The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program first arrived in Finland in 1990, when it was integrated into the educational systems of two Finnish high schools: SYK (Helsingin Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu) and Mattlidens Gymnasium. The Finnish International Baccalaureate Society (FIBS) was established in 1994 to cater to the needs of IB students all over Finland.
Currently, our organization consists of over 2000 members, all of whom study in one of Finland’s 18 IB schools. As IB students tend to be the minority in their respective schools, our aim is to provide a welcoming community and a platform to allow fellow IB students a supportive space to share their individual opinions and to easily receive answers to any inquiries they may bear concerning the IB Diploma Program and related matters.
One of our duties is to arrange events and projects where IB students can encounter each other face-to-face despite the geographical obstructions at place. One of our popular annual events includes the Think Ahead Seminar, where we invite several IB alumni to tell about their experiences in the IB, the benefits that the program brought them and their current situations in their respective universities, such as: Harvard, Oxford and Aalto. Currently, one of our most important projects is striving for more widespread recognition of the International Baccalaureate Certificate in both Finnish Universities as well as Schools of Applied Sciences.
Urban Mill provided us an outstanding venue for our most recent project: our annual spring General Assembly accompanied by our new board’s initiation. The venue was extremely spacious and managed to house our own board and our event attendees e.g. representatives from SLL (Suomen Lukiolaisten Liitto) and students from IB schools from Espoo, Helsinki, Tampere, Lahti and Tikkurila to name a few. In our annual General Assembly, we split our session into many parts. We start off by going through and possibly updating our bylaws. Then, as we assign different members to different groups, each group updates the board on their activity. We also leave plenty of time for our guests to give their greetings and we appreciate any comments that they may offer. Lastly, we have the initiation of our new board as it changes every year.
Aside from our student rights projects, our upcoming events include another possible get-together styled event for IB-students this spring as well as our renown IB-cruise, which is traditionally held in the autumn. All IB-students in Finland are warmly welcomed to our events, aside from the IB-cruise, which is reserved for IB1s and 2s only. We would like to invite anyone interested in our organisation or the International Baccalaureate programme to further explore our online presence through our fibs_ry Instagram account.
Written and edited by: Haohao Liu – Students Rights Representative and Matti Kaira – Chairman; Pictures by: Hefan Xiao – Event Manager