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.
IBDP score: 40
University: Biology (2018), Universidade de Lisboa
Subjects: Biology, Maths, Spanish
EIB: Why did you choose to do the IB?
Luisa: Doing the IB wasn’t a very hard choice to make, having done the previous programmes (PYP and MYP), I always looked forward to choosing my subjects and finishing the IB successfully.
The IB is not only a very complete program that allows you to push yourself in every single intellectual area, but it can also bring out the best in you (though CAS and by working as team) as a person.
What did you enjoy about the IB?
I enjoyed taking all the subjects. I enjoyed the most without thinking about university applications or job aspirations, I decided that if I was going to study something in the future it would have to be something that made me happy, and that can only be done if I am studying subjects I truly enjoy. So, what I liked the most was the freedom to choose my subjects, mixing up Visual Arts with Biology, and realizing they have so much in common, for example.
What was the most challenging part of the IB?
What I found most challenging was keeping up with my extracurricular life, making sure I was spending enough time with friends and family even when I always felt I had something to do for school. Setting time, apart is essential even to achieve your goals in school.
What did you do for your CAS/TOK/EE?
For CAS I began taking children from an orphanage to have a surfing lesson every Saturday morning. To do that, I partnered with the surf school that I was already working for, found willing teachers that could help me out with the lessons, designed the programme so that each kid could enjoy the ocean in safety and put it to action. It was the most rewarding experience I have ever had, and I didn’t even have to leave my town. There is no need to go to the other side of the world to help, or to do something you enjoy; if you want to do it, help your own community and see the true impact a small gesture can make!
For my EE, I made an odd choice of doing it on a subject that I was not studying, History. I researched Che Guevara’s intervention in Congo. I learned a lot, but because I had never done a History essay, I struggled with the sources and how to evaluate them, which cost me a lot of time and maybe a point. It is important to make good choices in the IB, this was not the best, but I learnt a lot from it.
What are you currently studying?
I am currently in my last year of an undergraduate in Biology.
What is your favourite aspect(s)/specialism?
What I enjoy the most about this course are the ecology and conservation modules. They give an insight on the relationship between every single organism on earth, how they interact and how they balance each other (when they do). Humans, of course, are also organisms on earth and it is not hard to see the negative impact we have on the environment and ecosystems. Reducing that impact is what I would like to learn and work on in the future.