We’re very proud to share the news that Year 13 graduate, Min Li has not only secured her place at Yale-NUS College, but has also been awarded the prestigious ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship – beating off tough competition from around the region. What is truly remarkable about this, is that Min Li didn’t apply for the scholarship! It comes as no surprise to us to learn that Min Li was singled out not just for her impressive academic record – but also for her contributions and achievements outside of the classroom. A successful junior golfer and violinist, Min Li has shown nothing but commitment and passion with everything she has put her mind to.
In honour of this extraordinary achievement, we doff our GIS hats to Min Li and share some parting words from her Form Tutor Mrs Ratnam and Head of Year, Mr Robinson.
Mrs Ratnam, as Form Tutor, can you share with us how you have seen Min Li develop as a student and into an accomplished young woman over the last few years?
“Min Li has been an exceptional student. Her intelligent, mature and diligent approach to her studies has fostered much academic success where she has gained a great deal of praise for her academic aptitude. In addition to academic achievements, Min Li’s exemplary attitude towards her co-curricular activities and hundred percent attendance for the whole year show her relentless commitment to school life. Min Li has contributed to the school community in so many ways, most notably for her contribution to our termly Secondary school magazine, Perspective, where she has done an outstanding job as Editor.
I am impressed with her creativity, determination and ability to juggle extracurricular activities around a full academic workload. She has time and again shown that she is willing to take extra responsibilities, she will be an asset to any institution.”
Mr Robinson, what would you like to add as Head of Year?
“As her Head of Year for the past five years it has been a privilege to get to know Min Li. She has excelled throughout her IGCSE’s and A-levels, along with music and sports activities. I have been lucky to listen to her perform as part of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra’s Encounter Training Ensemble at the Dewan Philharmonic, KLCC. She is also a passionate golfer and has represented the school in tournaments all over Asia.
I would also like to add that one of the nice parts of being Head of Year is getting to know not just the students, but their parents too. Min Li’s parents have been extremely supportive of both Min Li and her teachers here at GIS.
As Min Li leaves GIS I will fondly remember her smile and sunny personality. I will look back with pride on a student who has excelled academically and yet leaves a very well rounded person.”
Min Li let’s hear from you on what you feel have been your greatest achievements at GIS…
“Thinking about the academic side first, gaining straight A’s in my IGCSEs and AS-levels, and also winning the Year 12 Maths Subject Award have all been big confidence-boosting achievements during my studies. Away from my studies, I am proud to have been Captain of the GIS Dragons Girls Golf Team and the school’s Principal Violinist since Year 12. Golf is a huge part of my life, I first learnt to play when I was five and have been playing as part of the school team since Year 7. Last year, I organised a golf tournament at the Royal Selangor Golf Club to fulfill the Community Sports Leadership Award as part of my Sixth Form Diploma. Following the success of this project, our Athletics Director, Mr Springall gave me a timely introduction to Mr Sam Yang (The Yang Foundation, an organisation promoting Sports & Education); and I am extremely thrilled that Mr Yang has expressed a keen interest to support and expand on my tournament efforts! Playing violin while at school has also opened wonderful opportunities contributing to events, such as ABRSM’s Making Music Together, GIS school concerts and performing at No Black Tie with the Latin Express.”
So what’s in store next, tell us about your next adventure to Yale-NUS?
“When I first heard about Yale-NUS I was really interested in the idea of an autonomous liberal arts college within NUS. On learning more about the college, I was drawn to the idea of the first year of study being an open study programme and not choosing your major until the second year. I also felt reassured by the application process and the emphasis put on getting to know the real me as an applicant. Although I don’t know exactly what I would like to major in yet, I’m excited about all the opportunities available through the college; including the semester study abroad programme at Yale in New Haven ,USA which I can apply for in my 3rd Year. I also have the option to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics, which was one of my first areas of interest when initially considering universities in the UK.
Aside from the studying, currently Yale-NUS does not have a college golf team, so I’m excited to get something started and hopefully through this initiative, contribute to the shape of the college in years to come.”
We’re very excited to hear about your ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship, why is this so special?
“I was stunned to be offered the ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship, it was a complete surprise to receive the news as I had made no separate application and acceptance to the college was already one of my proudest achievements! I was informed that competition was extremely keen and it is a great honour and privilege to be awarded the scholarship based on my achievements in both academic and non-academic areas. The scholarship means I will have to work for a Singapore-registered company for three years upon graduation, so I’m very pleased that I can rest in the fact that the next seven years are suitably mapped out for me.”
How do you think your experience at GIS has prepared you for your move to Yale-NUS?
“I’ve been at GIS for 10 years and all of my teachers have been very caring and supportive throughout. It’s been great to know that there’s always extra help available when you need it and I have greatly benefited from all the extra support sessions during exam leave. I was also really grateful for the Oxbridge training programme run by Mr Campbell, which was really rewarding. Despite not going down this route in the end, the programme has been invaluable for my confidence and helped me a huge amount with learning to voice my ideas and articulate what I’m thinking. This definitely strengthened the rest of my university applications to the UK, Hong Kong, and in particular my interview with Yale-NUS.”
Finally, what’s your advice to students who will be starting to think about their University choices?
“Don’t be afraid to take the road less travelled! Despite the competitive nature of universities in Singapore, I’m glad that I persevered and kept my options open and in the end gained a place at my top choice university along with an incredible scholarship to go with it!”