International College Hong Kong

Angela Chung

Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

What did you most enjoy about your time at ICHK?

For me, I greatly treasure the community and atmosphere in ICHK. The IB diploma is known for the notorious stress it brings its students. However, with the teachers, staff, and student support system at ICHK, the experience is made enjoyable. ICHK’s community has positively influenced me to not just focus on my studies, but also grow holistically as an individual. I took on more sports and outdoor activities, due to studying here. I was also able to form good relationships with the staff members; I was comfortable to ask for advice, and was always returned with the most insightful, thoughtful, responses. I like the small cohort, tenderness, and closer relationship ICHK harnesses. I felt cared for, not just academically, but also 'well-roundedly.' ICHK is not just a school, it is a family. 

How do you feel that teachers at ICHK prepared you for life after school?

Incredibly well. Teachers prepare us in manners that do not explicitly feel like “training”. Academically, I developed more curiosity and love for the acquisition of knowledge. I think this is because of the high level of engagement the teachers gave us. My teachers were able to pass on a lot of insights and advice on university life, work life, and even adulthood. Most importantly for me, I learned the importance of a growth mindset through my teachers; ultimately, life may not go your way, but ‘work hard, and be nice’, and a path will be created. My teachers taught me to never be afraid to ask for help, to be more involved in the community, to give back, to be open to changes, and to persist in pursuit of a goal, especially despite challenges. 

How do you think that ICHK differs from other schools?

In comparison to other schools, ICHK has a relatively smaller cohort size. This means that amongst peers, we build better relationships, and receive higher attention from the teachers. Moreover, ICHK teaches us not just academics, but also how to become a better individual in the world. For example, through Human Technologies, we’re taught different ways of thinking, and how to solve real-life problems. We also gain a deeper perspective of our own personal interests, and potentials via Deep-Learning and the Mastery Transcript. The approach to learning, here, is not solely on academics, the other aspects that contribute to being a successful individual are also enchanted through ICHK’s curriculums.  

Furthermore, I think other schools can be like production lines, they wish to model their students into a set expectation, receiving A* grades etc. - a high academic stress is forced upon their students. On the contrary, here, I felt the environment ICHK creates allowed me to be comfortable enough to try new things, and not be afraid of failure. Students can really explore their future potential.  

What were the key skills that you learnt at ICHK?

I joined ICHK in Year 9. Before I arrived here, I was an uptight individual who spent most of my hours on my studies. Upon attending ICHK, I learned to focus on other areas of my life. What good does it do if I can recite a whole textbook of knowledge, but fall short on social-intelligences? Or lack the ability to apply what I had learned to real-world situations? Of the three core values in ICHK; Growth Mindset, Courage in the Learning Zone, and Support of Peers, notice how none of them specified ‘Academic Success’. What mattered was the mindset towards learning, and how we contribute to those around us. Of course, high-scoring scholars are celebrated here, but it is not the definite goal of learning. For me, then, the key skill I had learned was the attitude to life; resilience, independence, a growth mindset, and how to apply your knowledge to contribute to the world around us. 

Any significant moments / highlights / achievements in your life that you may like to share, and do you think your time at ICHK helped you prepare for them?

A significant moment marking how well ICHK had prepared me, was in the first week of my university. Entering my legal students, I was able to adapt rather quickly to the workload, and self-directness of university learning. This is a result of ICHK’s program (such as Free-Learning), training our independence in our approach to learning.

Additionally, I would like to add that the highest achievement of my life is entering the Hong Kong Women’s Lacrosse U20 Representative Team. (2021 - 2023). And I would never even dare to tryout, (given that the training is four times a week, and I was still in school) without ICHK’s encouragement to indulge beyond academics. Trying-out was the best decision of my life. I have developed soft skills and relations that are huge contributors to who I am right now. Being in the Lacrosse Rep team, while managing school would be hard, but ICHK’s community; the staff, the teaching style, and the support I was able to receive, allowed me to balance the two perfectly.  I truthfully thank ICHK for teaching me to shift my focus less on just academics and develop also, the other attributes that fulfill an individual.

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