Home Trending An interview with the diverse student body of International Community School (ICS)

An interview with the diverse student body of International Community School (ICS)

by Ashima

The pupils offer insight into what it’s like to study at the esteemed institution.

International Community School (ICS) is a non-profit Christian school and a leading American AP K-12 institute in Bangkok. ICS is known for the close-knit community fostered between its faculty, students, and parents. This comes from a relentless focus on care and individual attention to help each child thrive in and out of the classroom. The emphasis on character formation together with student achievement is why ICS is one of the very few international schools with continual growth for over 27 years. 

About Advanced Placement (AP)

ICS is the largest Advanced Placement (AP) school in Thailand offering 21 AP courses. AP classes bring college-level classes into the High School classroom focusing on depth in a subject area. AP is flexible, students can take as many or as few AP courses as they like. Most colleges give some credit for AP exams and are known worldwide, more than 2.8 million students took AP exams in 2019. 

Advanced Placement (AP)

What are AP courses?

AP courses are college-level classes brought into the high school classroom focusing on depth in a subject area.

Do AP courses prepare students for college?

Yes, AP courses are actual college-level courses, universities around the world use these courses as a gauge for how students may perform academically at the university level.

Is AP accepted worldwide?

AP is well known worldwide; most universities give some college credit for AP courses. More than 2.8 million students around the world took AP tests in 2019.

How many AP courses does ICS offer?

ICS is the largest AP school in Thailand offering 21 AP courses.

Read more about AP, here.

Amy Jain, Current Student 

What are you involved in at ICS?

At the moment I spend most of my time on Fifty Squared, a now UN-affiliated and internationally recognised organisation that started as a little HS club a couple years ago. Other than that, I like to spend my time managing the school newspaper as Co-Editor-in-Chief, leading fundraising clubs like Mental Health Awareness & Disaster Relief, and working on larger scale projects among ICS with other schools like TedX Events & ServICE Speeches. 

What do you like about ICS?

I like that I am encouraged, in every possible meaning of the word. Be it the freedom to take initiative and make an actual change or further pursue an academic topic of my interest – along the entire way, there will be people, ICS staff & teachers, cheering you along the way, fostering independence, but also ready with open doors anytime you need help. 

How has ICS prepared you for the next step in your life?

First of all, a shout out to Ms.Jen, our amazing college counsellor who works 24/7 to ensure seniors are feeling prepared and ready for the college admissions process. But one step ahead, beyond academics, ICS actually hasn’t prepared me for real life at all. And what I mean by this follows from the previous question. The real world is not always as supportive, not as kind, not as concerned about your wellbeing as is the community at ICS. In a way, I might be spoiled with the belief that everyone has my best intentions at mind. The next step of life might be a harsh pop to this bubble, but might be an inevitable reality. 

Why did you choose to stay at ICS? / or would you choose ICS again if you had the chance?

When my parents first enrolled me here, they loved particularly that ICS had not only the best education, but also a wonderful student-teacher relationship and community that was unlike any other they had seen. Obviously, then, ICS must’ve had something special such that I came to school from 24 kilometers away every morning, for 12 years now, to have been worth it.

What’s your favorite memory of your time at ICS so far?

Of course the school’s annual SALT Trips and Eagle Camps have a special place in my heart, but even more so, I’d have to say… the little things. Like the potluck at lunch with cuisines from every corner of the world. The playful banters with teachers along the hallway. The after-school bombarding of a teacher’s classroom simply for the sake of drawing parallels from AP Statistics’ lessons to the likelihood that Beyonce writes her own lyrics. (Spoiler: She doesn’t). 

What does ICS mean to you?

Having crunched through the same autumn leaves through the parking lot floor, scanned through the same metallic turnstiles, rushed across the same smooth pavement, and hurried alongside the same tall pillars almost every day for the past 12 years of my life, ICS means familiarity. In my head, it’s synonymous with comfort, and home. A place that I feel like I’ll be drawn back towards no matter where I end up later in life

Jainam Sanghavi, Alumnus

I am currently an intern doctor working at SVP (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel) Hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. I studied at Smt. NHL MMC (Nathiba Hargovandas Lakhmichand Municipal Medical College) which is affiliated with the Gujarat University.

What do you do now?

I currently either attend the rotations at the hospital or work on the COVID task force. I am also preparing for the all-India post-graduate entrance exam called NEET PG (soon to be renamed NEXT).

What were you involved in at ICS?

I enjoyed the challenges of the AP classes on offer at ICS and enrolled in almost all the ones available during my time there. As far as extracurricular activities are concerned, I was part of the U-15, JV, and Varsity volleyball teams as well as the Varsity softball team. I also took part in the intramural soccer tournaments as well as Friday night events. I honestly wish I could have been more actively involved in the vibrant after-school life but due to other commitments and the long commute I was restricted to these activities.

How did ICS help prepare you for your future?

I believe ICS prepared me by teaching me how to think. My job as a doctor is to analyse the clues in the patient’s signs/symptoms, ask the right questions to unearth any hidden information, call for any bloodwork or imaging report that may clarify the case further, and finally to interpret all of this information to correctly diagnose and treat the patient. Hence a successful doctor must be knowledgeable, but more importantly s/he must be able to “think”.

This ability to problem solve is not just applicable to my profession but I believe it is the crux to almost any field. It cannot be self-taught through a book, or even through a particular subject in school. It is the cumulative experience of our schooling years that wires our brains to be able to think, and ICS’ emphasis on this process of learning equips us to surmount any eventuality in life.

As an Indian I have often judged a student’s, and as a consequence their institution’s, brilliance based on the vastness of their knowledge and the speed with which they are able to retrieve their memory. However now I see that rote memory is not sustainable and almost all school knowledge is eventually forgotten; the only thing that stands through the trial of time and uncertainty is the ability to think.

What’s your favorite memory of your time at ICS?

While I enjoyed the academic achievements during my time at ICS, the memories that are closest to my heart now are the ones that took place along the journey. Whether it be the high-fives and hugs amongst friends in the corridors between classes, or the banter with teachers after classes, or the anticipation ahead of sporting events; moments that seemed nondescript at the time eventually left the biggest impression on me.

What does ICS mean to you?

ICS is home. It is a place where teachers go above and beyond to truly nurture us as “little humans” and not just as students. A place where friendships go deeper than talking about the latest trends. A place not just to learn but to grow. Simply put, a place my dad would threaten to take away from me as punishment for when I misbehaved.

For more information about International Community School (ICS) and their curriculum, visit www.ics.ac.th

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