8 reasons for you to get the IB diploma: Hear from a GIIS IBDP World Topper

Shubhdarshani Mitra
Aug 16, 2021

GIIS 2021 world topper Parinistha Kanojia’s passion for learning is inspiring and worth emulating. It’s almost contagious! The 17-year-old secured a perfect 45/45 in the recent May 2021 IB diploma exams. Ready to savour success as she takes on the next big step for uni life, Parinistha has been at GIIS Singapore International School since Grade 5 and progressed to the IBDP after completing her Cambridge IGCSE.

Reading Astrophysics, Science and Technology is Parinista’s idea of making the most of her free time. And yes, that’s what her field of specialisation would be in university. She also loves singing and has been learning music for the past seven years. She believes the IB curriculum taught her how to balance academics with extracurricular activities and is a lesson that will hold her in good stead for the rest of her life. 

We spoke to Parinistha to know more about her IBDP journey and believe her learnings and experiences will help current and future IB students. Here are some of her takeaways from the IB curriculum at GIIS, Singapore:

1. A kaleidoscopic learning journey: 

The exploratory and immersive approach of the IB curriculum turns students into lifelong learners.

Parinistha: The IB Diploma Programme provided an excellent opportunity to explore subjects that interest me in a very intriguing and inspiring way, in both theoretical and practical aspects. The programme has been effective in building a personal connection and interest in learning. Studying at GIIS was a wonderful experience. Since day one, I have been supported and encouraged by my teachers to improve and excel in academics and co-curricular activities.  If I could describe my experience at GIIS in three words, it would be a “kaleidoscopic learning journey”.

2. Learning above and beyond the textbook: 

The curriculum provides a great balance between academics and extracurricular activities.

Parinistha: For me, both academics and extracurriculars have been equally important and I would make sure to spend a certain amount of time practicing music and sports with other workshops at school. In 2019, I got the opportunity to participate in the ISSET’s Mission Discovery Space & STEM Camp (Singapore). It gave me a unique platform to learn and develop scientific research skills under the guidance of retired NASA astronaut Dominic Antonelli, rocket scientists and NASA personnel for a week.  I also performed at the Joo Chiat 60th Anniversary National Day Celebrations, 2019. I participated in Global Indian Stars, a platform to encourage singing talent, and I made it to the quarter finals of the competition. And, I have been learning Hindustani classical vocal music at GICC (Global Indian Cultural Centre) for the past seven years.

3. Interesting & engaging learning activities: 

The IB curriculum provides for a varying range of learning activities.

Parinistha: Participating in CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) activities have definitely been some of the most memorable experiences during my IBDP years. Especially the ‘Loving Hearts’ charity activity that I found to be one of the most unforgettable memories in school. It was a fun learning experience that helped me improve my communication skills.

4. Better prepared for uni life:  

The pre-university programme helps students identify their career paths as they grow through the learning process.

Parinistha: Throughout my school years, physics and maths have been my favourite subjects. The teachers who have taught me these subjects have always inspired me to explore the subjects beyond the school syllabus. Even the various opportunities (competitions, activities and workshops) I got in school helped nurture and grow my interest in these two subjects. And through this, I was able to identify my career path which is going to be aerospace engineering. I hope to further identify where my interests lie as I dive deeper into the subject.

5. Better understanding of the real world: 

The IB Diploma programme encourages independent learning, curiosity and critical thinking with students becoming agents of their own learning.

Parinistha: The IB programme has helped me become an independent learner and I feel it has taught me to connect with real-world issues. The diverse teaching methods, a friendly learning environment and different classroom activities have helped me develop creativity and a lifelong passion for learning new things.

6. A keen sense of social responsibility: 

The IB curriculum, shaped by a defined set of values, allows students to thrive intellectually, physically, emotionally and socially.

Parinistha: The IBDP programme has certainly shaped me into a more resilient person and I feel the learnings have instilled a sense of social and ethical responsibility in me.

7. Resilience: 

The programme encourages students to get back on their feet every time they face a challenge.

Parinistha: My biggest motivation during the entire IB course has been my passion to study aerospace engineering at a university I desired. Also, my parents and teachers have motivated me whenever I felt overwhelmed by the workload. It’s been a rewarding experience. 

8. A fruitful and rewarding experience:

The rigorous journey is rewarding as teachers, mentors and counsellors come together to provide ample guidance throughout the programme.

Parinistha: I look up to my IB teachers and my parents as they have always guided and encouraged me to achieve my maximum potential. Completing the TOK (Theory of Knowledge), CAS and EE (Extended essay) components of the DP have been rewarding as these activities and experiences gave me a new perspective on the world around me. TOK was especially intriguing as it was something I had never done before, and I realise it has equipped me with a deeper understanding of the nature of knowledge. 

GIIS’ career counselling programme helped me understand which universities suited me for my choice of an undergraduate course. The various education fairs, webinars and career ethics related workshops immensely helped me. I received university offers from NUS, NTU, SUTD and a few UK universities. However, I  accepted NTU as my choice of university as it is considered one of the best universities for my field.

Thank you Parinistha for sharing your learnings and experience in the IBDP at GIIS. We wish you all the best for your future!

If you would like to know more about the IB Diploma Programme at GIIS, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly admissions team.

Shubhdarshani Mitra

Shubhdarshani has over 10 years of experience in content creation, curation and editing. She has worked for Indian newspapers, school magazines and international news websites where she worked closely with the leadership on the execution and communication of the content strategy. Aside from work, she’s a passionate B&W photographer and storyteller.

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