IB attracts new international students


Bailey Niles

IB students from all over have the ability to relocate freely and continue their education.

Isabel Young, Editor

One of the most attractive aspects of the International Baccalaureate program for VHS students is the ability to study internationally. But while some American IB seniors may be jetting off overseas after graduation, a new crop of juniors are doing the opposite.

Austin is the fastest growing city in the U.S., with over 150 people moving to the city per day. A rapidly growing percentage of these transplants hail from overseas, and Vandegrift’s international population has boomed in recent years.

“The U.S. is very different from what I’m used to,” junior Savana Jankovic, who moved over the summer from Saudi Arabia, said. “I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s like on TV, with football games and prom and everything.”

Starting a new school can be intimidating for anyone– especially for students like junior Keertana Vermuri, who has lived in India, Japan, and Singapore before Austin.

“I only moved to Austin less than a month ago,” Vermuri said. “So starting in the middle of the school year has made it difficult. It’s so much easier to move to a school that has a lot of other new people, which is something you find in IB.”

IB emphasizes the importance of an international perspective, and the IB curriculum is taught in 97 countries. This makes it ideal for students who follow the program through their entire school career, such as Jankovic.

“I’m glad I got to go to Vandegrift because it’s an IB school,” Jankovic said. “I’m used to IB and I like how international it is. It definitely makes it easier for people like me to adapt.”

An element of culture shock is inevitable for international students, especially those whose lifestyles have changed significantly since moving to the US. For Vermuri, a challenge has presented itself in American car culture.

“It’s definitely been an adjustment learning to use the car to go everywhere,” Vemuri said. “Singapore is very compact and convenient, whereas everything here is much more spaced out.”

Vandegrift’s vast array of clubs and student activities makes it a perfect representation of High School Musical style American schools. While school dances and pep rallies are common occurrences for much of the student body, for international students, they’re a source of star-spangled novelty.

“I’m excited to be part of such a big school,” Jankovic said. “I plan on joining clubs and just exploring what an American school has to offer. I definitely already feel some school spirit.”