By Pablo Santibañez

Student of Prepa IB of the Universidad de Celaya   

4th semester - June 2022   

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) provides many benefits to young people who make the decision to accept the challenge and live the experience of being high-achieving students; these benefits are evident in their daily lives, as well as in their academic path to university (and even after graduation) thanks to the program's global approach and the mechanisms it has to promote the development of disciplinary andsoft skills in students.

There are many schools in the world that offer the IB Diploma Program and one of them is the Preparatoria de la Universidad de Celaya. ( that has been offering this program since 2015, with six generations of graduates. I am part of the seventh generation and we will graduate in May 2023, to continue writing more success stories.

The IB Diploma Program at Prepa de la Uni is considered a challenge by IB students themselves, as it takes you out of your comfort zone and approaches your learning and skill development in a different way. We believe that those who like challenges and have a clear vision of their life project are the ones who profile themselves to be IB students, enrolling in the Diploma Program. Unfortunately, it seems to me that there are few who are really informed and based on my experience, it seems to me that many of those who do not enter the Diploma Program do so because they are unaware of the benefits of this program, its structure, its evaluation methodology, its scope and how the IB environment is lived day to day in our high school classrooms. 

That is why in this article I want to share with you some of the most memorable IB experiences shared with me by several graduates of the first, second, third, fourth and fifth IB generation of Prepa Uni, whom I interviewed to answer questions whose answers, I am sure, you will be interested to read in order to enter the challenging but fascinating world of the IB Diploma Program.   

The graduates of Prepa IB at the University of Celaya whom I interviewed are: Ana

Flores (1st generation), Regina Oviedo (1st generation), Fernanda Cervantes (2nd generation), Mariana Santibáñez (3rd generation), Sofía Andrade (4th generation) and José Santibáñez (5th generation). All of them are from different generations, but they share common experiences from the IB Diploma Program that they still keep in their hearts and that accompany them during their studies at the university or even in their working life. They were very charismatic and friendly during the interview and I thank them for their great willingness to share what it was like for them to be IB Diploma Programme students at Prepa Uni.

Below, I share with you several key questions with an answer in which I synthesized the feelings and comments in common that I identified among the interviewees, with the intention of letting you know, from the voices of IB alumni, the reasons why they consider it was worthwhile to have studied the IB Diploma Program at Prepa Uni:

1. What is the usefulness of the IB in your university life?

Respondents commented that it helped prepare them to work under pressure and helped them to be more organized in terms of time. They also commented that it helps them to be better prepared for the challenges that university brings and to take them more calmly, compared to students who did not take the IB Diploma Program. They commented that they feel capable of researching and learning on their own and that they also feel they have very good skills, especially in terms of thinking, as they are critical, analytical and reflective.

2. What is it like to be an IB graduate?

What they shared with me is that it is very special to be part of a global community, where everyone went through very similar experiences. They also commented that they feel a great satisfaction for having achieved something they set out to do, because now they know that with determination and perseverance, they can achieve all the goals they desire.

3. Would you recommend that other young people enter the IB Diploma Program?

All the interviewees recommend it. In general, they mentioned that it is advisable for high school students to take the program because it brings many benefits and it is a very good experience, although it is also necessary to take into account the way each person faces the challenges and handles the pressure.

4. How was your IB Diploma experience?

Based on the responses of the six IB graduates interviewed, the experience was mostly good, although there were things that sometimes did not go so well; however, they were supportive of each other and thus had a more satisfactory experience. For the most part, the groups were very united and there was a very pleasant atmosphere. On the other hand, the teachers were always attentive and willing to support them.

5. What difficulties did you encounter during the IB Diploma course?

The general response was that the biggest challenge was learning to organize their time and activities to meet deadlines, especially internal evaluations. On the other hand, there were some who found some subjects more difficult than others. Apart from that and the final exams, they considered that there were no major difficulties.

6. What advice would you give to someone who is taking the IB Diploma at Prepa Uni?

The interviewees agreed that the main advice is to support each other... they are each other's best support, as they are going through the same thing. Another common piece of advice was time management and deadlines, never leave anything to the end; finally, that the most important thing is mental health so be balanced and give yourself time to exercise, socialize and have fun.

7. Do you regret taking the IB Diploma?

No (all agreed); none of the interviewees regret having taken the IB Diploma Program and if given the option again, all would enter, without exception.

8. Did the IB Diploma help you improve your life skills outside of school?

Yes, they commented that the IB Diploma made them more sociable, helped them to be more organized and more present in the world: to be global citizens.

9. Was the IB Diploma Program worthwhile?

It was worth it, although it had its challenges, the benefits are superior and are long term.

Analyzing the responses of my six graduates interviewed, I could see that all agree that the IB Diploma Program brings with it both benefits and challenges, but with the great difference that the difficulties you may face are only temporary and are what ultimately make you a resilient and more prepared person. Although sometimes you may feel pressured, that happens, while the benefits remain in the student's life and will accompany you during your journey through college and in your life project. From the voices of the graduates, some of the most outstanding benefits they recognize from the IB Diploma program at Prepa Uni are that:

  1. It opens your mind.
  2. It makes you more organized.
  3. Change your way of thinking.
  4. It prepares you for the pressure of college.
  5. It makes you understand the topics, not just learn them (memorize them).
  6. It can help you decide on your college career.

In general, the graduates perceived themselves at a higher level of performance compared to their university peers, as they felt more prepared for the reasons listed above. There were those who also mentioned some social benefits, especially from the theater class, as it helps you to be more open, express your ideas, express yourself better, etc.

And well, just as the IB Diploma Program has many advantages that will propel you to become a high-achieving student who stands out for being: inquiring, caring, thoughtful, informed and educated, a good communicator, balanced, reflective, bold and open-minded, it also has its counterweights, since being an IB student requires constant work, discipline, concentration, commitment and optimal time management.

So, if you are determined to accept the challenge and live the IB Diploma experience, you must be prepared to be a determined person, with the conviction that it will work, and to be aware of the decision, because it is a decision that will change the course of your future by enhancing not only your knowledge, but also your way of seeing and living life. It is an investment of time that can turn your life or your way of thinking and seeing the world, making you a much more prepared person with a more global vision.

Of the six interviewees with whom I spoke, there are two who have already graduated with a degree in Communication and Audiovisual Media also from the University of Celaya; they shared with me the advantages that they can perceive from the IB Diploma in their work, mentioning that in the curriculum it is well regarded to be a graduate of the IB, since it is a globally recognized program that opens many doors. The attributes they developed while in IB, allowed them to get scholarships during their undergraduate studies and stand out among their peers, besides being currently committed professionals with an excellent preparation. Being IB is worth it! Be IB!

I invite you to be the one to discover the world of possibilities that the IB Diploma Program offers from your own experience. If you are interested in receiving more information about the IB Diploma Program at the University of Celaya or in answering any questions or concerns that you or your parents may have about this program, please feel free to contact the IB Diploma Program Coordinator at the University of Celaya: Alejandra Núñez via email at: or by phone +52 (461) 613 90 99 Ext. 1411. 

Bibliographic references

IBO (n.d.) Advantages of IB. International Baccaulareate. Retrieved from: