Nord Anglia Education
St Andrews Bangkok
19 June, 2024

Natalie, Eleonore, and Ananya | IB Diploma and university applications at St Andrews Bangkok

Natalie, Eleonore, and Ananya | IB Diploma and university applications at St Andrews Bangkok - Natalie Eleonore and Ananya IB Diploma and university applications at St Andrews Bangkok

As Term 3 comes to an end, three senior students, Eleonore, Natalie, and Ananya, reflect on their experiences in the IB Diploma Programme at St Andrews International School Bangkok. Perhaps one of the most meaningful projects Ananya and Natalie took on during their senior studies was starting a foundation with a few other friends called Today4tomorrow – an initiative to provide opportunities to underprivileged girls in Thailand.


Natalie succeeded in receiving an offer to study Psychology at the University of Bath. Ananya received an offer to study Politics and International Relations at University College London. Eleonore is off to Glion Institute of Higher Education to pursue a degree in Business. All three successfully completed the IB Diploma Programme at St Andrews Bangkok, each with their own unique experience and yet with so much shared.

We had a chat discussing the IB Diploma Programme as a whole, life at St Andrews High School, and the projects you take on as seniors. The following is an excerpt of our talk.

Natalie: At first, it was Ananya and her friend who started Today4tomorrow. It’s an organisation that focuses on women empowerment. We collaborate with NGOs and different schools; helping them with financial support and rasing awareness on their situations.

Ananya: We collaborate with Dhamajarinee Wittaya School. It’s a school for underprivileged girls; so, they give free education and a home for girls who come from a poor background, from families who don’t have enough money. So far, we’ve raised ฿35,000 for the school.

We also collaborated with Water Aid India. We helped to build a well in an Indian village and collaborated with schools in India. We’ve done an Art Exhibition at Bangkok Prep, where we presented the artworks of the young girls at Dhamajarinee Wittaya; this event was a fundraiser as well. We collaborate with Dao Ethical Gifts.

Natalie: Yes, that’s a non-profit organisation that supports women in rural areas, providing them with work experience so that they can pursue financial stability and sustain themselves.

In addition to academia, the IB Diploma emphasizes the importance of engaging in activities and contributing to the community through service projects. The programme does this through its CAS hours component: Creativity, Activity, and Service. The CAS hours allow students to develop soft skills such as communication, collaboration, and leadership, while also fostering a sense of responsibility and empathy towards others.

Eleonore: Natalie and I did STA Swim Academy together as our Sport ECA for four years.

Natalie: Yes. I’d been in the Swim Academy since Year 5!

Eleonore: We had to stop at the end of Year 12 to focus on our final year of the IB.

Natalie: We didn’t want to leave it, but with so many other things going on, we couldn’t manage all our IAs (Internal Assessments), other activities, and full-time competitive swimming all at the same time.

Eleonore: But we love swimming and still wanted to be involved with it. So, even though we stopped training and competing in Year 13, whenever the team needed help with any event, we made sure we’re available for them, because I think they really contributed to our academic journey. I think our school life would have been really different if we didn’t do swimming. So, as part of our CAS hours in our senior studies, we marshalled at STA swimming competitions every chance we had.

Natalie: For me, at the beginning of Year 13, they still asked me to swim at competitions, which would have been really good. Just talking about it makes me want to go to swim practice now! We used to train twice a day, in the morning before school and after school. During our final year, we couldn’t manage with the same schedule, but we miss it so much. So, helping out at swimming events was an obvious choice for our CAS.

One important component of the IB Diploma is the Extended Essay, where students conduct independent research on a topic of their choice and produce a 4,000-word essay. This assignment allows students to demonstrate critical thinking, research, and writing skills, all while delving into a subject they are passionate about. Not only does the essay prepare students for university-level research; not only does it cultivate skills essential for success in their academic and professional lives;  the entire research and writing process, creates a special bond and perspective between all who take on the programme.

Ananya: Do you know the show, BoJack Horseman? Yes, so, I wrote my EE on analysing depression in that show. I thought English would be the easiest EE to do, but it was actually quite challenging! It was a rollercoaster in a great way, because I didn’t realise how many words 4,000 words actually are. It took a lot of rewriting and reflection, but after the process, I was very proud of myself! 

I reflected on how I could have done better and what I would have changed if I did the EE again, and I think that’s really helpful for university. I’ll have to write long research papers and, now, I realise the importance of planning and organising your research. 

Natalie: The EE for me was also a rollercoaster. It was very tough, but the best thing was doing our research together. We would all give each other feedback and comments on how to improve our papers. That gives is so much insight and different perspectives, so we can each improve our own research papers. I think having a good support system—our friends and our teachers—it really helped us to improve.

Ananya: That’s what I really like about the IB, because even though you might struggle-

Natalie: -But you share that together, yeah.

Ananya: Yeah, so, then it creates this bond between all of us.

Eleonore: I think so, too. The IB really gives you a great support system. For me—I did my EE in Global Politics—and my EE advisor, he would send me relevant articles to expand my thoughts and research. And knowing that it wasn’t only me, going through the rewriting process, definitely helped me stay persistent at trying to improve my paper. I think overall it’s a great experience because, like Ananya said, it really prepares you for uni work. 

Three students; three different paths to their own success; three more examples to the resilient global citizens graduating from St Andrews Bangkok. The IB Diploma Programme offers an opportunity like no other, emphasising on academic excellence as much as holistic development. For students like Natalie, Ananya, and Eleonore, they graduate and leave us grown – academically, socially, and emotionally ready for the challenges they will face in the future.

Natalie: The IB will have many challenging moments, but once you’ve gone through it, you’ll feel like you can do anything.