International College Hong Kong

Charlotte Cheung

Law, UCL-HKU Dual Degree

What did you most enjoy about your time at ICHK?

I have been on the ICHK path ever since I was young, as I attended ICHK Kindergarten and Primary. Secondary school is where I made the most treasured memories, because of the people I met, whether this be my fellow classmates or the supportive teachers. I particularly liked joining humanities focused student-led initiatives because I liked working on projects that dealt with issues of global significance and would support the student life of others. These includeed the Student Representative Council, Model United Nations, or starting our in-house student magazine, the INSIGHT Magazine. I was able to develop ever-lasting memories with my classmates through these initiatives, and was given the opportunity to develop my leadership skills with leadership positions in the mentioned clubs. 

I think the period of time at ICHK I treasure the most is the weeks leading up to IB exams and graduation, particularly the final week of school. Due to COVID, our time for mask-less, in-person classes was limited - when we finally returned to normal, our school year was about to end! We made the most of it, participating in school-spirit activities like sports day and spirit week, creating Class of 2023 memorabilia like our graduation hoodies, and ending off our secondary-school life with a school sleepover on the final day of school. Many of us were reminiscent and nostalgic about the past seven years, because we knew we would be unlikely to find another place like ICHK in the future.  

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

Our teachers were not only welcoming, but genuinely wanted students to flourish to their full potentials. In lower school, this was done through offering encouragement and support for any projects or passions students wanted to pursue. In sports, the arts, or even traditional academic subjects like science and humanities, there are activities for students to participate in outside of the classroom. For instance, opportunities like the drama showcase, joining the touch rugby team or participating in the science fair were all important parts of my secondary school life. This has allowed me to develop as a student because I could truly develop my passion towards subjects I love and not follow a rigid academic path just because of strict academic rules. Once we got to IB, Ms Lai always preached ‘adult-to-adult’ relationships, where we were treated as mature and trustworthy individuals, able to reach out for support whenever needed. This has prepared me for my future studies by not being afraid to reach out to others if needed. 

How do you think that ICHK differs from other schools?

ICHK does not only say they want to make a difference in the educational world - they actively do so. In a system where there is  rigid grading and a ‘one-size-fits-all’ attitude, our school has put forward many initiatives that aims to challenge this. Deep Learning, Mastery Transcript, Human Technologies are examples of this. They focus on skills-based learning and allowing students to participate in real-world activities to develop their academic potential. Forest adventures, entrepreneurship programmes, or learning more about PERMA are part of an ICHK student’s everyday life, and not just a once a term activity people participate in. Moreover, ICHK has successfully developed the most inclusive community I have ever been part of. All students are friends with each other, including those in Year 7 and from the +1 centre. I remember when I was in Year 13, we would always see the younger years around during lunchbreaks, and have happy conversations with them. I believe this would be rare at other schools, but at ICHK, this was the norm. 

What were the key skills that you learnt at ICHK?

Out of the three core values of ICHK, Growth Mindset, Courage in the Learning Zone and Support of Peers, I think the final skill was the one I developed the most, due to the social period of the time I was at ICHK. 2016-2023 was a time of change for Hong Kong and the world around us, in which many of us felt insecure and unsure about the future ahead. What ICHK taught me was to always check-in with those around me and offer support if needed, which I think is a key skill for a student exploring the real-world for the first time.

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?

My biggest achievement so far is receiving an offer for my undergraduate degree - the UCL-HKU LLB Dual Degree. Although applying to the programme was daunting, my time at ICHK encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and pursue something that I was truly passionate about. For my application, I was able to utilise the skills ICHK taught me by querying the ideas of the status quo and defend the positions I truly believed in. Now I am about to begin this undergraduate degree, and I cannot wait to pursue the challenges ahead of me.


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