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University to host 200 students from 20 nations at International Baccalaureate World Student Conference

July 28, 2015
group of students holding hands and looking out over the water

The University of Rochester will host 200 elite high school students from 20 nations Aug. 2-8 for the fourth annual International Baccalaureate World Student Conference, bringing the leaders of tomorrow to the River Campus.

This will be only the second time the event is held in the United States. Wake Forest University hosted in 2013.

International Baccalaureate is a rigorous education program that focuses on critical thinking skills. The theme of this year’s conference will be reaching solutions through play, with topics such as: How can clean water reach millions through the playground fun of children? How did rugby heal one of history’s most violent social divisions? Can video games save lives?

Students hail from Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Taiwan, the United States, and Venezuela.

Featured speakers include Jane McGonigal, an American game designer and author who advocates the use of mobile and digital technology to channel positive attitudes; and Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor for The New Yorker magazine. McGonigal will speak at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3 at the Interfaith Chapel. Mankoff will speak at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5 at Hoyt Auditorium in Hoyt Hall.

More than 4,000 schools and 70,000 educators worldwide are part of the International Baccalaureate. Local schools that use the program include Bloomfield, Canandaigua, Churchville-Chili, Eastridge, Greece Odyssey, Hilton, Victor and Wilson Magnet. A 2012 study by the University of Chicago Consortium found that public high school students in the IB diploma program were 40 percent more likely to attend a four-year college.

The first World Student Conferences were held in 2012 in Spain and Canada.

For more information, or to set up interviews, contact University of Rochester Student Life Press Officer Jim Mandelaro at or (585) 276-4061.

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