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International Students and Scholars

Anna N’Semi

Class of 2019

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Hello everybody! I would like to begin by introducing myself; I’m Anna Borbála N’Semi. I am half Congolese, half Hungarian  (my father being Congolese and my mother Hungarian). I was born in 1996 in Brazzaville, Congo and as a result of the civil war that broke out in 1997, we had to flee to Hungary. I grew up in a small town called Kapuvár in the northwest corner of Hungary and lived there until well into my teenage years, but then, all of a sudden, everything had changed. In 2013 magic happened! I guess it was something similar to getting accepted to Hogwarts, I would argue even better: A letter saying that in three months I will be moving to the other side of the world to live with 159 other students from more than 80 other countries to take part in an adventure of a lifetime. I was going to attend Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific. A dream come true!

What did I enjoy most about my Pearson experience? It is really hard, almost impossible I would say, to point out one thing/experience that I enjoyed the most as there is just something about every moment one spends at a UWC that is so fulfilling and/or enjoyable; whether that be something a little more challenging, perhaps, or simply something incredibly fun. One thing that I am forever grateful for is the amazing family I got while at Pearson College. These friendships – not just with other students but also with faculty – are everlasting. I have learnt so much from this amazing family both inside and outside of classes. Whether it be from late night conversations, International Affairs where we discussed global issues or from a presentation prepared for class, the knowledge I have gained is invaluable. I have learnt not to judge or make hasty generalizations and I have learnt to think critically; all this through real-life exposure and from first-hand experiences. These people inspire me and give me reasons to believe: change can be made.

I found Lewis & Clark College a very appealing institution to continue my education for several reasons. One reason was the amazing study abroad opportunities the College provides for those who would like to get to know more about foreign cultures and get insight into current issues elsewhere as well as to understand the viewpoint of locals, not to mention to learn foreign languages.  The Portland area is also indeed a magical environment and as a result provides incredible outdoor opportunities for explorers. I am also very excited to observe the community engagement, all the groups, organizations and activities one can try and commit to.  I am looking forward to continuing the process of learning outside classroom.

At Pearson College some of the courses I chose to take were Economics, English A Language and Literature, Theatre, Marine Science, Mathematics and French. My main academic interests focus on the disciplines of Economics, International Studies/Affairs and Foreign Languages as I enjoy learning about these three above all. I believe that with a focus in these areas I will be able to contribute to the change I believe is needed in the world to deal with global issues such as poverty, environmental changes and scarce resources. Therefore, I am thinking about pursuing one or two of these as majors, though I am yet undecided and not completely clear about my future career yet.

Dancing as a way of expressing myself is one of the things I am the most passionate about. I would say it grew to become a lot more than just a hobby. I have been dancing hip-hop and contemporary styles of dance for nearly 9 years now and I can say that it is a core part of my life. I have always found dancing a safe place to express all that is within. It has made me stronger not just physically but emotionally as well and helped me through a difficult phase of my life. I have also been playing the violin for 11 years, although I have not practiced as much as I had hoped over the last two years. I like singing, reading books, watching movies (it is all about Harry Potter) and exercising by taking part in different sports such as playing handball or just going for a jog.

Even though I was born in Congo, because I moved to Hungary so early, I did not have the opportunity to get to know much about my Congolese side. Much of what I know of my Congolese side is through my father’s eyes. It is really something I am planning to explore in the near future. My father lives in Turin, Italy and has for quite a while now, so I have been to Italy to visit him (along with my mother and two older brothers) on several occasions. Not so long ago, one of my brothers moved to Italy to live with him, as well, giving me another reason to visit them. My other brother has been studying in France and my mother and I have visited him, as well. Once my school organized a trip to Belgium and England so we took the bus to these two countries to visit and get to know their cultures a little more. Living very close to the Austrian border, my class visited Vienna on a couple occasions, during the Christmas holiday particularly to see the beautiful Christmas Market in the city centre.  Finally as mentioned above, I have spent two amazing years in Canada at Pearson College.

I really would like to develop both my time management and public speaking skills as well as keep learning from people living in the Lewis & Clark community. I hope to specialize in majors that will enable me to achieve my ultimate goal: bringing a change to the world.  Last, but not least, I would like to live the Lewis & Clark experience.

United World College

Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific (Canada)