Words by Ariel Chen, young IB student and IBWSC attendee

Within the week I spent at the IB World Student Conference, I witnessed UBC’s countless and equally admirable sustainability efforts, cultures of thirty-five countries and people who share the same passion and thirst to save our future. I have never met such a diverse, yet united community, which may be separated by gender, race and age, but share and possess an equal drive and contribution to make the world a better place. There was never a moment wasted, as together, we practiced critical thinking and discussed sustainability issues, yet at the same time we are able to seize the chance of nurturing IB values within ourselves.

What more can I say? UBC’s hospitality and services are worthy of respect as they DO talk the talk and walk the walk – sustainability measures are implemented by staff and students alike. Their efficiency and desire for sustainability clearly lived up to their name and never ceased to amaze me. I always thought that being sustainable requires an amount of reduced comfort – I was wrong.

The lectures and talks are empowering. The concept of sustainability is integrated with economics and is brought to light by amazing speakers. I feel blessed to be there for every second as I intently listened about sustainability efforts by people from other sides of the globe, and I strive to bring this new knowledge back to my society and country.

I would like to thank Oxford Study Courses for this beautiful opportunity and a chance to widen my horizons. I had never dreamt of travelling out of the country at this age due to financial constraints, especially to Canada, a country half a globe away from my own. With all sincerity, I am eternally grateful for this opportunity, and this amazing experience shall remain close to my heart.

To read more of Ariel’s time at the IB WSC, please visit her blog.

Oxford Study Courses supported the IB World Student Conference 2013 by offering scholarships to two IB students.

Image source: Ariel Chen