De syv soestre

Use the IB as a gateway to an international life


Natascha Philip is Head of IB at Herlufsholm Boarding School. She is also a Herlufsholm alumni and has been working as an IB teacher before stepping into the role as Head of IB. We have asked her a couple of questions regarding the Pre-IB and IB Diploma at Herlufsholm.


Could you briefly explain Herlufsholm’s international programmes?

At Herlufsholm, we offer the two-year International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), and as preparation for this, our one-year Pre-IB Programme.

The IB DP is an assessed programme for students aged 16 to 19, recognized and respected by the world’s leading universities. The DP aims to develop students who have an excellent breadth and depth of knowledge, excel in traditional academic subjects, and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique Theory of Knowledge course.

To ensure that our students are well equipped for the challenges of the IB DP, we offer a year of preparation – the Pre-IB. Our Pre-IB is specifically structured and taught to match the expectations of the IB, so that students are acquainted with IB subjects, terminology, requirements, and the IB grading system before they start on their DP journey. Should a student wish to study the IB DP in any other school or country – our Pre-IB will provide them with a sound and useful stepping stone from which they can proceed.


What separates Herlufsholm from other IB schools?

As a teacher, and as Head of IB, I believe it is of the utmost importance that the decisions we make and the path we choose as a school first and foremost support student achievement and well-being. 

At Herlufsholm, we ensure that our students have the best possible environment in which to flourish physically, intellectually, and emotionally. We work hard to prepare students for success in higher education, and more importantly, to be active participants in a global society.

The challenges of tomorrow are not national challenges, but international challenges; I believe we need to educate students to live, work and thrive in an international world. Their further education and their future work places and communities will require that they interact with people from all over the world, and I am proud to see our IB students spread their wings and take off for adventures, travels, studies, and jobs every year after graduation.




What is important when engaging with students today?

We need to meet students at their starting point, and guide them in the right direction through a holistic approach to teaching, learning, and living.

I grew up in Brazil, The Philippines, and Thailand, before I came to Herlufsholm as a boarding student. I spent three years here, and graduated in 1993. My background allows me to recognize the experiences of our international students starting a new life in Denmark, getting accustomed to life at a boarding school, living and studying with other teenagers who come from different backgrounds than themselves; in many ways different from them and yet in so many ways the same.

One of the best parts of working at a school is when former students return to share experiences and express gratitude for all the things they were taught while they were here; retrospectively, they see that we gave them more than just subject knowledge and of course, lots of homework. They see that we helped them become open-minded, responsible, critically thinking young adults. I think it is as much a measure of our success that our former students thrive on a personal level and make a positive difference in the lives of others and the world around them as when they do well academically and in their careers.