What does becoming a scholar mean to a prospective student at St. Joseph’s Institution International? The opportunity of a lifetime.
Jiayi Zhu ‘19 joined SJI International as a Scholar in 2018. She discovered the scholarship programme opportunity the year before, and the thought of possibly being a scholar in an international school after being in a local school for 10 years really excited her. Coming from modest means, this would not have been an opportunity she could have considered.
“I remember how proud my mother was when I was accepted for the SJI International Scholarship Programme. It would also mean one less worry for her as she always felt that she was not able to provide the best for both me and my sister,” Jiayi shared.
Jiayi speaking at SJI International’s SINGALA III: The Circle of Life fundraising dinner in 2019 about her scholarship experience
Applying for the scholarship had given her motivation to work harder for her ‘O’ levels that year, as she wanted to enter SJI International feeling that she was worthy of being selected as a scholar.
As a student, Jiayi took full advantage of the holistic International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and the expansive co-curricular activities offered to students. She joined the Photography and Astrophysics clubs, the Touch Rugby Team and even the Folk Songs Group, that allowed her to embrace her inner passion for singing that she had never dared to share.
As a part of her IB programme, she completed her service learning working with Oasis Second Chance Animal Shelter. Embodying the spirit of her Lasallian education and the school’s motto “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve”, beyond her school requirements, she independently chose to volunteer at Tan Tock Seng Hospital which sparked her interest in considering the medical field.
Jiayi shaved her head for Hair for Hope, an annual opportunity for SJI International students to raise funds to support the Children’s Cancer Foundation.
Fast forward two years later to Jiayi’s graduation from SJI International in November 2019, and her completion of the IB programme. Scoring an impressive 42/45 on her IB exams, Jiayi is hoping to pursue family medicine or paediatrics as a doctor and is currently applying to read medicine at a university in Singapore.
“Before the scholarship, I had scaled down my aspirations and the pathway to university seemed distant. The nurturing and stimulating environment restored my confidence, self-esteem and enabled me to dream again. Being in SJI International gave me the chance to reach my full potential.”