Article by Meg Barraca

As batches of students come and go, ISM is constantly adapting and changing. Each batch’s experiences are unique to the experiences of batches both before and after it. Among these changes are course selections. ISM continues to broaden its perspective, adding new courses every school year in order for students to receive the best learning experience possible. Several of the new courses to look forward to next school year are the IB Global Politics course and Mandarin Ab Initio course, both offered at SL and HL. Additionally, tenth graders this year now have the option to choose between Modern World History and AP US History.

Mr. Birchenall sees global politics as a good fit for ISM students. “We have so many kids interested in various activities such as Global Issues Network and Model United Nations, so we see it being a very valuable course for those interested in development issues, trade, and government, to name a few,” Mr. Birchenall says.

Global politics examines a variety of political issues, from local to international glands of political activity. Students in this course develop an international mindset and have the opportunity to explore the political issues affecting their own lives.

“Additionally, we give our students the opportunity to take AP (Advanced Placement) classes. We want students to have a chance to take AP courses before they go to college- especially considering that many of our students plan to study in the States,” says Mr. Birchenall.

However, he strongly advises against students taking full IB as well as an AP course, as the workload may be overwhelming for students- which is why AP courses such as Human Geography and US History are more highly recommended for 9th and 10th graders.

“It is possible, however it is not advised,” Mr. Birchenall says. “APUSH is usually taken by 11th and 12th grade students who have either transferred in the middle of the school year, or who are not taking the full IB diploma but would still want to take challenging courses.”

Taking AP courses definitely includes benefits, as they challenge students to further grow as learners, and they provide a stronger transcript.

With these new IB and AP courses set for next year, ISM’s students now have a wider range of opportunities to study their interests and pursue topics they are passionate about. If you’re interested to learn more about any of these courses, don’t forget to take a look at the course offerings handbook for more information!

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