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International Students and Scholars

Matthew Wong, Class of 2016

Davis United World College Scholar
Mahindra United World College of India

imageI was born in the idyllic island state of Penang but grew up and spent much of my life in Kuala Lumpur with my lovely dad, mom and twin brother. Growing up alongside a metropolitan city, I oversaw immense structural, social and demographic changes. Towering structures starting springing up like flowers flourishing during spring. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the city life, which was bustling with life, furnishing many avenues and providing me opportunities to meet lovely people. I like to read and sip tea and interact or catch up with friends when I have the time. Of late, travel seems to be appealing to me as well. I also enjoy outdoor activities of any sort and marveling at the beauty and immensity of nature by taking walks or just sitting in parks. I may on most occasions appear pensive, but I am very opinionated and expressive when the need arises. After 11 years of public school, I came across the UWC movement through a friend who was at the Li Poh Chun UWC and subsequently applied. Although the selection and the people –candidates and interviewers alike– made things extremely daunting, I made the cut and enrolled in The Mahindra UWC of India (MUWCI).

The transition to MUWCI wasn’t one without bumps. It was difficult at first being flung into a completely different environment and expected to adapt to it instantly (or at least a few weeks”¦ it took me more than that). However, as time progressed and I was genuine to others and true to myself, the alien place with diverse people who emanated radically different ideas gradually became a new home filled with close friends and lifelong companions. The faculty members also made students feel very much at home with their ability to play dual roles of caring friends (and even foster parents), as well as dedicated and inspiring educators at appropriate times. On top of that, the exposure to the stark yet charming realities of India made me ponder many issues which I may have conveniently overlooked before. My time in MUWCI has been a truly enriching experience and a profoundly life-changing one – prompting me to examine and learn more about myself just as much as I have learnt about others and novel things. Perhaps this sense introspection – of the familiar and the new – triggered by my time in MUWCI is the most memorable element of being part of the UWC movement.

I applied to Lewis & Clark (L&C) because I saw it as an extension of a UWC education and perhaps even more; as a refined version of a UWC with its holistic combination of people, programs, prospects and environment – all of which I feel are conducive for me to discover my true passion and potential. Importantly, L&C promotes and celebrates diversity in people and hence perspectives which I believe are necessary in order for us to grasp the multiplicity of the world which we live in. I was also attracted to L&C’s strong and reputable environmental sciences program. Among the academic courses offered I would further my interest in history and try environmental sciences. Perhaps in L&C I would like to major in International Affairs and delve into diplomacy. I always believed that conflicts can be resolved through understanding and genuine communication. Given that the world continues to witness many unfortunate events and undue suffering despite high level urgency and expectations, maybe there is something lacking in diplomatic missions – a tinge of humanism perhaps. I really hope that L&C will be a springboard for me to further broaden my horizon and be a place where I will be able to develop myself personally and professionally as well as be receptacle of diversity and positive changes.

imageI was born in the idyllic island state of Penang but grew up and spent much of my life in Kuala Lumpur with my lovely dad, mom and twin brother. Growing up alongside a metropolitan city, I oversaw immense structural, social and demographic changes. Towering structures starting springing up like flowers flourishing during spring. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the city life, which was bustling with life, furnishing many avenues and providing me opportunities to meet lovely people. I like to read and sip tea and interact or catch up with friends when I have the time. Of late, travel seems to be appealing to me as well. I also enjoy outdoor activities of any sort and marveling at the beauty and immensity of nature by taking walks or just sitting in parks. I may on most occasions appear pensive, but I am very opinionated and expressive when the need arises. After 11 years of public school, I came across the UWC movement through a friend who was at the Li Poh Chun UWC and subsequently applied. Although the selection and the people ”“candidates and interviewers alike”“ made things extremely daunting, I made the cut and enrolled in The Mahindra UWC of India (MUWCI).

The transition to MUWCI wasn’t one without bumps. It was difficult at first being flung into a completely different environment and expected to adapt to it instantly (or at least a few weeks”¦ it took me more than that). However, as time progressed and I was genuine to others and true to myself, the alien place with diverse people who emanated radically different ideas gradually became a new home filled with close friends and lifelong companions. The faculty members also made students feel very much at home with their ability to play dual roles of caring friends (and even foster parents), as well as dedicated and inspiring educators at appropriate times. On top of that, the exposure to the stark yet charming realities of India made me ponder many issues which I may have conveniently overlooked before. My time in MUWCI has been a truly enriching experience and a profoundly life-changing one ”“ prompting me to examine and learn more about myself just as much as I have learnt about others and novel things. Perhaps this sense introspection ”“ of the familiar and the new ”“ triggered by my time in MUWCI is the most memorable element of being part of the UWC movement.

I applied to Lewis & Clark (L&C) because I saw it as an extension of a UWC education and perhaps even more; as a refined version of a UWC with its holistic combination of people, programs, prospects and environment ”“ all of which I feel are conducive for me to discover my true passion and potential. Importantly, L&C promotes and celebrates diversity in people and hence perspectives which I believe are necessary in order for us to grasp the multiplicity of the world which we live in. I was also attracted to L&C’s strong and reputable environmental sciences program. Among the academic courses offered I would further my interest in history and try environmental sciences. Perhaps in L&C I would like to major in International Affairs and delve into diplomacy. I always believed that conflicts can be resolved through understanding and genuine communication. Given that the world continues to witness many unfortunate events and undue suffering despite high level urgency and expectations, maybe there is something lacking in diplomatic missions ”“ a tinge of humanism perhaps. I really hope that L&C will be a springboard for me to further broaden my horizon and be a place where I will be able to develop myself personally and professionally as well as be receptacle of diversity and positive changes.