Leonie Speck moved to Canberra with her parents midway through Year 9 with a vision of eventually returning to her homeland of Germany to become a policewoman. For her, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) made perfect sense – it would provide her with a globally recognised qualification and allow her to study subjects that would help develop her knowledge and skills in her chosen field.
Almost four years later, Leonie’s end goal hasn’t changed. However, rather than returning to Europe to continue her studies, she has stayed in Canberra and is studying Criminology and International Relations at ANU – a double degree she knows will complement her career choice.
While she didn’t need to rely on the internationally recognised qualification, the IB is serving her in others ways.
“Having just completed my first semester at ANU, I can only agree to what my teachers told me all along: IB prepares you for university, it makes the start a lot easier,” says Leonie.
Expecting university to be quite daunting, Leonie has found herself with an advantage in relation to other students who didn’t complete the IBDP.
“Effective time-management, organisational skills, ways of studying and note-taking and understanding concepts faster and in more depth are just some of the advantages I have over students that have done another program in Years 11 and 12.”
The Diploma Programme is a rigorous course of study, it entails completing seven subjects each year (including Theory of Knowledge). Leonie says, “Deciding to do (and succeed) in IB is a decision that will lead you to question your choices at some point during your study, however the rewards are bigger than the regrets.”
Speaking to a room full of Year 10 students earlier this week – as they continue to deliberate over their choices for Years 11 and 12 - Leonie had one final message for them.
"Don’t take the challenges and ‘downsides’ of IB as an excuse to not do it, take them as encouragements and motives your future-you will thank you for. While it is up to you to meet your own challenges, it is guaranteed that friends and teachers will support you whenever need it.”
Photo above: Leonie (second from right) with members of the 2018 CGGS IBDP cohort at Graduation Dinner.