Audentes International School through the eyes of students
For 11 years, Audentes has offered students the opportunity to receive a high school education based on the international IB programme. For the last three years, the IB unit has been operating as a separate school called Audentes International School.
Four students of the school share their experiences and thoughts: Keete-Lumina Tali and Evelin Naptal, first year students of the IB diploma programme and Anna Vunsh and Eva Smoli, students in their pre-IB year.
Each of them come from different educational backgrounds
Keete-Lumina graduated primary school in Nõmme Gymnasium, after which she spent a year as an exchange student in Texas. Eva has been studying in Estonia all her life. She was previously studying in Sakala Private Gymnasium, which is a Russian school. Evelin, however, could be considered a true Audentes veteran. She attended the Audentes preschool for two years, after which she did her 9 years of primary school here too. Today, she is a second year student in the international school. The first year of the IB programme is equal to 11th grade in a regular Estonian high school.
Before coming to Estonia, Anna lived and studied in China. This school was also international and used the same curriculum as the one in Audentes.
There are many reasons to prefer the IB programme
When speaking of the reasons why these students chose Audentes International School, Anna first points out how the IB diploma – if there are good grades on it, of course – will allow you to get into almost any university in the world. Anna also mentions that she can improve her English skills here. She says Audentes helps to broaden her cultural horizons because she’s able to meet people from all over the world.
Keete-Lumina and Eva were also searching for a school where they could best prepare themselves for studying abroad in university. For Eva, another factor in her choice to study at Audentes was that her best friend had recommended it. Evelin decided to come to the international school mainly because Audentes was already familiar to her and she had heard good things about the IB programme. She also liked having the opportunity to choose her own subjects.
Anna adds that going to Audentes was the best choice she could have made: “The teachers and other school staff are so nice and socialise openly with the students.”
A relaxed atmosphere helps students progress
Eva says that it is possible to study without feeling stressed in Audentes: “I can ask for help at any time and I will always get it. The teachers are kind and explain the material clearly. I am not afraid to make mistakes and be myself.” Evelin also points out the relaxed atmosphere: “Even if I can’t take part in all extracurricular events, I don’t feel left out. Outside the class, I can speak to teachers as if they’re my friends. Everybody is very understanding.”
“The teachers at Audentes International School really care about their students and try their best to turn studying into an enjoyable activity,” says Keete-Lumina. “Even though the school programme is extensive and studying takes a lot of time, the overall atmosphere helps to make the time spent in school fun and interesting. School is not too stressful because the school staff is supportive and competent. To help relieve stress, there is also a separate break room where we can take time off and do our homework in our spare time. Our school is extremely tolerant and respects everyone.” Anna mentions that students from different countries help to make the school’s atmosphere more interesting and fun: “I have always liked the opportunity to learn about different cultures.”
The programme supports future education and career choices
In our school, students can create their own study curriculum, which means that everyone has the opportunity to start moving towards their dreams already in high school. For example, Keete-Lumina wants to study medicine, which is why she has chosen biology and chemistry as her higher level courses. “In the future, I see myself as a trauma surgeon. Because I’m also learning business management, I have thought about creating my own business, too.”
Evelin has chosen courses that she’s actually interested in and support her dream of studying physiotherapy in university. She plans to study hard in her current school, but not stress about it too much. “In the Theory of Knowledge classes I have learned that we work our whole life to create the best version of ourselves and it is impossible to be perfect,” she says. “As a perfectionist, I am trying to teach myself to be a bit more relaxed.”
Eva is choosing her classes based on her goal of becoming a lawyer. “I will also take biology because I enjoy it,” she adds. “Because I don’t have to take every subject, I have more brain space for focusing on the courses that are important to me. It is also good that in Audentes, students do a lot of independent work.” She also hopes to graduate from Audentes with excellent grades and start studying in a good university.
Studying takes place in English
Studying in English doesn’t seem to be a difficulty for any of the four students. Keete-Lumina had already studied in English before coming to Audentes. She says that one of the goals of the pre-IB year is to get used to studying in English. “Studying in English is not as difficult as it may first seem,” she says. “Not all our teachers speak English as their native language and even they can forget words from time to time. It is completely okay to feel nervous at first, but the more you speak English, the easier it gets.”
For Anna, studying in English is not difficult as it is her second language at home. The different terminology can be confusing at times, but it is always possible to look up any words you don’t know. “Studying in English is unbelievably useful because knowing the language gives you so many opportunities for the future,” Anna emphasises.
Eva learned English in her previous school. This skill has further improved thanks to social media and travelling. She also believes speaking English is the most useful language skill for the future.
Volunteer work and creating a student company
One part of studying in Audentes International School is passing the Creativity, Activity, Service course which provides students with many exciting experiences. Thanks to this course, Evelin has been going to yoga, an activity she could never find the time for before. “I have been developing my creativity and done some volunteer work. Studying business management and taking part in developing a student company will help you learn a lot about topics related to entrepreneurship,” Evelin lists the skills and experiences that a student can’t get in a regular high school. In addition to her studies, Evelin is also an elite athlete in gymnastics. She won a bronze medal at the 2020 European Gymnastics Championships. The discipline that’s needed in elite sports also comes in handy in the IB programme.
Keete-Lumina is a voluntary support person to an exchange student in Estonia. In December 2021, she also helped to organise the project Christmas Miracle that supported children with cancer who had to spend their Christmas in the Tallinn Children’s Hospital. “We bought Christmas gifts for nearly 50 children,” she explains. “This project really touched us and was very successful. Children and families in situations like this have to know that people care about them and they are not alone.”
Eva believes a very valuable aspect of her school is the opportunity to meet people from different countries: “It has helped me to see how big the world actually is and how different we are from each other. Creating a student company has taught me how to be responsible, better organise my activities and accept my mistakes.”
The international school is special
All four students share many vivid examples that prove why their school is so exceptional. Keete-Lumina points out that its education is recognised all over the world. She mentions that teachers truly care for their students, the school staff is international and professional and the programme is flexible and individual: each student can choose their own subjects and focus on the subjects that support their future career. Eva also appreciates that they have a more exciting curriculum and the opportunity to choose their classes: “I don’t have to spend time on things that do not interest me. We solve different kinds of fun tasks at school.”
Evelin is impressed by the close interaction and support between classes. “Older students can give younger students tips on overcoming challenges. The atmosphere is different than in a regular high school. I have found new friends and heard so many supportive and motivating words here.”
Anna believes the school’s main advantage is that the teachers teach their courses with passion and dedication, infecting their students with a passion for knowledge.
The school you would recommend to your best friend
Evelin recommends joining the IB programme because it helps young people develop good habits, endurance and openness. Keete-Lumina adds: “Audentes International School is perfect for a student who wants to study in English with people from different countries. I recommend our school to anyone who is willing to work hard for their future and wants to receive an internationally recognised education. The programme is intense, but prepares us for university studies very well.”
In addition to other things, Eva also likes the school for its homeliness: “The study environment is amazing, there is plenty of room for both studying and resting.” Anna would 100% recommend Audentes: “Audentes International School provides endless opportunities and knowledge for the future. We can meet people from different countries here and receive a world-class education.”
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