My IB Journey: A Chat with DCB’s Three Full Score Students

This year, Dulwich College Beijing students triumphed once again in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, with outstanding performances well above the global average. These results are the culmination of relentless drive, dedication and hard work, and we’re excited to see this group of well-rounded graduates move on to the next chapter of their lives. For a glimpse into their IB experience and academic journey, we chatted with Jennifer Z, Cherin Y and Vivian H, all of whom scored a perfect 45.

Jennifer Z

Jennifer Z

DCB: Congratulations on your outstanding IB result! Describe to us the moment you saw your final score.

Jennifer: The results came out on at 9pm July 6th. I opened it right away and I was in disbelief when I saw my result. I was actually in a restaurant, in a very public place, and I had to work to keep a straight face and not scream out loud! I told my parents right away, and they were very proud. They watched me work through the IB Programme’s most difficult moments, so it was nice to see things come to fruition after all my efforts.


DCB: What do you think are the most important qualities for success in the IB Programme?

Jennifer: I think passion is an underrated quality. The extent and quantity of the work in the programme is quite exhausting. If you don’t genuinely care, then you won’t find the energy to power through. I’m really lucky that I had some truly phenomenal teachers that inspired students to really get into the subject and go beyond the curriculum even, to find things that interested them.


DCB: In what ways have you grown during your time at Dulwich College Beijing?

Jennifer: Being a Dulwich student has helped me take on a more cosmopolitan world view. Just from the people that I have met here, I know snippets from so many languages and have stories of people from all over the world. We can truly feel confident wherever the world takes us.


DCB: Now that you’re done, what’s your next step?

Jennifer: I’ll be going to Oxford to study English. I mentioned my teachers, and they really have such an important influence on what students are interested in. From Year 7-13, I had a series of phenomenal English teachers. Anyone who gets students excited about Shakespeare must really be doing something right.

I also had the good luck of being counseled by Mr. Harmon, one of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met. He helped run a program called Ivy Bridge, which was specifically aimed at people looking to apply to the Ivy League or Oxbridge. Through the advice and support offered by Ivy Bridge, I decided I had the capacity to apply to Oxbridge.


DCB: Is there anything you’d like to say to the teachers and wider community of Dulwich College Beijing?

Jennifer: Thank you! I’m grateful to everyone, as I definitely couldn’t have survived IB without the support of my teachers and the whole community.

Cherin Y

Cherin Y

DCB: Congratulations on finishing the IB Programme with an outstanding result! How does it feel?

Cherin: It feels great! This is the moment that I’ve been waiting for these past 13 years. I put in a lot of effort and it paid off more than I expected. When I first saw the results, I thought there was something wrong with my eyes because I never expected to get a perfect score.


DCB: Talk to us a little bit about the support that the teachers provided you.

Cherin: Our teachers were always very open to any questions, and they provided thorough feedback so that I could reflect and improve upon my work. They were also able to look ahead and give us advice thanks to their experiences with past students.

At a moment, I was struggling with my math extended essay. The day before the final submission, I asked my supervisor Mr. Lee for a final meeting, and he stayed after school for two hours just to support me.


DCB: What else have you learned from the IB Programme?

Cherin: Before IB, I just participated in extracurricular activities. In IB, you need to include reflections in Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS). I learned to reflect on the meaning of what I do.

As part of a CAS Monday trip, I went to an orphanage called Blue Sky Healing Home, which is for disabled children. I was really intrigued by my interactions with the kids. Although there was a language barrier, I loved talking and playing with them. It also made me curious as to the medical reasons behind their disabilities. After finding out a bit more on my own, I decided I wanted to pursue research to help discover medical treatments for these illnesses.


DCB: What’s your next step, then?

Cherin: I am going to enroll in the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology this September to study Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. I’m really lucky to have had Mr. Harmon as my university counselor. Not only did he help me learn more about myself, but Korean universities are quite picky with documents submission, so I really thank Mr. Harmon and Ms. Zhang for being patient with me.


DCB: Is there anything you’d like to say to the teachers and wider community of Dulwich College Beijing?

Cherin: I thank everyone from Dulwich College Beijing, especially the alumni and the teachers. I think one of the reasons why I was able to get a good IB score is because of Dulwich’s record.

Vivian H

DCB: Congratulations on your stellar IB result! What was the moment like when you saw your final score?

Vivian: I was very surprised. I remember refreshing the page to see if I saw it correctly. I was so sure I couldn’t reach my predicted grades that I even made a bet with my friend. But, after several times of refreshing the page, I was glad that it was real. 


DCB: What do you think are the most important qualities for success in the IB Programme?

Vivian: Definitely time management. One thing that really stood out to me was the fact that it was impossible to have the time to do all the things I was committed to. Tasks just kept piling on and on, and I had to figure out a way to prioritize them and balance my life.

Another quality that is very important is optimism and open-mindedness. It’s important to know that there will be very stressful and disappointing times during the course of this IB journey. After each obstacle, you learn from it and you embrace the next step. It’s important to make sure to take time off to have fun and adjust your mentality so that you always face the next challenge with energy.


DCB: What advice do you have for future students of the IB Programme at Dulwich College Beijing?

Vivian: Do not sacrifice your sleep for an extra hour of revision or plain procrastination. It’s very, very important to have good sleep.

Also, do what makes you happy and healthy. This might sound dumb, but after having completed IB and in hindsight, it is not worth your time stressing about 1 or 2 marks on your predicted grades or beating yourself up because you didn’t do as good as you expected. Those things may seem important in the moment, but they shouldn’t dictate your happiness.


DCB: Now that you’re done, what’s your next step?

Vivian: I still haven’t made a firm final decision due to uncertainties with policies and traveling, but I’m lucky to have the opportunity to decide between Barnard College and Peking University. I would like to have a strong liberal arts foundation before deciding on my major in either of the universities, although I will most likely be studying in an area in the social sciences.


DCB: Is there anything you’d like to say to the teachers and wider community of Dulwich College Beijing?

Vivian: Thank you! They gave me all the support I needed, and I am very glad to have had them accompany me throughout this journey.  


Congratulations once again to Jennifer Z, Cherin Y and Vivian H!