Clara attended the 2015 Mid IB Summer School in Boston. Below is a summary of her experiences on the course. Clara, along with her friend Laura, have their own blog, dearibstudents.tumblr.com, where they post their IB experiences and help other students.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
We are two girls, Clara Boström and Laura Schmitz who are both attending Katedralskolan in Lund, the oldest school in Scandinavia. We have both lived in Sweden our whole lives but despite this, we consider ourselves to be rather international, partly because of the IB program. We first came in contact with IB in 2013 when we started the Pre-IB program. I (Laura) mostly chose IB because it makes it possible to study abroad, preferably in an English speaking country. In August 2015, both Clara and I entered the last year of IB. Besides from the mandatory subjects, I (Laura) take Chemistry, Biology and Psychology while Clara takes Business, Economics and Chemistry. When we are not busy studying, which we quite often are, we dance, go to the gym or bake.
Why did you choose OSC?
I (Clara) found out about OSC from Google, actually. Because I had never heard of it before, I looked at the website and read about the different summer courses. It did not take long before I decided to go. I had heard about other organizations that run IB courses as well, but the areas where they were held did not interest me as much as Boston did. I chose OSC because of this, but also because it was recommended strongly by a family friend. It felt safe to know a little about it before going, because of Boston being so far away from the South of Sweden where I live. I looked at OSC’s Twitter and Instagram and thought it could be fun to try it out! It seemed like most people were satisfied after attending the courses.
How was your academic experience with OSC?
I really enjoyed it! I took Math SL and Chemistry SL as my morning subjects, and TOK and Economics HL as my afternoon subjects. The morning subjects really benefited me the most, due to the lessons being longer and therefore we could go over more topics. The afternoon options were really fun as well though. The teachers did a very good job of really using the time as efficiently as possible. They also asked us about what specific topics we wanted to go over, which I found really helpful. I was introduced to vectors (which I had not done before), this helped me to understand it. I am more prepared than I would have been without attending the courses.
What is your favourite memory of your time in Boston?
I have a lot of good memories from Boston, but I have two that I would consider to be the best ones. One of them is when we went whale watching in Plymouth. That was great fun! A few of us from the course went by bus to Plymouth where we then went by boat to watch whales. It was something I had never done before, and it was an experience that brought us students closer together. The other one was when four of my friends and I went to Boston for some shopping. I had never been to Boston before, and so I was really excited to go there. Travelling from Harvard Square to Boston all by ourselves was so much fun! This small shopping trip brought us closer together.
What do you feel you gained from studying abroad?
First of all, I really got to experience university life at Harvard and MIT and in Boston in general. I think that has helped me to now decide where I would like to study after the IB. Since I am applying for universities it was nice to experience university life to get a feeling of what it is like. But it was not only the academic part of it that I loved. I met people from all over the world, with similar interests as myself, and we still make sure to keep touch. Some of us are going to attend the Exam Revision course at Oxford this spring, which I am really excited about! Because we live in different parts of the world it is difficult to arrange a time where we could meet. Therefore we thought this was a great opportunity to both have a reunion and get some revision before exams.
Did you go on any activities?
I did! I went on the shopping trip (of course) to the outlet, where I think everyone just went crazy. The bus wasn’t full when we left Harvard, but when returning there were shopping bags everywhere! It was great fun and the prices were really good. I think most of us went on our own, just to be able to get as much shopping as possible done before we had to leave. The bus kept some seats spared when we left campus, but these were filled with shopping bags when it was time to return to Harvard!
I also attended the whale watching, which I talked about earlier. This was so much fun as well. I had never seen whales before, and so that was interesting. However it was a bit cold, so if you go on the trip I would advise you to bring a jacket. Remember to bring a camera because the pictures I got were absolutely beautiful!
What are your future plans?
Clara is, like mentioned before, going to attend the Exam Revision Course in Oxford in March. Both of us are applying for universities at the moment. I (Laura) is applying to the UK while Clara is applying to the UK, the US and Denmark. If you want to read more about our thoughts about university and the process of applying, you could visit or IB blog which is called dearibstudents.tumblr.com.
There we write about IB in general, studying techniques, tips, inspirational quotes, interesting facts about studying and learning in general. We also answer a lot of questions from people from all over the world! We now have almost 800 followers, and we are so happy to be able to help students who have questions or perhaps just need someone to talk to. So check it out if you want to contact us or just need motivation, information about the IB or need to feel like you are not alone.