Cornelis Rijneveld, Class of 2016
Davis United World College Scholar
Mahindra United World College of India
Growing up in a small village in the Netherlands, imagining life in India was next to impossible. My knowledge of the subcontinent was limited to the Bollywood movies I hadn’t watched and the curries I’d never eaten. Sure, once I got admitted to the Mahindra UWC my daydreams carried me far beyond the meadows that surrounded my house, but in none of them were UWC and India as exciting as they proved to be. Although the school was rather isolated (I shared a hilltop with two hundred students, some faculty and staff and a mysteriously large population of toads), it allowed me to grow familiar with a foreign country in a way that no previous travel ever had, and in a way I can’t imagine any future travel will - for it was not only the India of Bollywood and curries that I got to know, but also the India of my friends and teachers. Thus Mahindra UWC did not only facilitate challenging academics, countless friendships and adventurous travel, but was, more than anything, an opportunity for me to engage with a culture (or at least certain fractions of a culture) that I previously ignorantly reduced to a cow-loving people with great vegetarian food.
Similarly, I’m excited about moving to Portland – a city I hadn’t heard of before my second year roommate got admitted to Lewis and Clark (and spoke lyrically of a campus filled with trees). Moreover, I am very attracted by Lewis and Clark’s educational set up. I am looking forward to majoring in Sociology and Anthropology, and I plan to integrate as many Gender and Sexuality related issues into my studies as possible. This interest is derivative both of my personal experience with the ambiguities embedded in gender and the Gender and Sexuality discussions I coordinated when I was in Mahindra UWC and which I plan to continue in Lewis and Clark.
Other things I am interested in academically are Politics, History, languages, and East and South Asia. One of the things I hope to accomplish in Lewis and Clark is to speak Mandarin fluently. Furthermore, I’m positive Lewis and Clark’s proximity to downtown Portland will facilitate my other interests, which are reading and spending hours at coffee shops (often simultaneously). And although some of the things that made Mahindra UWC wonderful were its intimate and fairly spontaneous student-run gigs and my musically talented roommate, I’m hoping Portland will make up for the two year deprivation any music lover would suffer on a hilltop forty kilometers away from venues and festivals.
Finally, like during my time in India, I plan to travel as much in North America as I can afford to and I’m hopeful this will expand my understanding of the US beyond Room Raiders, My Sweet Sixteen, Woody Allen and fast food.
The Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS) is located in Templeton Campus Center on the Undergraduate Campus.
Director and Associate Dean of StudentsBrian White
Office of International Students and Scholars (ISS)
Lewis & Clark
0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road, MSC 192
Portland, OR 97219