A year in the International Centre

The first social event held at the IC in the Michaelmas term is the Freshers' BBQ. This is an event for all Lower Sixth students new to the school, both boarding and day, and provides a chance to socialise early in the term. This, together with a trip to Thorpe Park and the Freshers' Ball, gives ample opportunity to get to know the people with whom they will spend the next two years, fellow students and staff alike. It is a tradition in the house that, early in the term, the students challenge the Sevenoaks staff to a game of football, usually a closely fought match.

Sporting talent at the IC is equally matched by the impressive range of musical accomplishment; several are keen to perform in the Musical Evening which takes place in the second half of the term.

The audience of fellow Sixth Formers are treated to performances ranging from classical piano through to enthusiastic drum playing. In the second half of this first long term comes the IC International Evening, a celebration of a particular culture chosen by the students, this year being the turn of India. This is a highly entertaining evening where about 180 students and staff are treated to the food of the country and a presentation of the culture in the form of informative speeches interspersed with amusing skits. The event is great fun and only such a success because our boys put so much effort into decorating the House and organising the evening.

The term ends with School Charity Week and the IC's charity auction whereby members of the school bid to have the services of a group of IC students for one day – only reasonable requests being allowed! The highlight of the house's social calendar is undoubtedly the IC Ball, a black tie event held annually in March. With a marquee to supplement the transformed accommodation, the overall effect is that of a club and casino with disco and lightshow. A huge amount of work goes into making the night a success and some 250 people have a great time, including many staff who help with the running of the Ball. Part of the ticket sale profits goes to charity.

Reading this, one might wonder if there is time for academic study and, of course, this is the main focus of a student's time at Sevenoaks. Between the pressures of coursework, exams and the daily challenges of the classroom, these opportunities to relax foster the close, often lifelong friendships that result. 

Indeed, it is heartening to receive visits from old IC boys who have left many years ago but who still keep in touch with fellow IC members all over the world.

Nigel Connell, former Housemaster, the IC