Secondary-school students from the whole of Slovakia apply to the IB Diploma programme. The goal of the opening week is to bring these people together and create a lusty, strong team. This fosters vivid, involved discussions both inside and outside the classroom. Students perfect their abilities together while organising events such as BratMUN and TEDxYOUTH and are mutually motivated to get the most out of their IB and university studies. Many times, shared activities and enjoyable lessons are what inspires the IB students to pursue a particular degree later at university.
The opening week also serves as an introduction to actual IB study. The activities are often designed to introduce less-known IB subjects, such as Theory of Knowledge. Future IBs get to know their older, more experienced peers, as well as many alumni, who study at the universities that the freshers are interested in. This way, soon-to-be IBs can get first-hand advice and information about IB study and further opportunities. On the spot, they also meet some of their new teachers, and volunteering at the Calvary of Banská Štiavnica familiarises them with the ideas of CAS.
Every year, at the very end of August, the opening week takes place in the scenic land of gold mining and old tajch lakes, in the crater of a long-extinguished volcano, in Banská Štiavnica. During five days, the freshers become a part of an adventurous world, such as Ancient Greece or the Hunger Games, which is going to turn them all into heroes who will be ready for the forthcoming unforgiving 2-year fight. Team deciphering, unusual sports, scary or psychological night games, renewing the Calvary, team-building activities on a day-long trek, or highly interactive city games; all is done to help the new IBs get to know each other in a unique and unforgettable way.
The rich programme is prepared by 4IB students and alumni, who have themselves been to many opening weeks and are a great team. However, even for the graduates, studying at various universities around the world, the opening week is a unique opportunity to spend a few days together, share their experiences and welcome the youngest generation of the IB GJH community.