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  4. The Benefits of an IB Education

An overview

There is no doubt that any student who has successfully completed the IB is highly prepared to take on the academic challenges in university. Some would say that they arrive more prepared than their new classmates in first year. This is highly beneficial because it allows IB students to use their time more effectively and get a significant head start on classwork and revision. This was the case in my university, which allowed me to complete tasks without having to cram everything towards the deadline.



Higher and Standard Levels

Depending on what you wish to study, universities will send you an offer based on your higher and standard level predicted grades. For example, if you want to study biochemistry, then you would need to take biology and chemistry higher level and achieve higher marks such as a 6 or even a 7. The benefits are that you get to choose your higher and standard levels. If you still don't know what you want to study, you can tailor your IB programme to pursue liberal arts or even a foundation year, making it a very 'student-tailored' programme.

 

The Extended Essay

The extended essay is a university-style research paper that is given to IB students as a task to complete in their senior year. The purpose of this essay is to not only produce high-quality research towards answering a fundamental question in a subject but also to prepare the student for the amount of effort, time, and skills required to write such a paper. One of the key skills that is learnt through this paper is referencing correctly. Referencing is a vital skill in university, and it must be done properly to avoid committing plagiarism. During university, you will have to learn to do so in tutorials, but IB students arrive with a great head start.

 

Creativity, Action, and Service  (CAS)

Completing CAS is one of the requirements for obtaining an IB diploma. In the process of completing this two-year programme, IB students learn the importance of extra-curricular work. Whether it is volunteering, fundraising, or starting a new sport, CAS is a driving factor in creating a globally-minded student. In most European universities, extra-curricular work is highly regarded and is seen as a strong point in student applications. Furthermore, volunteering during university with societies can lead to earing an award during graduation, which will make you stand out during a job interview compared to other students.

 

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

Another significant benefit of an IB education is the ability to question the knowledge and information that is given to you. TOK helps IB students learn about the significance of self-reflection, scrutinizing information, and being open-minded. These qualities not only help students in the long run but allow them to think critically about their learning, which is a vital quality to have during university. In TOK, students are asked to prepare a presentation. Mine focused on how political satire was a driving force in the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris. I looked at all perspectives, including the gunmen's reality and why they believed their actions were justified.  I also compared the worldwide condemnation by analysing and contrasting different media perspectives and sources of information, and this allowed me to gain a global viewpoint on the issue.

Conclusion

An IB education, like the one I received at St Stephen's, is ideal for students wanting to pursue higher education not only in Europe but anywhere in the world and grants many benefits. Not only does the IB Diploma strengthen your application, but it also enhances your ability to think critically, solve complex problems, and be creative. Not only with the subjects that you choose but also with TOK, CAS, and your Extended Essay, you will gain the necessary skills needed to tackle the academic challenges of university. And most importantly, this programme helps students achieve a global mindset, which in turn helps them excel at university and prepares them in the best possible way to solve the world's most significant problems in the future.

Environment After CoVid 19
Chapter 1: The World Around Us

Opinion: A New Perspective on the Environment After CoVid-19

There are ducks in the Barcaccia, dolphins inquisitively approaching Italian harbors and weeds colonizing urban spaces where human feet no longer tread: nature reconquering lost spaces is one of the short-term effects of this pandemic.

By Jan Claus Di Blasio, Gardens and Sustainability Coordinator

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Chapter 1: The World Around Us

Some Notes from Isolation

Who else has begun to think of their lives as divided into the BC (Before Covid) and DC (During Covid) eras? Oh, those simple things we took for granted: catching some fresh air during a short afternoon walk in the park. Having a coffee at the corner bar. A long, leisurely weekend lunch with a friend. A spontaneous decision to go and see a movie. For that matter, a spontaneous decision merely to go and pick up milk and laundry soap at the grocery store.

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us

I’m 15 and Quarantined in Italy—You’d Be Surprised What I Miss

I was in Latin class when the Italian government announced the closure of schools two months ago.

By Anthony Avallone '23
romance corona
Chapter 1: The World Around Us

Romance in the Time of Coronavirus

Right-wing populists are romantics. I know; that sounds strange. You probably imagine romantics staring out over misty moors, their hair blowing at an attractive angle, but make no mistake—Orban, Trump, Bolsonaro, Salvini, Le Pen? They’re romantics too.

By Jen Hollis - Former St. Stephen’s IB History Teacher
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Chapter 1: The World Around Us

How a Virus Interrupted the Daily Routine at a Day and Boarding School

On Thursday, March 5th 2020, an unusual silence settled into the hallways, classrooms, and dorm rooms of St. Stephen’s School.

By Natalie Edwards '14 - RA and Dean's Office Assistant
poetry
Chapter 2: Creative Writing

Winners of the Keats-Shelley House Poetry Contest

In May, two St. Stephen’s students, Leila El-Zabri and Isabella Todini, won both of the prizes in the Upper School category of the Keats-Shelley Poetry Contest. This year’s judge was Jackie Kay, award-winning poet, author, and the current Scots Makar (the Scottish Poet Laureate). Ms. Kay was extremely impressed with the technical facility and emotional depth of our students’ work.

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
creative writing
Chapter 2: Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Ms. Egan is proud to present work that has been done in her Creative Writing Classes in the Fall and Spring Semesters. Enjoy!

red dragon
Chapter 2: Creative Writing

Children of the Red Dragon

By Ilaria Chen, Grade 10
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Chapter 2: Creative Writing

The Golden Children

By Sofia Ghilas '21
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Chapter 4: Fall Trips 2019

Fall School Trips 2019

Welcome to our interactive Fall trips 2019 photo galleries. Click the albums for a visual journey through our adventures!

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Chapter 3: Short Stories in Italian | Italian language

Viaggio intorno alle nostre camere

By Rossano Astremo - IB Italian Teacher
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Chapter 4: Fall Trips 2019

Why We Take School Trips

When students enter St. Stephen’s as 9th graders, they will attend eight trips in the course of their career. Trips are an integral part of our identity, and one of the most frequently cited distinctions when Head of School Eric Mayer speaks with parents and students.

By Cortile Staff Writer
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Chapter 5: Departments | Molecular Genetics

Molecular Genetics, a Flagship Program

The Molecular Genetics program at St. Stephen's was introduced in 2018 in partnership with Adamas Scienze as a five-year initiative. Adamas Scienze is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, Italy that specializes in bringing university-level science to high school students.

By Fiona Leckie - Science Department Chair, Chemistry Teacher
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Chapter 5: Departments | Classics, The Lyceum

An Archaeology for the Five Senses: A Lyceum Evening

On Monday evening, a group of students, teachers, alumni, and friends of St. Stephen’s gathered in the library to explore the sights, sounds, and, most importantly, the smells of Ancient Roman cities with Ann Kolosky-Ostrow, a Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Brandeis and recent Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Rome.

By Natalie Edwards '14 - RA and Dean's Office Assistant
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Chapter 5: Departments | International Baccalaureate (IB)

The Benefits of an IB Education

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is well respected and globally recognized as a very intensive, yet highly rewarding academic programme which is offered in high schools, like St. Stephen's. If you wish to pursue higher education in Europe, such as in the UK, Germany, or Finland, then the IB will be incredibly beneficial towards taking your first steps into university.

By David Rosales '16
city of rome
Chapter 5: Departments | Classics

Discovering Our City with the City of Rome Class

One of St. Stephen’s’ signature courses, Roman Topography, got an upgrade this year. The new course is called City of Rome. In the past, students were required to take either Roman Topography or Latin 1. Beginning in Fall 2019, all ninth graders take City of Rome and choose between three classical languages: Latin, Classical Greek, or Arabic.

By Natalie Edwards '14 - RA and Dean's Office Assistant
cortile sofia peng
Chapter 6: Student Life | Student Ambassador Program

Hi, I'm Sofia Peng, and I am a Student Ambassador!

I think that being a Student Ambassador made me grow so much. As a student, I concentrated mainly on my academics, yet I was never a talkative and outgoing person at school because I thought I wasn't a fluent English speaker. As it is not my first language, I have never really managed to speak comfortably around people other than my friends without feeling nervous about being judged. I always had a hard time dealing with my self-esteem and I doubted myself.

By Sofia Peng '22
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Chapter 6: Student Life | Students Love Tech!

The iLab is the Place to Be at St. Stephen’s!

I think it would be safe to say that the Innovation Lab, the ILab for short, is my favorite place in the entire school. It allows for anyone with an interest in tech, design, or anything similar to enjoy themselves while also learning at the same time and pushing themselves beyond what they thought they were going to be able to do, ever.

By Valerio Pepe '22
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Chapter 6: Student Life | Students Love Tech!, Formula 1

Life in the Fast Lane

When you think of Formula 1, you probably don’t think of engineering, aerodynamics, economics, marketing, and design yet these are just a few of the components that go into building the sleek race cars that characterize the sport.

By Natalie Edwards '14 - RA and Dean's Office Assistant
cortile smalling
Chapter 6: Student Life | Student Clubs, Chris Smalling

Tackling Inequality

AS Roma defender and Manchester United legend Chris Smalling was invited to talk to students of St. Stephen's School about equality in sports, his vegan diet, and, of course, football, on 2 December 2019.

By Laith Zehni '20
writing awards
Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, 2020

Again this year, St. Stephen’s Creative Writing teacher Moira Egan is delighted to present the work of her students, who achieved wonderful success in the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition for 2020. This year, students in Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 garnered 10 Honorable Mentions, 6 Silver Keys, and 2 Gold Keys.

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
Grade 9 award
Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
Grade 10 award
Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Chapter 7: Scholastic Writing Awards

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2020

By Moira Egan - Creative Writing Teacher
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Chapter 8: The Arts

Winter Arts Show

Enjoy a visual showcase of our Winter Arts Show highlights.

By Luigi Fraboni - Photography Studio
cortile regenerative medicine 2
Chapter 9: Alumni | Alumni Spotlight

The Next Frontier in Health Care: A Review in Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine (RM) is an emerging and very exiting multidisciplinary field aimed at restoring, maintaining or enhancing tissue and, consequently, organ functions.

By David Rosales '16
Wahiba Sands
Chapter 9: Alumni | Alumni & Friends, Health & Wellness

Alumni & Friends in Oman

Our fearless leader Dr Helen Pope lead in October our 5th edition of Alumni & Friends Trip. A group of 10 alumni followed Dr Pope in Oman, The Land of Frankincense.

By Cortile Staff Writer
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Chapter 9: Alumni

DC, NY & Boston Alumni Events

Images from St. Stephen's Alumni events across the North East last Fall.

Painting by Cate Whittemore 1972
Chapter 9: Alumni | Class Notes

Class Notes

Welcome to our first-ever digital 'Class Notes.' Enjoy the posts and images collated by Class Ambassadors from their respective years!