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International Students and Scholars

Gizella Kaszti

Class of 2019

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My name is Gizella (those who know me call me Ella) and I am from Hungary. I was born in a town but I spent the majority of my childhood in a small village with only 100 people. Riding my bike and playing in the forest, I never thought of ever leaving my village, let alone my country.

Unlike many others, I spent 4 years at UWC. I had the amazing opportunity to experience MYP (the pre-IB program) followed by IB. I enjoyed the academic challenge of IB and UWC as well as learning about the cultures of others. Having grown up seeing the same faces every day, I was suddenly thrown into a world with people from countries I had never heard of. I loved teaching others about my culture while being taught by them in the same way.

I was introduced to Lewis & Clark by another Hungarian girl who is a current student there.  Call it fate, or something, but we happened to have been born in the same little town. She recommended Lewis & Clark, and while I was a little hesitant at first, it seemed that Lewis & Clark had everything I wanted for my college. I knew that it would be a good fit for me, as I am both very academic and artistic, while also a UWC graduate. I am planning to major in Biochemistry, although I am hoping to combine it with another major. Biochemistry has been something that has fascinated me from a very early age. When I was 12 I got a book about genetics for my birthday and I feel that is what sealed my fate to pursue the wonders of microbiology and biochemistry for the rest of my life.

When I am not attending classes I play rugby or do ‘art’.  I enjoy both fine art and performing arts. This brings me to what I find is interesting about me. I feel that the best word to describe me would be ‘unconventional.’ I am the type of person who can play rugby in the mud and an hour later go and watch the Kijev ballet perform. I am very academic but at the same time artistic and athletic. I feel that life is too short to do only one thing and to excel at only a few. I know that I will be able to fulfil my potential at Lewis & Clark in both an academic manner and activities outside of class.  I also feel that at Lewis & Clark I will feel comfortable as an international student.

My parents always worked very hard to be able to take my siblings and me on holidays. They always made sure that we would explore the culture of the countries we visited rather than spending our time at theme parks or at the beach. I have been to Greece, Italy, France, Croatia, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Serbia, Switzerland, and England, and I have stopped at a gas station in Luxemburg. Going to college will be the first time that I leave Europe, but I would like to think that I am quite comfortable with cultures outside of Europe. Since my family could not afford trips overseas, or to other continents, I travelled around the world through books. Not necessarily historical ones, but through the eyes of authors native to their country.

I could not name one thing I hope to accomplish at Lewis & Clark because there are so many things I have in mind. I want to continue to play rugby and I am hoping to help to put Lewis & Clark on the map of American rugby. I hope I can encourage more girls to join and try to go ahead and destroy gender stereotypes regarding rugby. I am also hoping to graduate with honors, as my dream is to do research in Biochemistry. Finally, I am looking forward to the little things in life at Lewis & Clark, meeting people and sharing stories.

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