Class news 2016
RUCHITA THAKUR : Bachelors in Business Administration at Northeastern University, Boston
I am currently pursuing Business Administration at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. I graduated from KIS in 2015. I chose to do Business Administration because I developed interest in business while I was doing the IB program at KIS. I started my freshman year of college in fall 2015. It was a completely different experience and a sudden transition from high school to university. I had to start a new life right from my academics to making new friends. KIS has played a very important role in my life, as it has helped to become a person I now am. It has shaped my personality entirely and taught me several values which I wouldn’t have gotten sitting at home. Therefore, I thank all my teachers, my dorm parent and my friends for contributing towards such a beautiful experience of my life.
Initially it was very hard for me to cope with the curriculum but then later as the time passed with the help of my professors and friends I managed. Apart from academics, I explored quite a lot of Boston in my first semester. In the second semester I got selected for the VFI (Volunteers for Israel) program on Campus. I went to Israel for 10 days and volunteered for the Israel army. It was a completely different experience. I got a chance to interact with the soldiers who participated in the war of Gaza. It was a great opportunity for me learn a lot of new things. I also worked with the MIT media lab for the program “Emerging Worlds”.
GAURAV DORA: Pursuing Bachelors in Fine Arts, Animation at Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta
“You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.” – Albert Camus.
Living with different people, from different cultures, on a completely different continent is not as easy as you might think, and I believe most of you would know that. You miss a lot of things while away from home; friends, family and not to forget the most desired of all, food. There was yet another thing on my mind, probably because I was trying to find or recreate them here at college. They were the KIS memories. But unfortunately, I do not believe that, that is possible, for the bonds and memories you make at KIS can only be relived with the ones you made them with.Kodai was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I still meet my friends, try to keep in touch with most of them but after a while it does become a little tough, with the work load, new people and when you’re trying to settle down in a new place. Then again years from now, when I do meet them, there’s only one thing I hope for, that it would all be the same. Although sadly differences are going to come our ways and there’s no way one can stop them.
Being at SCAD has been a privilege in terms of experiences. I got to learn a lot of things. Making mistakes isn’t the same, as they were back at 7 Roads Junction. You have to deal with them yourselves and most of all, to learn from them. If you fall you have to be back on your feet stronger than before, ready to make and learn from the new ones and there hasn’t been a person wiser to have learnt from someone else’s mistake so you have to make and learn from yourself. You can be your greatest teacher.
Before I bid my goodbyes there’s a little advice for the ones that are soon going to make the transition from KIS to different parts of the world. Back on the hill we had our boundaries but out there is an open world filled with possibilities, back there you had everyone next to you, out there you have to learn to be the lone wolf, ready to defend yourself against all odds. But regardless don’t forget your roots and to be around the right company. There’s a quote I’d like to share and hope for you all to remember, it is from the poem ‘If’ written by Rudyard Kipling – “If you can keep your head when all about are losing theirs and blaming it on you and if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but making allowance for their doubting too, the world is yours and everything in it.”
A final message for the class of 2015! Hope you guys are all doing well just wanted to let you know I am happy to have graduated with you all. Miss you fam!
PAVANA KHAN : Bachelors In Science, Biology and Biochemistry
My first year in Carleton College has been a year filled with great memories, lasting friendships and a lot of fascinating new experiences. The liberal arts education gave me the opportunity to try classes in the art of mining, geology, poetry, psychology and African dance along with many others. By the end of sophomore year, I plan to declare Biology as my major. However, Carleton has been a lot more than just studies. I became part of the synchronized swimming club and I cannot explain in words how amazing the sport is. Participating in inter-college competitions was thrilling and helped me form a wonderful group of friends in the club. Along with this, last spring I performed as the lead in my second play in the Experimental Theatre Board. Sticking to my roots, participating in cultural shows and performing Indian classical dances were also truly memorable experiences.
Adjusting to Carleton was not smooth but I have always felt that the transition into college was made easier because of my experiences in Kodai. Some habits of Kodai have still not left me and every morning, I wish that my dorm parent, Ms. Tandon, came to knock on the door to wake me up. The culture shock in the States was very real but for me, it was all about finding the right people and not about changing myself to fit in. High school to college is a journey marked by maturity and accepting the new freedom with the burden of more responsibilities. I realized that even though I had more freedom in college, I still missed the protected environment of Kodai and the close knit community. Kodai gave me a sense of security because of my friends, my great teachers, my dorm parent and the lovely staff. I missed that feeling of togetherness and dependence the most. On top of that being an international student was hard because I was part of a minority. Yet, I found out that there is almost always a community out there for you. For me, this was the international student community. They were a great help and I do not know where I would be without this loving community.
To my Kodai community out there, I just want to say, cherish the time that you have in Kodai because it is truly unique and without doubt one of the best times of your life. It will all be over too soon. Most importantly, always keep Kodai in your heart and keep in touch with your old friends because they will be there for you no matter what.
SAMRIDHI RAJBHANDARI: Bachelors in Arts and Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder
After a crazy two years of doing the full IB diploma in Kodaikanal International School, I made my way to the other side of the world in Boulder, Colorado. From the beautiful Palani hills of Kodaikanal to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado...I realized I’m a mountain kind of girl. I am currently studying International Relations and Economics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. My first year of my undergraduate school in America was eye opening and life changing in ways that I would have never imaged. I can truly say I have learned so many things, and not just academically but about practical day to day life. Although I felt independent living without my family in Kodai, college is a whole new level of independence. There are no dorm parents to check if you came back to your room on time or give you a monthly allowance. There are no teachers running behind your back to check if you’ve finished your essay or done your homework. No one tells you whether your back account has $100 or $1 left.
As fun as college sounds, which no doubt it is, it is also an incredible roller coaster. I learned about myself as an individual. I could focus on what my strengths and weaknesses were. I learned about how to manage my time in a way where I could have a good social life but also complete my work on time and study for midterms and finals. I tried out different clubs and made friends who I would have never met if I didn’t expose myself to different student groups on campus. Speaking of friends, I made friends with such different lives than mine, that just sitting and talking to them about our life experiences was a form of entertainment. Coming from an international student background really gave me a head start in college. Everyone was interested to know why a Nepali girl, who's changed schools internationally more times than they’ve changed in their city, came to Boulder out of all places in the world. Everyone was interested in how I was able to fit in so well when I’ve never stepped foot in America before deciding to move to this country for the next 4 years. Everyone was interested in how I had a perfect American accent. It was actually quite funny to see how all this was confusing people. I had a great time explaining to people that I moved countries so often because of my dad’s job in the UN and that I have the accent I do because of the schools I went to. Although I got pathetic questions such as “is there Wi-Fi in Nepal”, “so you’ve been to Mount Everest right?” and “they have this kind of music there?”, I still got a laugh out of it by teaching them that south east Asia is not at all what they think.
Anyways, all in all, I’m glad I chose this university and I’m glad that it’s in a location that allows me to explore different people, places and ideas. The way I think is different in terms of being more open minded and accepting of situations and people. So to all the students in Kodai, don’t try to rush out of Kodai and move on the next chapter too fast because Kodai is definitely worth making the most of. Nothing matches up to the things Kodai teaches you. You’ll really miss it when you’re gone!
CHIZUKNOK LONGKUMER (CHAZ): Bachelors in Arts and Sciences, International Relations at Calvin College, Michigan
Hi Kodai Alumni! my name is Chizüknok Longkumer, but I’m commonly known as Chaz. I’m from Nagaland, India; however, I spent a good five years of my life in Kodai. I graduated Kodai in the class of 2015, so I’m still a fresh fish in the big blue world. My time in Kodai was unforgettable and nothing less than amazing. I left Kodai not knowing where I wanted to go and what I wanted to pursue. I got accepted into a bunch of Universities, however due to financial reasons, they were all out of the picture. Towards the end of the summer, I ended up going to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Calvin College is basically Kodai outside of Kodai. There are so many parts of Calvin that give off the same vibes and feelings of Kodai, and I just fitted like a glove. I entered College with a major in International Relations with a minor in International Development. I have to say it’s not where I pictured myself but I couldn’t have asked for it any other way. I really enjoy the place (not so much the snow). The people here are welcoming, and the international community is much bigger than I expected. I truly have settled in well here.
In terms of my future, there is nothing specific in mind; but I hope to interact closely with others. I have a huge heart for helping people, and I want to go out into the world and make a change for those who have nothing. My parents are missionaries and who knows, I might even follow in their footsteps. However, I still have a bit more time to decide. College is not cheap, and I’d like to ask the Kodai community to pray for financial support for both me and my family. Kodai holds a big place in my heart, but my time there has passed. I’m so grateful for the platform it has given me in life; Kodai has shaped me into the person I am today. If you’re ever in Grand Rapids, feel free to pop by. I might not be able to offer you a place to stay, but I’ll always make time for someone from the Kodai family.