Chatsworth International School scholars Jessica Cohen and Stanley Ierwanto were recently awarded scholarships to study at two top universities. Here’s how the Chatsworth International School IBDP scholarship helped…
The journey of a Chatsworth International School scholar doesn’t end when they receive their IB Diploma. Thanks to the school’s supportive environment and the diverse learning opportunities provided by its IB Diploma Programme (IBDP), Chatsworth’s IBDP scholarship recipients have gone on to further great achievements at university and beyond.
A recent success story is that of Chatsworth alumni and scholars Jessica Cohen and Stanley Ierwanto’s, both awarded full scholarships to further their studies in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Kyoto University of Advanced Science (KUAS). We had a chat with Jessica and Stanley to learn more about their journeys as Chatsworth scholars and how the IBDP scholarship has prepared them for success in life after school.
Hi Jessica and Stanley! Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Jessica: Hello! My name is Jessica, and I’m a Chatsworth alumni from Indonesia, currently studying Chemistry and Biological Chemistry at NTU. In my free time, I enjoy listening to various genres of music and watching movies. Currently, my interests lies in exploring more about Chemistry through participating in research opportunities. I started studying the IBDP in Chatsworth in 2019 under a fully funded scholarship from Chatsworth.
Stanley: Hi, I’m Stanley. I will be studying at KUAS in the Mechanical and Electrical Systems Engineering Department. I’d describe myself as someone who’s willing to grow and learn. As long as I choose to learn and always try, I know that I can be whatever I want to be. I have a deep interest in science and technology, specifically future technology in science fiction. In my spare time, I like to read sci-fi books or watch sci-fi movies while also thinking about how to bring those future technologies to reality through science. Like Jessica, I studied the IBDP in Chatsworth under a fully funded scholarship from the school.
How was it like being a Chatsworth scholar, and how was the diploma journey?
Stanley: I come from Indonesia, and studying abroad was something I hadn’t thought about before. I’m so grateful for the Chatsworth scholarship award to study the IBDP in Singapore. This opportunity was a precious experience to me as I’m exposed to world-leading knowledge and systematic teaching, which I previously never thought was possible.
My diploma journey was a fantastic experience, but also a road full of uneven ground, which was made more challenging by the pandemic. Fortunately, even though I’m far away from my parents, I still have great teachers who support and encourage me. My journey in the diploma program allowed me to prepare for the future: as a university student and a person in society. While at Chatsworth, I developed an aspiration to solve global problems through science and technology. This aspiration stemmed from my fascination with sci-fi and the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) experience in IBDP, where I am faced with many global issues. The school’s complete laboratories and many hands-on projects allow me to conduct practical experiments and research. It’s my dream in the future to be a researcher that helps the world and save the environment through my inventions.
Jessica: Being a Chatsworth IBDP scholar was a great transition in my life. Since I’ve always wanted to study abroad, the scholarship from Chatsworth gave me a great opportunity to study the IB Diploma and live in a multicultural country and get to know people from different parts of the world.
Just like Stanley, my diploma journey was a rollercoaster ride, especially ever since the pandemic hit. As I was away from my family, there were times when I felt “stuck” abroad. The IB Diploma was exciting even though the number of assignments was at one point overwhelming. However, learning to overcome these new challenges is an experience that changed me the most. I placed less emphasis on the academic grades in defining myself, which made me more optimistic. My time management skills have improved, and I would say that the IB Diploma journey has made me more mature and independent. Undeniably, my practical and social skills also greatly improved for the two years I was with Chatsworth, allowing me to become well-rounded academically and socially.
Sounds like both of you enjoyed your time at Chatsworth. Would you say that it was a rewarding experience to study there?
Stanley: Definitely. My favourite thing about being a Chatsworth student is its diverse and caring community. The school has a friendly environment where everyone is caring and supports each other. This also forms the most rewarding part of my IBDP here as it helps me obtain global mindedness. Global mindedness allows your vision to no longer be limited to you, your surrounding community, or your nationality, but the entire world. Chatsworth supports this as it is an international school with a diverse community of more than 50 different nationalities.
Jessica: I agree with Stanley – my favourite thing about Chatsworth is the school community as well. It’s very friendly and welcoming. People in my cohort know each other quite well, and we’re quite close and are supportive of each other. Moreover, my subject teachers are all very supportive and knowledgeable. I find my CAS project – “TEDxChatsworth” the most rewarding event in my IBDP journey. My friend and I initiated a TEDx conference in Chatsworth and we did this both as CAS and a co-curricular activity. With the pandemic being a great obstacle in managing a live event with an audience, there were many uncertainties. It was our first time leading a huge event, and we have learned tremendously throughout the planning and execution process. Thankfully, with the support of our school community, the event took off with a sold-out audience in Chatsworth’s newly built hall.
We heard that you’re both mathematically gifted, too! Stanley, you won a Gold medal at SEAMO. Can you tell us more about that?
Sure! When I was in junior high school, I was encouraged to participate in the mathematics competition by my maths teacher. On my first attempt, I was only getting Bronze medals from maths competitions like SEAMO, WMI, AIMO, HKIMO, TIMO, SASMO, etc. However, self-improvement is one of my key advantages as a highly productive and persistent person. Hence, I have continuously competed in many competitions to sharpen myself. I’m so grateful for the help and support from my parents and teachers in Chatsworth, who continue to help and encourage me in finally getting a Gold medal.
What about you, Jessica? You won Silver in the Online IB Mathematics Competition – how did you achieve that?
The Online IB Mathematics Competition was coordinated by our IBDP Math (Higher Level) teacher, Mr. Nanwani. Mr. Nanwani encouraged my classmates and I to join. I decided to apply for it as I would like to develop and apply the math skills that I learned in class, including how to solve problems using the graphing calculator. I would say that the greatest sources of support was Mr. Nanwani’s lessons on how to operate the TI-nspire CX II calculator’s different functions, as well as some useful online calculator tutorials. I was encouraged to try my best for the competition as it would be a notable experience, and thankfully, I won the Silver award.
That’s really inspiring – congratulations to the both of you! We also heard that you’ve received full scholarships for your university studies. Can you share about that as well?
Jessica: Thank you! It’s exciting to continue my studies in Singapore. I am very grateful to be studying in NTU with the ASEAN Scholarship because I get to pursue my favourite subject, Chemistry, while not having to worry about burdening my family with the school fees. I am currently exploring the different branches of Chemistry, Organic Chemistry in particular, and I have just applied for a research programme for undergraduates in NTU. Being on the ASEAN Scholarship, I am also required to serve service hours, which I am excited to do as they come similar to the CAS component in IB. I really look forward to the next four years in NTU, to see where I can contribute to in the future career.
Stanley: I’m very fortunate to have received scholarship offers from universities around the world, including KUAS, Australian National University, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, Chinese University of Hong Kong, etc. I decided to accept the offer and 100% scholarship from KUAS as the university offers multidisciplinary engineering courses where I can choose my own specialisation. I am also attracted to Japan’s unique characteristics, where its science and technological development also infuse and retain the country’s traditional culture and heritage. The university offers a capstone program that allows me to have hands-on learning and work on projects from multiple disciplines, all of which are very important in real-world scenarios. As I realised the importance of renewable energy and energy storage to our world, I plan to specialise in materials engineering with battery or energy storage specialisation.
Last but not least, is there any advice you would like to give to students who are interested in applying for Chatsworth’s IBDP scholarship?
Jessica: Just go for it! Whatever the result of your application, there would be a positive experience you can take away. The IBDP is both exciting and difficult. This programme would be a new experience for you, regardless of what your previous academic background was. Personally, I had various opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills I learned in class. These applications involve the mini lab works I did for my science courses, my projects for CAS, and the CCAs I participated in. I believe that when you find, through experience, the significance of what you’re learning, you’ll find even more excitement to continue learning and exploring. When I look back at the whole process in Chatsworth, I realise it has been extremely rewarding, especially since the scholarship opportunity Chatsworth gave me has opened doors to the next stages of life for me.
Stanley: Having the desire to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental principle and not just simply learning to graduate and get your IB diploma is my advice for those interested in applying for the scholarship. Other than that, any extracurricular activities from academic competitions, sports matches, community service to social experience will get you ahead of the others, whether as a scholarship applicant or even for your future. I have certainly had a memorable experience, and my horizons broadened from being a student at Chatsworth.
Thank you, Jessica and Stanley, for your time! We wish you all the best in your future endeavours.
The Chatsworth IB Diploma Scholarship is open to both internal and external students who are currently in Year 11 or Grade 10. The scholarship is awarded on a merit basis, which will cover 100% of the scholar’s school fees. Scholars will also receive a new Macbook laptop prior to starting the IBDP. Current Chatsworth students can also apply for a partial scholarship, which covers up to 25% of their school fees. Apply now or find out more about Chatsworth’s IB Diploma Scholarship here.
This post is in partnership with Chatsworth International School