IB Perspectives: Student Stories from around the World – part 2

Curious to know how other students are getting through the IB Diploma Program? In this blog series we’re taking a look at the experiences of different IB students around the world. Our second perspective comes from Norway, through the eyes of Hege Kristine, a final year IB student. You can read part 1 of the series here.


Hi! My name is Hege Kristine and I’m an IB student in my senior year at Trondheim Katedralskole in Norway.


English A Literature HL
French B SL
Psychology HL (online course)
Biology HL
Chemistry SL
Mathematics SL

I first got to know about the IB DP when I started the MYP (middle years program) and as the years went by and I acquired more information about the program I decided that this was what I wanted to do. The determining factor for me was that the program would provide me with the opportunity to continue the IB school program and avoid the general studies program offered by Norwegian public schools, as the offered curriculum seemed less interesting to me. Moreover and more significantly all of the course work would be in Norwegian which would require me to in a sense relearn all of my courses in another language as I am more accustomed to learning, speaking, reading and writing in English than in my own mother tongue. Lastly, I wanted to take the IB because the program provides me with the necessary skills for college and/or university.

In a typical week I am fortunate to have a lot of free periods throughout the day and between my classes. I usually come to school at 08.15 and leave at 15.45 after my last class. Though it is wonderful and necessary to be able to socialize with my classmates and be able to sleep in some days during the week when I am deprived of sleep, I do it in order to make space for my passion; taekwondo. I am a competitive athlete and in order to what I love, I do not have a lot of spare time in the evening to complete my coursework.

On those days when I do not have any training sessions when I come home, I eat dinner and sit down for the remainder of the evening in my room to study. I also make sure to go to bed at a reasonable hour in order to get enough energy for the following day. However, this schedule is far more idealized in this blog post. Sometimes, or most of the time, this is quite a stressful schedule and it does get overwhelming and unorganized if I do not plan my schedule ahead of time.

In managing a balance between my life in and outside of the IB I have learned to try to live by some personal experiences. I have found that it is very important to surround yourself with positive people and most importantly with people who give you some extra energy and input in terms of both coursework and life in general. These are people who can make you laugh, smile and talk to you about anything even when you are neck-deep in work. It makes such a big difference as it may either be a highlight of your day or drain you of energy; making you more frustrated, sad or angry.

My absolute favorite part about the IB is being able to choose the subjects that I want to specifically focus on from the start and not just having to take a bunch of subjects because it is a part of the curriculum. Moreover, although it sometimes seems impossible to fulfill all of the criterions for the IB, I like how organized and structured each course is. In the long run, it prepares me well for university, which is one of the reasons why I chose the IB in the first place. I also love the freedom of the work schedule of the online course as it is has a different structure than my other courses, but I still learn a ton.

On the other hand, the toughest part about the IB for me is to make sure that I maintain a balance between coursework, training and social life. A balance is important in order to have the energy to keep on doing my best and stay motivated for learning. I am sure that many of you have experienced having so much to do at one point that it becomes more of a task to cross off things from a checklist rather than learning, and though I try to avoid this scenario – it does happen at times.

What have you learned since starting the IB?

The most important thing I have learned since starting the IB is staying organized; whether it is by planning how you will meet your deadlines, study for the exams, be able to do what you love outside of the IB, not just completing CAS activities, or spending time with your boyfriend, friends, and family. Because in the end without fulfillment of all of these factors in your life you will end up feeling incomplete.

Is your experience different? Similar? If you’d like to write your own IB Perspective here on this blog, get in touch with info@lanternaeducation.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Read Part 3: IB Student Stories

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