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International Students and Scholars

Felicia Vargas

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

imageI come from a small rural town of Costa Rica. The first time I left my country was when I received my UWC scholarship to Canada. Although I struggled I never doubted that I would succeed in this experience. I gained a confidence that I did not have before. I believed in myself and learned to pursue my goals even if I encountered obstacles. 

My UWC experience at Pearson College was full of everything. I encountered many challenging things through which I learned and grew as a person. Within these challenges I lived some of the most enjoyable moments. Such as having random conversations with my peers during the late-night studying, or sharing tea with someone who did not speak my language and I did not speak theirs. I found that the most incredible moments I had, happened through my sharing and learning to live with people from different cultures. 

While searching for universities I realized I wanted to be in a place that appreciated and valued multicultural perspectives. From what I saw, read and heard, Lewis & Clark offered this type of environment. Furthermore I did not want to be in the middle of a city like many other universities, I wanted to have nature as part of my university experience. 

Although I want to take my time and explore other areas of interest such as art and psychology, I think I will major in International Affairs. My interest in this area comes from my personal background. I am from Costa Rica, a country with no army and a philosophy of being pacific. Thus my interest is in working with non-violent conflict resolutions between countries in conflict. 

Outside the academic aspect of L&W I wish to be involved in dance activities and athletic/outdoor activities. Both of them have been present in my life for a long time. I have taken a few dance classes, and as a big part of my latin american culture I want to keep it and share it with others. I wish to be involved in service activities as well, be it service for the local communities or for the college itself. I am specifically interested in creating projects involved with environmental education. 

My academic interests are somewhat varied as I am still exploring and finding what I want to major in. Aside from studying International Affairs, I wish to take economy classes as it is an aspect of society fundamental for individuals to understand in the modern world. Additionally I want to enroll in some psychology classes that will allow me to understand more about human interactions and apply to my learning of conflict resolutions and diplomacy. 

It does not matter what I end up studying, as long as I am happy with it and live it with passion. That is my philosophy. At the end of my L&C experience I want to feel accomplished and satisfied. I know I will not have all the time to do everything I want, but whatever I do I want to give my best. I look forward to meeting new people and to this new beginning learning along with and from peers and faculty.