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Audentes: A solid foundation for life


Experiences and knowledge learned at a young age will affect our choices our whole life, knowingly or subconsciously. Needless to say, it is incredibly important, where and what we choose to learn from. The Audentes International Baccalaureate (IB) programme combines internationally recognised education with cultural experiences and provides an opportunity to build an outstanding life path and a social network for yourself.

I met Zoya Slavina and Maxim Zarodnjuk – two incredibly bright young people who study in the 12th grade here Tallinn. Originally from Belarus and Ukraine, they both speak fluent English and Russian besides their native languages and have a strong foundation of Estonian to add to their load. Zoya knowingly says that bilingual minds are known to be more creative and critical thinking.

Zoya was introduced to IB by her mother. Ending up at Audentes was a lucky coincidence. “I was very shy when I first applied. The whole first year I was here people wondered if I could even speak,” she now says while speaking freely to a journalist.

Maxim learned about IB from a friend a few years older than him who studied at the school. “I came to visit and I saw the school. I loved it immediately and I applied.” He also adds that the IB has been very challenging, but equally rewarding: “Overcoming these everyday challenges really lifts your self-esteem, because you realise that you can indeed do it”.

Focus on understanding
Maxim says studying here is a lot different from the programme he had back home. “The IB is much more focussed. I don’t have to study 20 different subjects anymore. Here, I chose at the beginning what I wanted to study. I knew already in the 9th grade that I liked chemistry and natural sciences. Here I have focussed on them.”

However, knowing what you want at such an early age is not mandatory to study the IB. Zoya says she wasn’t as sure as Maxim what she wanted to study, so she kept her options open. “I chose visual arts, biology, English, maths, Russian and business management as my subjects. That way I can specialise on anything that I feel like in the future. If I want to study agriculture, I have a solid basis of natural sciences. If I decide to focus more on business or graphic design, I have an advantage regarding these too.”

Open-minded environment
Zoya says the point in the IB is that it chooses depth over quantity. “The grades don’t matter as much as progress. You don’t only know something – what is important is that you actually understand and are able to use the knowledge. You do not study just for the grades. Exam questions are also formed in a way in order to show the student’s approach to the problem, not simply that they know the answer.” She adds that excellency can be shown in different ways – truly words to live by.

Yes, progress is highly valued at Audentes. In cases of good results, students may apply for a scholarship, which is given out as an educational payment. Each year, one full scholarship and a few half scholarships are granted. Indicating the importance of progress is an important part of the evaluation, which is why students cannot already apply to the school with a scholarship.

Imagination is the only limit
Up to now, both Zoya and Maxim have already had internship experience in their field of interest. Maxim participated in chemistry research at a research centre. Zoya was involved in a mobile app developing process at a start-up. She says that for anyone interested in business management, Tallinn is the perfect place to study as it is known as the capital of innovation. Both have also made plans to continue studying abroad and will be applying to universities in Europe and the United States. I am confident that they will be heard of in their field of expertise, whatever they may choose.

The IB is an international learning programme, in which nearly 880 000 students from around the globe participate. At the beginning of their studies, the students select six subjects, of which they study three at advanced level and three at standard level. In addition, each student will go through two mandatory courses – Creativity, Action, Service and Theory of Knowledge – and will write an Extended Essay by the end of their studies.

Learn more about the programme and the school:
Audentes School
Tondi 84/1, 11316 Tallinn
Phone: +372 699 6751
[email protected]