Second Semester Goals

With the second semester steadily underway, our Upper Secondary School students are diving back into their rigorous International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and International Baccalaureate Diploma programmes. We spoke with Year 12 student Natalie Rader about her experience with the programme so far and how she aims to survive and thrive in this spring.

Please introduce yourself (name, year level, nationality, how long with YCIS BJ, hobbies, etc.)

My name is Natalie Radar and I’m a Year 12 student at the Yew Chung International School of Beijing. I’ve been at the school, and Beijing, for a little more than a year.

After experiencing the IBDP for one semester, what are your impressions?

It’s definitely a challenge; there’s so much to learn in every subject. I’m currently taking biology, chemistry, Honors Level Math, English, Chinese, and Global Politics. Out of all the subjects, I think I like biology the most. I’m really interested in biology because I want to be a doctor when I grow up.

What about the programme have you found most difficult?

Chemistry has been very hard; this year’s curriculum has been much more difficult than years past as there’s a much greater degree of complexity. Math is also very hard because I decided to enroll in the honors level this year. It’s been challenging to adjust, but I like the subject and with enough hard work I think I’ll be able to make it through!

More generally speaking, time management has been challenging. IB subject matter is much more difficult than in IGCSE!

What are your goals for the second half of the school year?

My main goal is definitely to manage my time better. In addition to studying, I’m also engaged in a lot of extracurricular activities, like playing the flute in the orchestra and jazz band (we’re playing the music for the musical!) and being a main member of student council. I’m also involved with the Help a Child Smile charity and take Spanish and Chinese classes outside of school, so my schedule’s very busy!

Why are these goals important to you?

They’re important because I want to do well in IB; I need good scores to get into a good university! I also want to improve further in my extracurricular activities. I’m already pretty good at the flute, but I could be even better!

How will you achieve these goals?

I’ve started making study schedules religiously. I also try to make my schedule as regular as possible, e.g. I practice my flute as early as possible both as a routine and to make sure I don’t keep my parents up late!

How do you think YCIS Beijing will help you achieve these goals

All my teachers are so passionate about their subjects. It makes the topics extra engaging and makes me want to actively learn more. They’re also really generous with their time; if you have any questions, they’re always available to answer them at any time.

One great example is Mr. Lowe, my chemistry teacher. Whether it’s during break times, lunchtime, or after school, he’s always there to answer questions. Mr. Locke, my English and Theory of Knowledge teacher, brings a lot of passion to the subjects he teaches, which inspires me to be more interested in the subjects too. My teachers here have helped my studies tremendously!

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