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I'm in Pre-IB grade 10 (MYP5) class in an international school in Stockholm and it's actually my first year in an English speaking school (I've always been in a French school). I plan to become a psychiatrist and therefore need to study medicine then specialize in psychiatry (Ph.D. level studies). My dream is to study at an Ivy league school, mainly Harvard. I don't know what subjects to take next year, but do you think this looks good:

HL: Biology, Psychology, English B

SL: Maths, French self-taught, Global Politics

(As you can see I haven't chosen other sciences than biology (psychology is in an individuals and societies subject at my school) and that's because I am not good at sciences and don't like chemistry or physics, I hope that's fine. I also took French because I don't want to forget it as it is my second mother tongue. Do you guys think I should switch French with something else (and work on French alone at home)?

I don't know if this will count in my application process for Harvard but I did the "brevet" (national test of France at the end of 9th grade) and got a 654.4/700 which means 93% correct.

Otherwise my current extracurriculars:

- I do road cycling with a cycling club, now in the winter, we do spinning (indoor cycling) twice a week (an hour each time) and I train on my own on the other days for at least 90 minutes (it varies between cycling, strength training at gym or just bodyweight workout). I also go for a run with my friend during the lunch break on Tuesdays and Fridays for 30minutes (3-4km) at an easy pace and we then do a 15 minutes bodyweight workout. In overall, I consider myself an active person (maybe even VERY active: I make sure I walk every day at least 10000 steps).

- I participated in September 2017 in a cycling race. I cycled 60km, there wasn't any ranking (it isn't really a race, you just cycle) and my speed was normal, I guess. I have only been road cycling for some months but I dream of becoming as good as a pro cyclist and I'm training hard to reach that goal.

- I am a member of "Djurens Rätt", Sweden's biggest animal rights non-profit organization; I have been participating in some protests.

- I have a blog (started it for my personal project) and I basically journal interesting stuff happening in my Active life. I mainly want to show people how they could have a healthy lifestyle. I am not promoting my blog or anything but if you want to give feedback, here it is: MY BLOG

- I tutor two young Swedish girls, I teach them English twice a week, 1.5hrs each time and get money for it.

- I am really struggling with finding other things to do because I know this is a VERY important part of the application process. I do want to do some academic competitions but there isn't really such in Sweden, and if there is, it probably is in Swedish which I can't really understand.

 

Otherwise, I obviously plan to take the SATs but maybe next year. Please advise me on what I can do as extracurricular activities or anything? Also how to improve chances of getting into Harvard?

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Hello Magui, I had similar questions before I started IB (difference being that I wanted to do business) I'm currently in IB1. 

*These are all my personal opinion, take it with a grain of salt :) * 

- Looking at your subject choices, they seem pretty good (English B does seem a bit of a stretch for me at least, preferable English A) 

- Really your own choice on the "french or other subject" dilemma (If you decide to take another subject and self teach french, i will suggest chemistry as it is becoming more and more important in the medical field recently) 

 

- I don't believe the "brevet" will have much of an impact on your application chances for Harvard, 99% of their decision will be based on your IB and extra curricular activities

- Your extracurriculars look fantastic, really does fulfill the 3 strands of CAS (I will personally find it hard to manage your extracurriculars along with IB but I am a procrastinator)  *side note* I love road cycling too but the roads in Hong Kong prevents me from riding too much 

- I will suggest you join a sports team because it stretches across the entire year (cycling team? xd) 

- If you want more extracurriculars/CAS, you can consider starting a club at your school, cycling club perhaps?

-  Choose between doing ACT and SAT's (my friends said that ACT's are easier), also look at different combinations as they most likely will give you a higher chance of making it into Harvard  (e.g. ACT + 2 AP subs), look at different threads on IB survival about the possible combinations you can choose. 

- Make sure the school you want to go to is perfect for you, consider different factors such as area, accommodation, food, costs, amongst others. 

 

Not much for me to say, first year in IB so i don't have much experience. Everything I said here comes from my limited experience and advice from tutors, teachers and uni counselors. Take it easy before you start IB and get everything planned before you start your 2 year IB journey.

 

 

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On 10/12/2017 at 8:55 PM, Magui said:

 I plan to become a psychiatrist and therefore need to study medicine then specialize in psychiatry (Ph.D. level studies). My dream is to study at an Ivy league school, mainly Harvard. I don't know what subjects to take next year, but do you think this looks good:

HL: Biology, Psychology, English B

SL: Maths, French self-taught, Global Politics

 

- I am really struggling with finding other things to do because I know this is a VERY important part of the application process. I do want to do some academic competitions but there isn't really such in Sweden, and if there is, it probably is in Swedish which I can't really understand.

 

Please advise me on what I can do as extracurricular activities or anything? Also how to improve chances of getting into Harvard?

I'm not going to chance you for Harvard. However, if you're planning on studying medicine (which is a prerequisite to become a psychiatrist); taking Chemistry will give you more options on more medical schools in places such as the UK, Europe Australia etc. There's no way around the scientific nature of academic Medicine, you'll have to overcome your dislike of Chemistry because it does feature in the course. 

 

As for extracurriculars, aim for posts where you can demonstrate a "caring role" such as a care home/ residential home, hospices and/or in a clinical setting volunteering in hospitals or shadowing health professionals. Not only do these add to your application but they can help show you whether medicine is for you.

 

Also you could participate in competitions such as the International Brain Bee, for example, as well as maybe research and attend medical conferences and talks.

Edited by ChocolateDrop

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Not really sure about Harvard and US universities, but I've just sent in my application for medicine, so I'll try to give you some advice. Again, like the others have, I would suggest taking Chemistry because for some medicine courses Biology is not even required at HL, but chemistry is. It's a hard subject, but it's something that is required most of the time. Doing some work experience related to medicine in some way will also be very helpful, and again it is required for some universities, especially UK. If you can't get work experience in a hospital, volunteer in a care home or something similar, take a first-aid course, anything to expose you a bit to the world of medicine. This will also help you to decide if you really do want to study for medicine because as far as I know in the US you can't study medicine undergrad, so altogether you'd be spending a long time at school. I don't think academic competitions aren't exactly necessary but I guess it would be good for your application if you do them. In terms of your extra curriculars, they seem great for CAS. 

 

This is just my opinion as someone who's gone through the application process, hope this helps, good luck!

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On 2017-10-13 at 8:29 AM, Max Fung said:

Hello Magui, I had similar questions before I started IB (difference being that I wanted to do business) I'm currently in IB1. 

*These are all my personal opinion, take it with a grain of salt :) * 

- Looking at your subject choices, they seem pretty good (English B does seem a bit of a stretch for me at least, preferable English A) 

- Really your own choice on the "french or other subject" dilemma (If you decide to take another subject and self teach french, i will suggest chemistry as it is becoming more and more important in the medical field recently) 

 

- I don't believe the "brevet" will have much of an impact on your application chances for Harvard, 99% of their decision will be based on your IB and extra curricular activities

- Your extracurriculars look fantastic, really does fulfill the 3 strands of CAS (I will personally find it hard to manage your extracurriculars along with IB but I am a procrastinator)  *side note* I love road cycling too but the roads in Hong Kong prevents me from riding too much 

- I will suggest you join a sports team because it stretches across the entire year (cycling team? xd) 

- If you want more extracurriculars/CAS, you can consider starting a club at your school, cycling club perhaps?

-  Choose between doing ACT and SAT's (my friends said that ACT's are easier), also look at different combinations as they most likely will give you a higher chance of making it into Harvard  (e.g. ACT + 2 AP subs), look at different threads on IB survival about the possible combinations you can choose. 

- Make sure the school you want to go to is perfect for you, consider different factors such as area, accommodation, food, costs, amongst others. 

 

Not much for me to say, first year in IB so i don't have much experience. Everything I said here comes from my limited experience and advice from tutors, teachers and uni counselors. Take it easy before you start IB and get everything planned before you start your 2 year IB journey.

 

 

I'm taking the SATs but not the ACT (we don't have it in Stockholm), also I guess I'll have to take chemistry although I absolutely hate it >_<!

Thanks! :)

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On 2017-10-18 at 0:36 AM, ChocolateDrop said:

I'm not going to chance you for Harvard. However, if you're planning on studying medicine (which is a prerequisite to become a psychiatrist); taking Chemistry will give you more options on more medical schools in places such as the UK, Europe Australia etc. There's no way around the scientific nature of academic Medicine, you'll have to overcome your dislike of Chemistry because it does feature in the course. 

 

As for extracurriculars, aim for posts where you can demonstrate a "caring role" such as a care home/ residential home, hospices and/or in a clinical setting volunteering in hospitals or shadowing health professionals. Not only do these add to your application but they can help show you whether medicine is for you.

 

Also you could participate in competitions such as the International Brain Bee, for example, as well as maybe research and attend medical conferences and talks.

Yeah, I've looked up some conferences in Stockholm and found quite a few that are relevant to psychiatry/medicine and the entry prices are so high: 250 EUR. I don't think I'll attend those.:? Otherwise, thanks for the advice, I have contacted some clinics for volunteering :)!

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4 hours ago, yara560 said:

Not really sure about Harvard and US universities, but I've just sent in my application for medicine, so I'll try to give you some advice. Again, like the others have, I would suggest taking Chemistry because for some medicine courses Biology is not even required at HL, but chemistry is. It's a hard subject, but it's something that is required most of the time. Doing some work experience related to medicine in some way will also be very helpful, and again it is required for some universities, especially UK. If you can't get work experience in a hospital, volunteer in a care home or something similar, take a first-aid course, anything to expose you a bit to the world of medicine. This will also help you to decide if you really do want to study for medicine because as far as I know in the US you can't study medicine undergrad, so altogether you'd be spending a long time at school. I don't think academic competitions aren't exactly necessary but I guess it would be good for your application if you do them. In terms of your extra curriculars, they seem great for CAS. 

 

This is just my opinion as someone who's gone through the application process, hope this helps, good luck!

Yes, I'll probably take chemistry HL. (N)

Also, I've looked up some volunteering related to medicine and psychiatry, and contacted some clinics.:rolleyes:

Yes, I know it will be lots of studies before I become a qualified psychiatrist. I have to get my bachelor's degree first then go to med school then residency...

Thanks! :)

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5 hours ago, Magui said:

I'm taking the SATs but not the ACT (we don't have it in Stockholm), also I guess I'll have to take chemistry although I absolutely hate it >_<!

Thanks! :)

Yeah that seems wise to me at least. But for your own sake please make sure that being a psychiatrist is right for you, many times people dream of working in a specific industry and end up in a completely different one after realizing what their "Dream" is actually like. (I believe this applies especially to people who want to study medicine/want to be in the medical field, because the road is pretty fxxking long!) 

Have some fun before starting ib!

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