Q&A with Allie Lynch ’24, Dwight Global Online School

Allie Lynch, a junior at Dwight Global, who travels the world with her family, needs the flexibility offered by the online International Baccalaureate Diploma Pilot Programme. Committed to her academic pursuits and to growing as an IB learner, Allie is also dedicated to helping people learn English through her social media platform, where she posts educational videos. With over 830,000 followers, Allie is making a difference — and can carve the time to do so wherever she finds herself in the world thanks to the flexibility of the online pilot.

Why did you choose online school?  
I chose an online school because of the flexibility it allows me. I can attend class anywhere with internet access. This enables me the opportunity to live in different countries. 

We initially moved to China as my Dad was invited to teach at a university there. After that, we decided to continue the adventure and cultural experience by living abroad and chose to move to Europe — Spain, specifically to learn Spanish. We are now continuing the journey to experience new things and see different parts of the world.

Since joining Dwight, I have traveled to Iceland and Barcelona. I have lived in Spain (Sotogrande) and Thailand (including Phuket, Koh Samui, and Bangkok). As the COVID-19 situation eases in Asia, we plan to visit more places, including Japan during winter break.

Online school also gives me time throughout the day to work on my extracurriculars. Because of my travels and social media projects, I decided that online school would be the best fit for me.

Tell us about your social media work.  
I started my social media channel when I was 13. Not long before, I had taken a trip to visit Xi’an, an ancient city in China. While walking on the old city wall, I was greeted by a group of local girls, who wanted to practice conversational English with me. I had a fun time talking with them and also learned that in many areas in China it is difficult to find native English speakers with whom to learn English. I had heard this before and thought that I could help more people by posting videos on social media teaching everyday English. I decided to start filming and posting, which I continue to do. I also introduce aspects of travel and foreign culture. 
Today, more than three years after my first post, I feel my videos have had an impact among English learners. I have posted approximately 300 English learning videos and have gained over 830,000 followers on several platforms in China, including Douyin, Kuaishou, and Bilibili. My videos have had over 94 million views and I deeply appreciate the immense support and positive feedback I have received. I feel humbled by the opportunities social media has given me and all of the kind comments. I definitely did not expect it when I first began. Currently, I am creating an English course that consists of everyday phrases designed to be useful for people traveling or moving to an English-speaking country. 

Why did you choose the online IB Diploma Program?
I chose the online IB Diploma Program because I really enjoyed the international perspectives and skill-focused learning in the IB Middle Years Program and I wanted to continue my IB studies during the last two years of high school. I saw myself develop as a learner and grow in many areas over the last few years — I became more knowledgeable, open-minded, reflective, and able to communicate — and was also very interested in the DP classes offered. 

What is your IB DP favorite subject, and why?
I thoroughly enjoy each of my IB classes and am very happy with my course choices. Each subject has led to interesting discussions and I can see the progress I have made in every class. This year in particular, I find HL Economics especially fascinating. Through traveling and living abroad, I feel I have a very international perspective and pay attention to things that I did not before, such as different time zones and the constantly changing currency exchange rates, which I’m curious about. I want to explore what causes the fluctuations and I’m eager to learn more about the many aspects of economics that I see in my everyday life. From exchanging currencies and shopping to looking at the global economic situation, I feel that economics provides many insights into our world.

What has the IB Programme taught you about yourself as a learner?
Through the IB Program, I have seen my dedication to, and interest in, learning grow, along with my enjoyment of learning. Although the IB DP is a very rigorous program, I have a real interest in all of my classes, which supports the commitment I have to my education and willingness to work hard to learn more.  

In what ways has TOK encouraged you to approach your subjects differently?
TOK has led me to enter all of my classes with a mindset where I try to think critically and make connections at the same time. I frequently see links to TOK in all of my subjects, as well as connections between subjects that I may not think of, such as between Math, Spanish, and Chemistry. 

Do you feel that the IB has given you skills you can apply to other non-academic areas of your life?
I feel that the IB has given me many critical skills that I have and will continue to apply to non-academic areas of my life. For example, communication skills are really strengthened in IB, and I have been able to apply them more successfully across the board, from conversations to my work on social media. Other traits fostered by the IB, including inquiry, curiosity, open-mindedness, and balance, contribute to not only being a better student, but also a better person in all aspects of life. 

I can also see the application of subject-specific skills in my everyday life, especially as a global citizen. For example, when looking at current events around the world, I can apply my Global Politics skills. When buying something at the store or exchanging currencies, the skills I learn in Economics class can really come into play.  

What (appropriate) academic risks have you taken?
The biggest academic risk I have taken is switching schools. Beginning in fifth grade, I moved to different countries and have attended seven different schools. Within that time, I have also attended schools with different curriculums: the IB, American, and British. On three occasions, I transferred to schools that were more rigorous academically. Choosing to switch schools has required careful consideration each time, but it has enabled me to better adapt to my surroundings. The biggest decision was selecting an online school because of how much of a change it would be. I have been happy with the risks I have taken in switching schools and in ending my high school career at Dwight Global.

Dwight Global offers students a range of extracurricular activities, including over 35 clubs.  In what activities do you participate, outside of class?
I am part of Dwight Global’s Yellow House and enjoy taking part in house activities. I am also in the National Honor Society, on the Honor Council, and participate in Spark Tank, where students meet to discuss and develop our own entrepreneurial ideas. 

What do you want to do after college? 
I hope to become a successful entrepreneur and have my own business, perhaps in the educational arena, and continue to help others as I do through my social media platform. I can also see myself doing something in international business or international law.