|If I hadn't left the country to take the IB in an international environment, I wouldn't have been able to experience moments like this. I wouldn't have traded this for sixty-five study points.|
When I went to Videregående in Norway, my grade average was somewhere around 5,7 out of six. This is pretty decent, and if I'd kept this up throughout the rest of my secondary school career, which is very likely, I would have gotten 57 "study points", which would have helped me get into university here. With the additional points from taking science courses, I likely would have been in the running to get into NTNU to study medicine (their boundary was 60,2 points in 2014).
But, you see, I had to get out of Norway and take the IB, because I'm smart that way. I got my IB Diploma (which is cause for a lot of excitement!) and finished with a decent score of 36. I'm not all that ashamed.
Here's the thing. I worked a lot harder to get my IB diploma than I ever did when I was in the Norwegian school system. I stayed up all night studying. I did my own research. I wrote a paper on social cohesion for Sami expats, where I did participant observation and used college-level theories (according to our anthropology teacher, who was the one to teach us about these theories). I learned advanced biology and partook in an experiment that may or may not prove groundbreaking (about the effect of temperature on bacteria in spit). I researched and interpreted the theatrical concept of status, and used to analyse Hamlet in a much more sophisticated way than I would have been able to only two years earlier.
In short, I learned more in two years than I did in the eleven preceding years. I learned a lot more than I think I would have learned had I stayed in Norway. I learned a lot more about being a student and doing independent research and learning. I learned a lot more about bureaucracy that I think I'll ever need.
But the Norwegian school system doesn't care about that. They care about the numbers I obtained.
And the grade scale, to me, does not at all
cover the knowledge I gained.
The conversion scale gives me 53,4 Norwegian "study points": 51,4 from my 36 in the IB, and 2 extra for the classes I took.
This means that I am completely out of the running to study medicine at NTNU.
Now, this is not where I was heading. If everything works out, I'm heading to Canada in 2016 to go to a university that seems absolutely awesome. For the past two years, Norway has only served as a back up plan. So I guess this doesn't affect me as much as I feared, I know there is a world out there and that I can get out again, because I've already done it once.