The sheer opportunities that had been given to me were amazing
Where do you come from?
I was born in India but I’ve been living in Hong Kong for 11 years now so I have dual nationality. In all honesty I feel part of both cultures even though neither one comes close to defining me. Some people call it global citizenship, other people call it being ‘cultureless’ but ultimately I don’t even bother putting a label on it. Not having a clear, singular idea of home and country was one thing that was hard to accept, but coming to UWC made me truly question myself, challenge my assumptions and embrace who I am rather than who others want me to be.
How did you find out about UWC and why did you apply?
I found out about UWC while searching for IB schools that offered scholarships because I was desperate to get out of the educational black hole that is the Hong Kong local education system. The wholehearted embracing of individuality, an extreme contrast to what I was used to, caught my eye almost immediately. I dropped all my other options that very moment; I knew that UWC was where I wanted to be.
What were your first impressions upon arriving at your Li Po Chun UWC?
I was both excited and intimidated. The sheer opportunities that had been given to me were amazing, but I also felt suddenly very unsure of myself in the face of all these people around me that seemed so confidently self-defined. I quickly learned to abandon my self-conscious egocentrism and to learn from others. Doing so allowed me to become comfortable with who I am. This quick, intense process of learning that was my very first impression of Li Po Chun UWC came to define my ideas of this school, which continue to grow and evolve day by day.
What do you enjoy most about life at UWC?
I love the people. It sounds cliché but it’s honest. More than the academics, more than all the activities, more than the projects, it’s being with such an eclectic and varied group of people that makes this experience worthwhile for me. My friends are the most important part of my life here and I learn the most from simply being around people – it’s the 4am conversations and spontaneous bouts of procrastination involving lengthy but casual discussions on philosophy that make everything here worth it.
What’s been the hardest or most challenging part?
Ensuring that I challenge myself without overstretching myself has been difficult. Ultimately, I’ve found that being here allows me to push myself to the limits, but it has also taught me to prioritize and take each thing as it comes so I can make the best out of all of them.
What subjects are you taking?
English A1 HL, French B HL, History HL, Political Thought SL, Physics SL and Maths SL.
What other activities are you involved in?
I am the leader of the LPC Amnesty International group and Art House (where we appreciate art house cinema), I am the editor of BTW (the school magazine) and also a member of the Global Issues Forum Team which is a two-hour event that takes place every week consisting of a presentation on a global issue followed by a moderated discussion. I am also a member of the AV Team and Mai Po Ecosystems, a group that helps at a local wetland reserve. This coming March, I’ll be leading a group in Project Week to build a playground for a Burmese refugee school in Thailand.
What are your ambitions after you leave UWC?
Right now my only goal is to learn. If anything I came to UWC thinking that I would enter a blissful world of empowered and educated activists, but I have learned that my education has only just begun. It has been an incredibly humbling experience. I want to learn about the world around me, and the people in it, and I want to experience those things. With that knowledge, I hope to give back in whatever fashion I can.
9 November 2010