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International Students and Scholars

Ryan Francis, Class of 2016

Davis United World College Scholar
Mahindra United World College of India

imageThe question that asks me where I come from is a question that often throws me off and leaves me a little stuck. Depending on the moment, my answer varies. If I am not particularly bothered, I usually just answer with “I’m Indian”¦ ethnically.” People that I spend more time with gradually find out that my life has never actually been stationary. I moved from India to Zambia to China and finally to a UWC back in India. In between all this I travelled to the UAE and Estonia for a while. Each place I went to gave me a different view of life, and the UWC experience, in the end, helped tie all the perspectives together to form the multifaceted outlook I have today. That coupled with the freedom I got at MUWCI, the freedom to think individually, to come up with ideas and to form my own opinion, was a major part of what I really liked in MUWCI. This push towards thinking individually and forming one’s own opinion was only possible through the people that were present there; I feel that each and every student had as much to offer as any class.

Though I did not take it as a subject, my love for philosophy was born through the informal courtyard discussions and a little bit of reading. I also have a soft spot for art, a thing for music, a knack for Geography and perhaps an admiration for any widget ridden, electron fueled device.

There are many other things that I like, too, other than the academic endeavors mentioned above. The list of items I am about to mention, however, is at great risk of becoming outdated as I enjoy trying out new hobbies and quickly take up new interests, but as a snapshot of the moment. I enjoy mixing music and have done so for the last few years. It is one of the hobbies that has defined the nickname I carried at MUWCI: “The DJ”. I enjoy swimming, climbing things I shouldn’t be, hiking, and perusing the odd idea every once in a while. These ideas range from attempting to fit into a 4-hour-a-day-divided-into-half-an-hour-naps-sleep-schedule (failed) to thinking I want to set up a radio station in school (set up: success, two man upkeep: fail).

I also love travelling and looking for different perspectives. Just recently I went up to the glacier near Indira pass in the Himalayas and made friends with a shepherd. We discussed differences in our lives over a cup of tea until I asked him the time; he looked at me deeply and said that it was morning. That single difference in the perception of time made me understand the type of solitary life lived up in the mountains, the type of life unbound by minute, incremental changes and precise appointments of life. This one sentence transformed my understanding of him. I look for such moments where I can understand new people and as a result change the way I see things.

I know that Lewis & Clark is a continuation and thus the next logical step from a UWC experience. It is a school that has the open minded atmosphere and diverse student body that would continue to make me re-think, re-evaluate, and understand others and myself. A liberal arts place is the spot for me. I have no idea at the moment what I shall major in but I do know that there is a lot at Lewis & Clark that I am interested in. Exploring those interests is a major goal there.