Student experiences

Here's what some of our students have to say about their experiences in the IB Diploma Programme.

"During my first year in VGS, I was faced with the choice of doing the International Baccalaureate. After learning more about it, and considering my future plans after school, I decided to do it. There were two main reasons for this. Firstly, many features of the IB appealed to me. My impression was that I would be able to do fewer subjects, with more in-depth studies of the subjects I wanted, so less time is spent doing classes I was not interested in. As an IB graduate, I reasoned that more doors were open to me. Since it is highly regarded everywhere in the world, I could easily study abroad, but I could still study in Norway if I wanted to. Secondly, in addition to being impressed with the IB itself, the Norwegian system did not impress me too much, with the large number of subjects I had do, the larger class sizes, and the seemingly arbitrary assessment procedures.

I greatly enjoyed my time doing the IB. What I appreciated most was the small class size, with teachers that were engaged and really cared. This gave a unique learning environment, with good communication between the teacher and their class, instead of a one-way lecture. Help was always available when needed. The teachers really wanted us to succeed! In addition to extensive subject knowledge, I gained valuable skills for the future. Theory of Knowledge (ToK) and Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) taught me to reflect and be critical of everything I do. Finally, the Extended Essay (EE) provided a taster of what university work is like, and provided valuable writing skills.

It is only during my time at university, however, that I have come to realise the full benefits of the IB. For one, it made admission to university easier and more straightforward. The IB also provided the confidence I needed to apply abroad. Once I arrived, the transition from the IB to university was relatively tough, but a lot smoother than it could have been. I already had English vocabulary in the subjects I needed, and a solid knowledge basis I could build on. More significantly, however, was that I was already familiar with the way of thinking needed to succeed in higher education. An analytical approach to new information, the ability to compare and contrast, and to see things from several points of view, are invaluable skills that I have relied on up to this day.

All in all, I believe the IB is an excellent option for motivated students who consider going abroad after school. I know that I would be doing something very different if it was not for the IB!"- Jakob Træland Rostøl


“I chose the IB because I want to study abroad and the IB prepares me perfectly for that. IB is a balanced education including both social and natural sciences. It helps you develop as a person, as it encourages open-mindedness and risk taking. The class environment is great, and the individual needs of the students are never forgotten. Thus, the rewards are many.

In return, the IB Diploma demands a lot of hard work. The large amount of work that needs to be done might seem intimidating in the beginning, but I experienced that it’s not too much as long as you keep the deadlines and have everything organized.

Therefore, if you are motivated for school work and open for new challenges, the IB is a great option. For me, it has been the right choice and I think the two years of hard work will definitely pay off.”
- Nadine Schindler


“I chose the IB Diploma because after having stayed one year in France, I wanted my education to have an international touch. Another reason was that I wanted some challenge compared to the Norwegian school system.

So far my experience with the IB has been good. I have learned to think in a more constructive and critical way. I am also pleased with the teachers who are very engaged in their subjects. The most challenging area in the IB is probably the fact that you need to be organized.

In the future I think the IB Diploma will be a good preparatory experience for my further studies. Studying in Norway or abroad, having been taught in English and having been challenged is positive. “
- Maria Skuggevik Slotnes


”The reason I chose the IB is that I can achieve the same level of learning as students at my age internationally. This is very important for me, especially in my favorite subject math. The basic language we use in the IB is also international, English. Though you can think learning in English is not a great benefit if you want to study in Norway, we can think further in our lives. English is needed. 

Even if I’m not the strongest student, my experience of IB is very exciting, because I am gaining so much knowledge of different subjects. I gain many thoughts from my classmates that help me see things differently. In the IB system we act as a family. If you are weak in one subject, you get help from another student who is strong in that subject.

Any new system is difficult at the beginning, but you find the ways of working and the interests that guide you through the experience.”
- In Chon Lam

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