Tutor: Julia Korning
IBDP score: 43
University: International Relations (2009), London School of Economics
In our Tutor Interview series, we put the spotlight on members of our outstanding tutoring team. From IB graduates to teachers and Examiners, we share their stories and their advice about the International Baccalaureate to help you make your own IB a success.
EIB: Why did you choose to do the IB?
Julia: I was interested in the world and wanted the opportunity to pursue further education abroad. The IB was the best option for this since it’s an internationally recognised qualification.
What did you enjoy about the IB?
I really enjoyed the international atmosphere with intelligent and open-minded people. I enjoyed the focused study of fewer subjects (in the Swedish system you normally study up to 16 subjects!). I enjoyed CAS and that importance was placed on these aspects, to develop as a broadminded person as opposed to only focussing on grades.
What did you do for your CAS/TOK/EE?
For CAS I did many different things. I already did lots of activities like dance and capoeira and continued with them, as well as trying new things. For Creativity, I played an instrument and took part in a theatre group. Service was interesting because it made me do things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise. I applied to be assistant director for a younger group in my theatre school and through that, I got a place in a programme for European cooperation on youth culture. This meant that I got to represent my city in workshops, training sessions and conferences abroad with other young people from around Europe – it was so much fun! For Service, a friend and I also started a film club at our school, which was a great way to meet new people, watch good films and practise organising events.
I found TOK very interesting and did my presentation on how language in the media influence opinions.
For my Extended Essay, I wrote my essay on literature from and about the First World War, which was very interesting to research. I wrote about how soldiers got physical symptoms such as deafness, blindness and paralysis from mental shock. Interestingly, I must have been more influenced by this research than I could imagine because I am now, ten years later, studying an MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy which is exactly this – how the body and mind are connected in trauma.
Why do you enjoy tutoring?
Because you have the time to tailor for the specific student. You get to know your students and inspire them to use their knowledge. I am, also, interested in the subjects I tutor and find that I learn through my students.
What makes a successful tutor?
Listening to the student to see where gaps in technique and knowledge are. Encouraging self-confidence and letting the student see that they know more than they thought. Tutors should always encourage students to speak for themselves and develop an argument because learning to get a point across and use your knowledge to present an argument is crucial.
What are your favourite aspects of the IB to teach, and why?
I enjoy teaching TOK and History because the subjects are very interesting and encompass a broad range of topics. I have worked as a language teacher for years and really enjoy it because it is all about communication and expressing yourself. I tutor Spanish and English B and enjoying using games to encourage learning.
What has been your greatest tutoring success?
That a student I had tutored in English and also helped with their personal statement was very happy with their final grades and thanking me for helping them to get into the university course they wanted.
What tips do you have for current IB students?
Think outside the box. Remember your context in the wider world and be curious.