CIS alumni Anushka Sikka finds her passion in human rights
From the time she was a young child, CIS graduate Anushka Sikka knew she wanted to be a lawyer. Passionate about social justice and human rights, Anushka wanted to be part of something “bigger”. She credits her geography class at CIS with opening her eyes to global socio-economic issues. It was the perfect mix of theory and practice that made her realise she could make a difference.
Anushka began her CIS journey at the TK campus where she soon felt like she was part of a big family. It was easy to build relationships and even when she returns to TK to visit, she is always welcomed home. When she moved to Lakeside, she got involved in the arts; performing in drama productions, cultural dances and at Beatfreaked, the annual secondary talent show.
In grade 12, Anushka applied to several universities, but the London School of Economics and Politics (LSE) was her first choice because it seemed to be the perfect fit. Not only is LSE ranked in the top 5 universities in the UK, it is among the top 10 law schools in the world. LSE welcomes students from 140 countries and has partnerships with universities around the world, including the National University of Singapore.
Anushka knew it would be difficult to gain a place at LSE. After all, the university gets over 18,000 applications every year, for only 1500 places! But after several anxious weeks of waiting, she was delighted to receive an offer of acceptance and she began her university studies at LSE in September 2015.
Anushka believes the international environment at CIS made her more open minded and sensitive to cultural differences, and it helped her assimilate into her new environment—an international community in the heart of London.
The biggest adjustment she had to make was living on her own. It was a double-edged sword. The freedom was exciting but she initially had to combat loneliness. As an international student, school was her entire life and it would have been easy to just spend her free time on social media. She quickly decided she wanted to “get grounded” and find opportunities for growth.
Anushka joined a few school-based organisations, and then found her passion with the LSESU Amnesty International Society, part of a network of over 100 Amnesty student groups across the UK supporting global human rights.
The Society’s aims are threefold: to campaign, to raise awareness, and to fundraise for the protection of human rights. Anushka is currently editor-in-chief for Amnesty’s annual journal, the Justitia Omnibus, whose main goal is to provide students around the world with a platform to discuss, challenge, and review some of the main themes underlying the human rights conversation. This year’s edition contains articles, poems and artwork focusing on gender issues. You can read the journal here.
In June, Anushka will graduate from LSE with a law degree and plans to return to Singapore to practise law.
Anushka has a few words of advice for students who are applying to university. Try to remember that you can’t do everything. Carefully research the field you want to enter to see if it’s the right fit for you. Talk to people. Go to university fairs and speak with university representatives when they come to visit CIS. And when you do find the right fit, embrace the experience, step out of your comfort zone and find your passion!