Students from International School of London (ISL) Qatar were on top of the world recently, when they swept up multiple awards at the prestigious World Scholar’s Cup (WSC) Tournament of Champions, held at Yale University in the United States.
Since its inception in 2007, The World Scholar’s Cup has become one of the most recognised, joyful, and fastest-growing extracurricular activities in the world. As the premier international team tournament, the WSC draws thousands of students from over 40 countries. Although it may look at first glance like an academic competition, it is more aptly described as a celebration of learning—an inclusive enrichment experience in which students of all backgrounds work together to explore new subjects and practice new skills.
The theme for the WSC this year is ‘An Entangled World’, suggesting that the things we know, remember, and interact within the world are intricately and meaningfully interconnected. The WSC enables students to make connections to the curriculum; in particular, linking the experiences from each event to some of the learner profile traits with the help of the coaches.
ISL Qatar students took part in the Global Finals held in Kuala Lumpur last summer, where they earned a place in the Tournament of Champions at Yale University. A few of our finalists offered us the following reflections
Patricia Indico: The Tournament of Champions in Yale was a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Overall, the World Scholar’s Cup Tournament of Champions in Yale was inexpressibly astonishing and was very beneficial to me. I had plenty of fun and I definitely recommend future scholars to participate in next year’s round.
Sebastian Santoni: Travelling to Yale University for the last round of this World Scholar’s Cup season was a challenging, rewarding and enjoyable experience. The trip was also an eye-opener for me as I decided to live in the moment and be spontaneous.
Someday in the future, when I’m old and nostalgic, I’ll look back on this experience as one I learned from, but most importantly, one which left a mark on the rest of my life journey.
Raed Asad: This trip was a very life-changing and incredible experience that I will forever remember for the rest of my life. I experienced many entanglements in the group, such as when I had my desire for freedom mixed with sticking to the team, which led to unforeseen consequences.
Putu Narayanan: This year’s World Scholar’s Cup season was an incredible learning experience which ended on a memorable trip to the prestigious Yale University. Interestingly, I met a friend that I had already met during the Hanoi Global Round two years ago during the Scavenger Hunt, which shows how the World Scholar’s Cup can entangle people together across time.
Youssef Barakat: Before my passion for excelling academically and competing, I condemned learning new things and challenging myself academically. World Scholar’s Cup has changed that in me, as it gave an opportunity to discover what I was truly interested in and loved doing (from an academic perspective).
Parent chaperone, Mercedes Perez de Obanos:
Listening to the stories of many adults that also went to support their schools was amazing. For example, students from Macedonia travelled more than 5,000 km in an uncomfortable yellow school bus. They were some of the happiest and most grateful people I have ever met. This made me think in the own histories that brought to Qatar each of the student families, and how my son ended in that tournament. If my son’s born country—Venezuela—were as rich and prosperous as it was 20 years ago, we would never leave it and he might never heard about WSC. Opportunities that cross our lives and how we neglect them or take advantage of them is an entangled mystery.’
Andrew Elizaga, the trip leader, shared his most challenging moment of the trip:
As a trip leader, I would say it was working with the needs of the group to anticipate conflicts and repair group dynamic. Sometimes there will be disagreements, so in order to be an effective mediator, I must strive to show them that, just as the IB states, ‘other people, with their differences, can also be right.’
‘This would have to be my increasing sense of serving in loco parentis, where in addition to ensuring the academic success of a trip I found myself modelling for them various life skills (such as healthy eating, sleeping and spending habits); navigating city streets with caution and foresight; and treating student health when something ailed them in a new climate and time zone. Travelling with an experienced parent chaperone, Mercedes Perez de Obanos, helped greatly in this regard.’
ISL Qatar has an outstanding reputation for high academic standards, prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes and an impressive record of admission to the best universities worldwide. The student body of 1,000 is aged from 3 to 18. For further information about ISL Qatar, please consult the school’s website www.islqatar.org.