Published 14 August 2023

Congratulations to the winners of Curt Nicolin Award 2023!

The Curt Nicolin Academic Achievement Award 2023 goes to Isabella Chun and Nuwan Singhal. The award recognizes the academic achievements of students on the IB Diploma Programme at SSHL.

Nuwan and Isabella both achieved 41 points which was the highest score at SSHL last academic year. This means that they, apart from the sum of 10,000 Swedish kronor each that they already received for reaching 40 points or more, also get to share the extra prize sum of 40,000.

Kerry Browning is Acting Principal for the IB Programmes: 

– We are extremely proud of all our IBDP and IBCP students’ results this year. This cohort was the first to be assessed on all aspects of the course since the end of the pandemic, so it was very satisfying to see their results in July. The Curt Nicolin award is a recognition of consistent hard work and excellent results and Nuwan and Isabella are both deserving recipients, says Mrs Browning.

Isabella and Nuwan - receivers of the Curt Nicolin Award 2023
Nuwan Singhal and Isabella Chun received the Curt Nicolin award 2023 for highest score.

Today we had the great pleasure to meet Nuwan, one of the award winners, as he came to visit SSHL for an interview. We also talked to Isabella about receiving the award:

How did you feel about receiving the award?

Nuwan: I am honored, I was excited and happy when I found out. I was hoping for it, but I was still surprised that I ended up getting it.

Isabella: It was honestly a real surprise but of course I was super happy and honored to receive it.

What made you so successful in your studies?

Nuwan: I think it was because I had a clear goal in mind before I started. And I knew what I needed to do to get there. I worked hard on it. I wanted to go to university, and be able to study what I want to study, which is Electrical Engineering.

Isabella: Two of the main things I did were to make use of lesson time to really take in what we were learning and ask a lot of questions to our teachers to clarify anything that I did not understand. This allowed me to get a better and deeper understanding of the subjects as well as being able to spend less time studying when the exams came around.

How was your summer? 

Nuwan: It was good, relaxing. I went to Israel for a week, to visit one of my friends. But other than that, I was mostly relaxing and preparing for university.

Isabella: My summer has been super fun! I have been traveling a bit with both my family and friends which I have really enjoyed and it has been great just being able to relax now that school is finished.

What are your plans for the near future? 

Nuwan: In a few days I will be leaving Sigtuna for the US to enroll at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study Electrical Engineering.

Isabella: I am taking a gap year to work a little bit and travel which I am really excited about. I felt that I wanted to take a year off from school before starting university to travel and gain more experiences.

What advice do you give to IB students starting this year? 

Nuwan: I think it’s really important that they first learn how to actually learn by themselves. A big mistake I made at the start was I focused purely on what they were teaching me, and not how I was supposed to learn by myself. You need to find out what works for you, and not just do what everyone else does.

How has your time at SSHL been? 

Nuwan: The first year it was a bit strange, with Covid and all, and I had to get into it, but after that it was nice to be integrated and the experience here is really different compared to my old school, especially with all the different kids and since there is boarding so you get to know each other really well. I am very thankful to the teachers and staff at SSHL for making my experience what it was.

Adrian Feehan is IB DP Coordinator and teacher at SSHL:

– Scoring 40 points or more is an impressive feat which is achieved by less than 10% of students worldwide. We had many students working at a consistently high level throughout the programme but it takes something extra special to be able to replicate this in the final exams, which in the DP, determine the majority of the grades.

We were truly happy to get the chance to talk to Nuwan and Isabella and congratulate them for their great achievements. We wish them both the best of luck and hope to see them in Sigtuna soon again!

The Curt Nicolin award recognises students who reach 40 points or more. Beyond the recognition, all recipients are awarded a prize sum of SEK 10,000. The student who rises to the top to achieve the highest overall score at SSHL receives an additional award sum of SEK 40,000. Every year on Scholarship prize Day, we also recognise a large number of students with several other scholarships, awards and prizes.

Below: Nuwan Singhal and Isabella Chun received the Curt Nicolin award 2023 for highest score.