IB Past Students

IB Past Students

Diocesan’s IB Diploma graduates continue their studies both in New Zealand and overseas.
Take a look at where these recent graduates are studying.

Tracy Chen

  • Columbia University

Since graduating in 2016, I moved to New York to attend Columbia University, where I major in Psychology and East Asian Languages and Cultures. I have loved living in the heart of Manhattan, and I have taken full advantage of the opportunities the city and my university offer. Throughout the past four years, I have interned in Hong Kong, studied abroad in Paris, and enrolled in language programs in South Korea. I have made friends from all over the world, and taken classes with world-renowned professors in disciplines not limited to my major, including art history, philosophy, and history.

The IB Diploma programme has truly set me up with the foundation I needed to succeed in my college years. The rigorous language classes prepared me to take classes in French while abroad in Paris. Theory of Knowledge equipped me with critical thinking skills, which was crucial when participating in seminar-style university classes where you have to debate and defend your viewpoint. Overall, the time management skills, essay writing, and organization skills I gained from the Diploma programme have been invaluable, and I'm incredibly grateful to have gone through the two years with my IB cohort at Dio. 

Fanni Meron

  • Semmelweis University, Budapest

"The IB Diploma Programme hugely prepared me for the entrance exams."

Fanni is a Doctor of Medicine Student at Semmelweis University, Budapest.

After graduating from Diocesan, I moved to Budapest (Hungary) to complete a pre-medical programme, and went on to sit the entrance exams for Semmelweis University in June. I am delighted to have been offered a place and will begin my studies towards a Doctor of Medicine degree in September. 

Although my entry was based mostly on the entrance exams, the IB Diploma Programme hugely prepared me for these as well as to study abroad. The level of the HL classes gave me a very strong foundation, and even my SL classes prepared me hugely for the new workload because of the broad syllabus we covered. The range of question types and examination strategies that I had learnt as part of the IB Diploma were, and continue to be, a great help. I have now met people who have taken the IB Diploma from all around the world, and it is an amazing community to be a part of.

Shellie Hu

  • Wellesley College

"My IB Diploma experience at Dio was the highlight of my high school life".

Shellie Hu, currently studying art, media design and computer science at Wellesley College.

I took Chinese A (HL), English B (HL), Economics (HL), Physics (SL), Mathematics (SL) and Visual Arts (SL). The subjects were challenging but I found learning them rewarding and joyful. The sense of enjoyment was mainly made up by the satisfaction after overcoming difficult problems and the pleasure of learning new knowledge. 
I applied to 20 universities in total, of which 16 were American universities. I feel extremely glad that I got offers from some of my dream schools, including Wellesley College and University of Michigan Ann Arbor, and received generous scholarships from many other schools like University of Sydney, University of Toronto, Boston University and so on. My top choices were Wellesley College and University of Michigan Ann Arbor, and I had a dilemma when choosing which to attend. Both universities are academically strong, offering students outstanding research and internship opportunities. The only differences are the school type and class size. Wellesley is a private liberal arts female college, having a higher faculty-student ratio, whereas UMichigan is a public university so the class sizes are normally larger.

I chose Wellesley College in the end, because besides its value in promoting female education and leadership, its liberal arts education amazes me. Wellesley encourages students to learn as much knowledge as possible, and they don’t have to narrow their interests down to specific fields in the early undergraduate years. This is why I intend to study Media Arts and Sciences, an interdepartmental major that provides a well-rounded understanding in art, media design and computer science. I used to define myself as an art person and I thought I would end up in an art school. However, after studying the IB Diploma, I fell in love with exploring many more subjects. In my college application portfolio, I used mathematical rules to create generative art; I applied my understanding of ancient Chinese pictograph in designing fonts…I truly enjoy gathering inspirations from different knowledge fields and creating interdisciplinary work. Studying at a liberal arts college will enable me to have a stronger knowledge base and prepare me for my graduate and professional study in the future.

Sacha Sampson

  • University of Auckland Med School

After graduating in 2018, I went on a gap year to Israel as part of a Jewish youth leadership/personal development program called Israel By Choice. I spent the first 7 months learning Hebrew, Jewish studies & Israeli/Middle Eastern politics, travelling and hiking the country and running educational & social activities for the other participants on my program. As well as this, I also learnt to live in a group environment, whether in our student accommodation in Jerusalem or our tiny independent living apartments in Yerucham, a town in the middle of the desert where we volunteered. I also trained on an educational army base for the next 2 months, and finally attended a 3 month long leadership academy where I lived with Israelis and other gap year participants from around the world. Although I wasn’t in a formal learning environment, I could really tell how the personal, interpersonal and leadership skills I developed during the IB Diploma were so helpful to me over this year, such as what I learnt in CAS encouraging me to take initiative and become a leader on the program, volunteer for whatever I could, and take risks, trying lots of new things. The cooking skills I learnt as part of my creativity practice also definitely came in handy during my year away! Additionally, being overseas meant the international languages aspect of the IB Diploma was really useful, as I could use my Spanish to talk to the many South American participants whom I lived with, and to get around when I travelled during our holidays to other places such as Barcelona. 

At the end of 2019 I returned home, back to my community, to be leader in our Jewish youth movement and to start university in 2020. I did first year Biomedicine at Auckland University, where the subjects, learning and inquiry skills I learnt in the IB Diploma were so helpful in allowing me to succeed in my course and enjoy my first year of university, especially through the crazy experience that was online uni and exams. Compared to many of my peers I felt like the content I had studied in IB was much more similar to my uni course content, and our internals and projects such as the EE really prepared me for academic report writing. 

In 2021, I have started university as a 2nd year medical student in Auckland, and am continuing in giving back to my community, volunteering as the National Director or Bnei Akiva New Zealand, for my Jewish youth movement where we run weekly social and educational activities, along with larger community events & holiday camps for our participants around the country.

May Jang

  • Griffith University

"I'm really thankful I did IB!"

May is at Griffith University, Australia studying a Bachelor of Dental Health Science.

“You will be very happy to hear that I got automatic credits for the trimester 1 Chemistry course because I did IB Chemistry HL! Everyone is surprised when I tell them I got credits for a Uni course because I am a school leaver, but then I tell them “Oh, I have an IB Diploma from school.”  It saved both time and money for this trimester, so I’m really thankful that I did IB!

Also, there is a course called 'Cells Tissues and Regulations', which is quite similar to IB Biology but with a bit more depth. It would have been really hard if I had not studied IB Biology because the Professor went over the contents, which we spent weeks on at school, in just one day! I also had to write an essay for one of the courses and the referencing skills I learned from writing my EE and IAs were a life saver! The required format was a bit different, but still the experience from doing IB was really helpful indeed.”

Jessica Li

  • University of Auckland

Kia ora! My name is Jessica Li and I graduated from Dio in 2018. I am now in my penultimate year at the University of Auckland studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics/Finance) and Bachelor of Global Studies (Sustainable Development) conjoint. My degree always challenges me intellectually to explore the intersection between business and sustainability. My key areas of interest include energy economics, sustainable investment, and financial inclusion. This intellectual curiosity began back in Year 12 when I started the IB Diploma. My favourite subjects were IB Geography (HL) and IB Economics (HL) as they provided a wide overview of the global social, economic and environmental challenges humanity faces and how we can work together to co-create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world.

You may ask, is the IB Diploma worth it? 100%. I have to thank IB for preparing me so well for university. I learnt so much about myself such as what study techniques are most effective for me, time-management skills, and the ability to think beyond what is offered in a textbook and really challenge your own thinking. I like to call this “The IB Head Start”, as I discovered in most of my first year papers the content had already been covered in IB. This enabled me to have plenty of free time at university to explore life beyond my courses. I was able to participate in a lot of extracurricular such as university clubs, volunteering, and meeting lots of new friends. Reflecting back, I do not think this would have been possible if I was struggling with time-management, organisation and studying techniques which was a common issue amongst first year students.

Clarissa Wei

  • University of Cambridge

Hi, I’m Clarissa. I completed the IB Diploma with the Class of 2015, and I’ve since gone on to study law at the University of Cambridge.
I see as the merit of the IB Diploma the wealth of transferable skills it teaches. First, the solid time management skill one comes out of the IB with is evident; balancing six subjects with co-curricular pursuits as well as additional coursework is no mean feat. In facing a substantially tougher workload at university, I appreciate that the IB allowed me to practice such a skill early on, so that I’m able to take full advantage of it and focus on the pacing myself through the work in front of me.
Moreover, the breadth of study that the IB involves is incredibly rewarding. Before coming to university, I had worried that I would be less prepared than my peers, given that most of them would have had studied extensively only arts and humanities subjects, while the courses I’d completed under the IB had been of greater breadth. I’m glad to have been proven wrong, though; in my first year of studying law, I often found myself applying the skills I used in various IB subjects. For example, learning law cases was akin to memorising lists of vocabulary in a second language, and the logical deduction practiced in maths was helpful in analysing tough scenarios in criminal law.
What I’ve come to realise is that no matter the subject, the difficulty and scope of the tertiary-level course far exceeds that of the high school equivalent. As such, acquiring the skills to take your learning further in the face of unfamiliar material is far more important than a fruitless attempt to pre-learn the content. 

Athena Qian

  • University of Auckland

After graduating from Dio, I took a gap semester and studied Chinese in Shanghai. Being born in New Zealand to Chinese immigrant parents, I was not always interested in the Chinese culture. IB and CAS, surprisingly, played a huge role in allowing me to explore areas of culture and identity which essentially led me to spending five months of my life in China! IB also taught me to be an internationally minded global citizen, and this helped me discover what I wanted to study in uni. I’m starting my third year at the University of Auckland studying a conjoint in Commerce and Global Studies majoring in Economics, International Relations and Business. I am passionate about global issues and the work of international organisations and non-governmental groups. To say IB prepared me for uni would be an understatement. Not only did some of the content of my first-year courses overlap with the IB syllabus, but IB taught me how to study smart and manage my time. In fact, I found a part time job during my first semester because I felt like I had too much time on my hands. Aside from academics, IB also encouraged me to pursue extracurricular interests. I am currently on the executive team of the sustainability club at UoA where we run weekly events. The best part of IB for me was the people and all the lifelong friendships I made. Looking back, I am so glad that I made the decision to take IB because it prepared me well for life after high school.

Karin Ho

  • University of Hong Kong

I am currently studying Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at the University of Hong Kong. I am still exploring the various specialties for further training as a resident after I complete my internship as a House Officer and have yet to choose.

I have just taken part in the Stanford-HKU MedTech Hackathon 2017 competition. My team EyeCare have actually just been announced as champions with our device for eye hygiene for patients with dry eye disease... we are currently in the process of filing for a patent and will hopefully be taking it forward from there. We also made it into the Hong Kong Economic Times and Mingpao newspapers. My team mate and I have been working with Dr. Robert Chang  - he is Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Stanford who was one of the leaders for the hackathon.

The IB Diploma at Diocesan provided a dynamic and holistic foundation for the opportunities and challenges that lie beyond secondary school. I am immensely grateful for the depth and breadth that the course provided, which, coupled with the expertise and guidance of Dio teachers, allowed us as students to grow and flourish from the programme.