It’s always nice to hear about how our former students are getting on at university – so we contacted some of our alumni from the class of 2020 to find out how they have made the transition to university life. With two full-time University Counsellors, we work extremely hard to ensure that all students find their ideal course at the right university. 
Consistent feedback from our students has indicated that the IB Diploma Programme, with its rigorous academic focus across several disciplines and its wider aim to produce engaged global citizens through its CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) programme, provides excellent preparation for university. University Counsellor, Ms Nolen Jackson says, “I think students discover the full value of their IB Diploma after they graduate from BISP during their first year at university.  The development of academic skills in the IB Diploma Programme is unparalleled. Skills such as independence, organisation, self-discipline and undertaking rigorous academic investigations over a two-year timeline are extraordinary preparation for life.”
We recently caught up with Marina Parakhina from the Class of 2020, studying Medicine and Surgery (a 6-year course) at Humanitas University in Milan, Italy.

MarinaHow have you found university life and your course so far (either on-campus or as an online learner)?

I came to Italy in September and for the first two months, the pandemic wasn’t bad so we had a chance to do all of our lectures in person. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet so many new people. During the lockdown, all of our lectures moved online, except for the group activities which have been kept in presence. Overall, university life is amazing here in Italy. A lot of good food and insanely pretty places. My university is located slightly outside of Milan, so the campus has a lot of greenery and often we see bunnies and nutrias roaming around campus. 

How do you feel the IB helped you prepare for university?

IB has definitely prepared me for this course. Especially, Higher Level Biology and Higher Level Chemistry. All the topics covered in IB are taught here just in more detail. I would say that thanks to the IB I spend less time learning the topics since I have already done them. However, I will mention that what we did in two years in Biology we covered here in just a few months.

Do you have any advice or recommendations for current BISP students?

If you’re going into medicine be prepared to spend hours making notes and having lectures from 9:30 am until 6:30 pm. However, don’t forget to live your life as well, have fun because time goes by so quickly and you don’t even realise that.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to finish the course here in Milan, however, I am going to try to go on one of the exchange programmes offered by my university. After six years I will choose a speciality and either go to the USA or back to Asia to do my residency training. 

For more Alumni Stories, click here. For information on British International School, Phuket please contact [email protected]