IB Perspectives: Student Stories from around the World – part 5

Whatever the myths and stereotypes that surround the IB Diploma Program, the truth is that it’s what you make of it. In this blog series we’re taking a look at the experiences of different IB students around the world. For our fifth student perspective we hear from Anna Sophie in Vienna. You can read part 4 of the series here.


My name is Anna Sophie Kirchmayr, I am 16 years old, and am studying in DP1 in Vienna, Austria.

I take the following subjects:

English A Language and Literature HL
Psychology HL
Visual Arts HL
German A Language and Literature SL
Chemistry SL
Mathematics SL

I familiarised myself with the IB program many years ago, as I have also completed all of the MYP. Continuing my academic journey into the DP was the next step, as it is the only option offered at my school, and I am more than satisfied with my choice!

A typical week for me is rather demanding, and I have had to adjust to both my timetable and the workload. I end school every day at four in the afternoon due to my visual arts course. This is particularly challenging for me as it is difficult to listen to my classmates rejoice that they can go home after lunch, whereas I am typically one of the last remaining people in my school building when I leave.

Regardless, my week is structured in a very dense manner. I do not have a lot of free periods or breaks, and if I do, it is a great opportunity to complete any work. This allows me to have less to do at home after school or on the weekends, and it is far easier to complete work when focused in a learning environment, such as a library or your school’s study room!

In my free time, I play piano, participate in Model United Nations conferences and sessions, attend student council, and go running. Not only do my hobbies coincide with CAS, but also allow me to take a break from this demanding and academically challenging program. Without the pressure of creativity, activity, and service, I am fairly sure we all would spend more time hunched at our desks instead of helping others or improving our health.

Until now, I found two things the toughest about the IB: Choosing your subjects, and sticking with your choices. Motivation can be hard to find, especially in dark winter months and endless semesters.

Therefore, love your subjects! If you find a passion to them, assignments, tests, and homework will no longer seem tedious, and you will look forward to learning more in subjects you enjoy! Keeping your academic performance and future in mind, do what you love: It is likely that you will do well in the subjects you love the most!

The IB is fantastic in pursuing your personal interests. The diversity of subjects and courses offered is wonderful for any student unsure over which direction they want to go in after graduating. Having six subjects and three higher levels allows you to explore your passions and keep an open door on different careers. Focusing in depth on certain subjects not only prepares you for a future academic career, but also allows you to do more of what you love, be it science, mathematics, languages, or the arts.

What have you learnt since starting the IB?

Perseverance and organisation are key in succeeding in this program. At times, the work load is overwhelming, yet through being calm and organising tasks, every assignment and deadline becomes less intimidating.

Read Part 6: IB Student Stories

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