International College Hong Kong

Sanika Kulkarni

BA in Comparative Literature, Language and Communication, The University of Hong Kong

Sanika Kulkarni says the wealth of experiences she was exposed to at ICHK have given her the confidence to embrace new challenges.

What are you studying and at which university?

I am currently pursuing a BA in Comparative Literature, Language and Communication.

What did you most enjoy about your time at ICHK?  

When I first joined ICHK I was consumed by fear, moving in from another country made me feel like I was too different to be able to fit in. Initially, I held back but the community spirit at ICHK encouraged my peers to make me feel at ease. Later, I realised that it wasn't just me, everyone was just as different as each other and this is exactly what made people bond and make connections with each other. One of my best experiences at ICHK was being a part of my Media class in year 11. We were a class of 10 but every single person in the class was from a different part of the world. Simply being in that class with those 10 people taught me far more about culture, societies and individuals than any book or film could have ever done.

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

Throughout the five years that I spent at ICHK I was always encouraged to ask questions and interact with teachers. During some of my final years the teachers supported us through our journeys and also treated us like adults. As senior students we were always guided by our teachers but we were also granted a sense of freedom which allowed me to develop responsibility and a healthy work ethic.  Their constructive criticism helped me develop my self; both personally and academically. This has proven especially helpful in university and other professional work environments in my life after school.

How do you think that ICHK differs from other schools?

From day one, everyone at ICHK promoted the  idea of “Community Spirit”. Throughout my years at ICHK I got a change to foster this spirit that allows each and every member of the school community to help each other grow. This also creates an environment of immense encouragement and support which definitely helped me in some of my final years at ICHK. I also had the opportunity to find friends across all year groups which isn’t common amongst other high schools and allows us to learn better in a supportive community.

What were the key skills that you learnt at ICHK?

In my first year of IB I was elected as President for the Student Council which was an unforgettable experience. As students this allowed us to propose and implement the changes that we wanted to see in the school. I felt comfortable enough to run for the position of President because of the ethos of the school. Students, teachers and parents at ICHK catalyse the process of integrating each individual into the community and their approachable nature allows one to take risks. When I first came to ICHK I would have never imagined that I would represent the student body one day however the community environment allowed me to develop the confidence to take up a job like that. This job helped me build leadership and organisational skills which I have been able to use ever since.

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?

I recently took up the opportunity to volunteer at a NGO in Brazil for two months. There were several challenging aspects to this internship right from living on the other side of the world where you don’t speak the language, communicating with people from all over the world and being able to fulfill professional responsibilities at an organisation. At ICHK I had the opportunity to run after school activities for the lower school which helped me manage the children at the NGO and the interpersonal skills that I developed at ICHK prepared me for communicating with the wide range of people that I came across during my trip.

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