Troy Chensri proudly carried the flag for Thailand at the Closing Ceremony
Take one extremely rigorous academic competition, combine with the world’s most diverse family reunion, add liberal amounts of intercultural celebration and collaboration, and sprinkle with generous quantities of music, fun, whimsy and cuddly alpacas. Then add three and a half thousand students from every corner of the globe and you have all the ingredients for a World Scholar’s Cup Global Round!
At the end of June, twenty six ISB students joined 3400 others from more than 40 different countries for the annual Global Round of the World Scholar’s Cup. This year the Global Round was held right here in Bangkok and our students qualified to attend through their exemplary performance at the regional round in March.
Our Junior Division teams with their new team mates – the alpacas!
A WSC Global Round defies description (although I try every year!). Only those who have experienced this ineffable event really understand just how magical it is. The theme of the competition this year was An Imperfect World, but the world would be a lot more perfect if it followed the same principles of friendly collaboration and competition that is embodied by WSC. Students come from every continent on Earth (except Antarctica!), but are united by the joy of learning, the thrill of challenging competition, and the passion of sharing and discovering different cultures. This community of scholars delights in its differences and celebrates its similarities, engaging with globally relevant topics that transcend geographic or cultural boundaries.
Throughout the week students participated in four competitive events –
team debate, collaborative writing, an exhaustive exam, and the Scholar’s Bowl. Along the way were social events, a Scholar’s Ball, debate showcases, scholar’s talent shows and the famous Scholar’s Scavenge – where students form new teams with a dozen new friends, each from a different school and country, and work together to complete a series of light-hearted challenges. At the Scholar’s Fair, delegations proudly displayed their cultural traditions and treats, sharing their hearts and heritage with the assembled community.
WSC is, first and foremost, a community of scholars. Every year, we come together at this festival of learning, reuniting with old friends and making new ones. Whether it’s completing Scavenge challenges, facing off in a debate, dancing the night away at the Ball or sharing a table at lunch, the opportunities for making new friends are endless. This year we were also delighted to reunite with some former Panthers who have moved on and now represent new schools and countries.
Opening Ceremony – Thai-Style!
The week included tears of laughter and tears of joy, standing ovations and impassioned debate motions, ‘Chauncey rolls’ and a surprising lint roller, alpaca trading and chocolate tasting, flying drones and speeding tuk-tuks (both inside the auditorium!), along with plenty of fun and friendship, learning and growing.
Despite this being the first season of WSC for many of the students in our team, this was our most successful Global Round ever. Our 26 students brought home a combined total of 128 medals, representing many months of committed preparation, hard work and effort. Our Junior team of Reika, Yunice and Vishnu were the top-scoring team from Thailand, placed 6th overall in the extremely competitive S.E. Asian region, and were the overall 11th placed Champion Team – a huge accomplishment in a field of over 600 teams of the world’s best and brightest scholars. Yunice was also our school’s top scoring scholar in the Junior Division, while Colin took that honour in the Senior Division. Four of our Junior teams and both of our Senior teams qualified to participate in the Tournament of Champions at Yale University in November.
There are just far too many achievements to list here, so please check out this link for a complete list of ISB’s awards, and have a look at the Flickr album below to see more photos of our incredible week.
Sincere congratulations to all of our ISB students.
I’ll leave the last word to the students. Here’s what some of our ISB students had to say about their experience with WSC earlier this year:
“Personally, World Scholar’s Cup wasn’t as much of an exciting academic experience as it was a startling realization of how far my inspirations could propel my capabilities. Overall, I would recommend participating in World Scholar’s Cup to everyone that has the opportunity, because at the end of the competition, what really matters is one’s growth as an individual, as a teammate, and their number of alpacas.”
“World Scholar’s Cup was a unique experience for all of us. It could challenge you and push you to your limits, and let you be proud of yourself even though you may have gotten a bad score or not have passed to the global rounds. Our experience was one full of fun, laughter, and learning.”
“World Scholar’s Cup, so far, has been one of the best events of my 8th grade year and will undoubtedly be an activity I take part in in the future. It has given me a new outlook on academics and has improved my overall ability as a student with its wide curriculum of activities and subjects. The World Scholar’s Cup’s welcoming attitude and abundance of “pwaa’s” has made it not only a learning experience, but an exciting experience.”
“Being in WSC was an experience I will never forget ever in my life. I learned tons of life lessons during the competition, which I will keep with me forever. During the debate, we kept not winning and we were sad and frustrated. But we kept trying until we won the last debate! I learned to keep trying again and again and then I will succeed. Also, during the Scholar’s Bowl, I learned to trust my teammates. WSC has taught me lots of new skills in life, and I have experienced something that most kids haven’t, and I am grateful for that.”
“Being in WSC this semester was an amazing and a once in a lifetime experience. You learn and take so much with you, and you’ll never forget it. Going to a different school, competing in debates, a bowl, writing, doing everything for a prize, a medal, an alpaca, when the real prize was the joy and happiness and triumph I experienced. You study hard, then you play even harder, and when that’s done, you’ll feel like the champion you are, and like the monster inside you is gone. Yes, the anxiety is inevitable, but remember that it only lasts so long. No matter what, you’ll have the time of your life.”
Yunice Kim, Reika Herman, Vishnu Susheer
Earth Mokkamakkul, David Qian, Jingmin Wang
Brandon Lin, Sajid Farook, Caden Lin
Anna Phetsomphou, Pleng Kruesopon, Carole Lefeuvre
Zwe Latt, Tommy Real, Nevaan Bawa
Madison Mehta, Shubha Narayan, Sasha Wertime
Sohee Yim, Nina Choophungart, Nadia Choophungart
Troy Chensri, Colin Vanelli, Jing Wongsrinoppakun
Binvant Broca & Ben Phipathananunth with their team mate, Thomas Savage from Bromsgrove
THANK YOU to Khun Joom and Conor Duffy for helping out with chaperoning our delightful team.
Click below for more photos…