things. EE (Extended Essay) required us to choose a theme, and prepare a 4000-word essay. We undertook lessons day to day, all the while saying to ourselves ‘This is hard! This is so hard!’.

In the light music club, we formed a band,
and I played in the Lacrosse club

Though we were saying ‘This is so hard’; it's not like we didn't have time for anything else. I belonged to both the Lacrosse club and the Light Music club, and spent every day fruitfully. In the Lacrosse club, I was both a manager for the boys' Lacrosse team, and also played on the girls' team. In the Light Music club, we formed a band- I played guitar. We played some animation songs. The IB program is a perfect fit for someone like me, someone ‘who needs to be constantly absorbed in something’. Being busy leads to fulfillment!

It should link directly to
university studies

For university, I was accepted to Hosei University's Department of English Literature through the IB entrance examinations. Prior to the examinations, it was hard work preparing the documents such as the self-recommendation letter; but compared the IB course, it wasn't too bad. Now, that I have made it through and have been accepted to university, I can see that it was worthwhile and meaningful ‘hard work’. What made it worthwhile was realizing that lessons were not just passively listening to the teacher, processing and remembering information; but always having and actively presenting your own opinion. Also, the previously mentioned TOK and EE should link directly with my university research and studies. That was a very worthwhile experience. My goal was ‘in the future, to go out into the world and work’ and when I started the IBDP, I realize that I started to make that dream into reality.