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From ACG Head Girl to student in Amsterdam

Exceptional International Baccalaureate results have opened the doors to some of the world’s leading universities for 2022 Head Girl Rebecca Balanescu. And after receiving an offer from her first-choice school, she will soon be heading to the University of Amsterdam to begin an exciting new chapter in her educational journey.

Rebecca Balanescu

Recent ACG School Jakarta graduate Rebecca Balanescu is riding high after she was awarded an outstanding 41 points (from a maximum score of 45 points) in her International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme – or IBDP. Accordingly, her exceptional achievements have resulted in a string of offers from some of the world’s top universities. 

Now she’s bound for the Netherlands, having secured a coveted spot in the University of Amsterdam’s Bachelor of Psychology programme.

“After deciding to study psychology, the University of Amsterdam quickly came to mind – not only is it well known and prestigious, but its psychology programme ranks amongst in the world,” says the ACG School Jakarta former Head Girl.

With classes starting in early September, Rebecca has much to look forward to, including life in a new city, with a new language and culture.

“I’m used to moving to new countries, but this will be the first time that I’ll be doing it without my family. I’m looking forward to finding my place there, joining new activities and clubs, challenging myself, meeting new people, and discovering myself in the very new world of adult life.”

The academic programme looks like a pretty exciting endeavour too.

“I’ve always been interested in psychology as I see it as a means to better understand who we are as individuals and as a species. Psychology provides answers to some of life’s major questions. And even when it doesn’t have the answers, it’s always fascinating!”

After two challenging years of completing the IBDP during the pandemic, there’s no doubt Rebecca has developed the academic prowess, skills, discipline and determination to thrive in her new environment. In fact, the foundations laid at ACG School Jakarta and through the IBDP have armed her with a playbook for success.

“The IBDP encouraged me to think critically and solve complex problems, and it helped me engage with people in this increasingly globalised, rapidly changing world. It increased my understanding of languages and cultures, encouraged me to become an active participant in a global society, and enabled me to direct my own learning pathway.

As a result, I gained the skills and confidence to thrive and was empowered to take on a wealth of new challenges.”

From psychology internships and university courses to the Inspired Global Student Leadership Committee, debating clubs, and a multitude of student-led initiatives, Rebecca has taken advantage of every ACG opportunity. And while she admits it was a significant amount of work, she wouldn’t change it for a second.

“In my opinion, the IB programme provides a challenging and comprehensive education that enables future adults to create a better world through cross-cultural communication, understanding and respect. Moreover, I believe the IB delivers successful outcomes that not only help you comply with rigorous university programmes but that uplift the whole community.”

While understandably excited about her next life chapter, there’s much Rebecca will miss about life at ACG School Jakarta. Participating in THIMUN (Model United Nations conferences), being a member of the Eco-Warrior initiative, and organising the Town Hall eSports event all feature on her long list of fond memories. And she encourages all ACG students to follow her lead and take advantage of everything the school has to offer.

“The most important lesson I learned at ACG was how important it is to challenge oneself and participate in different activities. I encourage everyone to get involved in extracurricular activities that benefit their learning. Challenge yourself, step outside of your comfort zone and engage in activities that put you under pressure – this is the only way to progress.”

The last two years at the school have been pivotal in shaping the future of this high-achieving and remarkable teen. And although Rebecca will undoubtedly go on to accomplish great things, she will always be thankful for the groundwork laid at ACG.

“While in Amsterdam and later in my life, I’ll remember this period with its ups and downs, with the pandemic and online learning, with the exams, teachers, making new friends and discovering new cultures. The bottom line is that ACG School Jakarta was an important period of my life and one which I will never forget.”