An Interview with Paola

 Our sunny Paola Villagran comes from Ecuador, the land of eternal spring. She is also the younger sister of Hector Villagran, who graduated from BIBS just last year and now studies at the Chinese Department of Beijing Language and Culture University in Beijing. As a grade 12 student, Paola has received offers from University of Southampton, University of East Anglia and The University of Edinburgh. Out of her busy schedule, Paola shared with us her perspective and experience of the university application process at BIBS.

Q:What brought you to China and BIBS?

Paola: My father used to work in the Embassy of Ecuador in China.  I came to China with my family in 2010 for the first time.  I studied at BIBS UES Campus then as a sixth grader.  That was also where I started my English language learning.  I had a wonderful year there but then I moved back to Ecuador when my father finished his diplomatic mission at the Embassy.  My father is a friend of China and always had a fond memory of the Chinese people, history and culture. So he looked for the opportunity to return to China. In 2016, my father received an offer and position to teach at Beijing Language and Culture University.  That brought us back to China again.   It was great to be back to Beijing and BIBS.

Q:How did you find your future career aspiration and passion?

Paola:I watched a documentary several years ago and it was about how humans slaughtered dolphins.  It was a shocking experience and I started to wonder what dreadful psychology is behind such acts of terror and killing.  As a curious IB learner, I followed my question up by doing additional independent research and really started to gain a better understanding and deeper interest in psychology.

Q:Any tips for younger BIBSers in terms of university application?

Paola:I would say that the university application preparation should at least start from your 10th grade.  It is true that our IB learning experience is favored by many higher institutions.  And this happens for a reason.  The IB education is a very demanding and challenging one that prepares us well for university studies ahead.  You need to know yourself well to figure out what you really want to do and to achieve in the future.  Remember, it’s a marathon. Make sure you press on with your efforts and studies in the 11th grade which is a critical foundation year in the DP program.  This way, you can launch the university application at the 12th grade with the strength and results to support you fully.

Q:Any particular words you want to say to BIBS?

Paola:I would like to thank all the teachers who have taught and helped me at BIBS over the years.  They have been extremely kind, professional and caring.  My special thanks go to Dr. Gerald Anthony, our MSHS Guidance Counselor, who has been a tremendous help to me.  His guidance and experience is very valuable for young people like me when we walk the maze of the university application.  I am most grateful to have the best support ever.