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International Students and Scholars

Francisco Perozo

Class of 2023


I was born and raised in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. My identity as a Venezuelan has been strongly shaped by the political and economic instability that currently rules the country. Along with many of my friends from childhood, my career path to follow back home would be one of the few that are respected by the Venezuelan society, one in which the competition to enjoy decent living conditions would limit my self-development. I understand that the purpose of life is to gain and share knowledge. This knowledge must be constructed from experiences. This philosophy inspired me to expand my boundaries and to learn from every situation I face, this search led me to apply to UWC in the first place.  I consider that decision the wisest I have made to date since I found my years at UWC an awakening experience.

My days at UWC Dilijan in Armenia were my first time outside the borders of my homeland. I was not only exposed to the Armenian culture, but I also encountered 105 countries in the shapes of human beings. Through my classmates and teachers, I saw the viewpoints from diverse societies in the current global affairs. I enjoyed the daily debates that we had during our spare time in common rooms and the cafeteria, where our conversations found their way to the topics of human rights, gender equality, and sustainability. From UWC I also enjoyed the environment of constant encouragement to explore the unknown. This exploration was materialized in my involvement in outdoors activities offered by the school and the spontaneous hikes carried on my own. The inspiring environment in Dilijan made me develop my passion for Visual Arts and made me relish dancing.

Armenia made of the environment my priority. The marvellous landscapes I saw in the Caucasian lands became what I understand as the real beauty of the planet.  Back in Dilijan, going for a walk in the forest was necessary for me in order to clear my ideas. I find in nature the cure for any disturbance that my mind or spirit may face; the availability to be in contact with it through the countless outdoors opportunities at Lewis & Clark was one of the most important factors to consider when deciding for my College.

The last two years, I have spent my school breaks in European countries. I went to Spain, Portugal, and Germany. Being abroad did not only allow me to evaluate the way society works in the old continent, but it also introduced me to a reality that I consider essential for my identity as a Venezuelan: the reality of the immigrant. This new perspective makes me understand that identity is not given by an identification document and that nationality goes beyond the borders of a country. I now find a home in different places, and I want to make of Lewis & Clark one of those.

Outside the classroom, I want to keep swimming because it is an activity I practice since my childhood to keep a balanced life. I wish to attend events of the performing and the visual arts since they are a good way to exercise creativity. I also play the Venezuelan National instrument called “Cuatro”, an instrument like the ukulele and that I am taking with me to Portland.

When it comes to Academics, Lewis & Clark allows me to pursue my three interests: Environmental Sciences, Economics, and Art Practice. I believe that my devotion to the Environment, my desire to understand the reasons and solutions behind the Venezuelan Economic crisis, and my understanding of arts as an exercise to alienate the hand, the mind, and the soul, will help me expand my intellectual curiosity and meet its full potential. As a result, I want to leave Portland feeling ready to take my role as a Human in society. I want to be ready to contribute to the battle against Climate change, as well as to the reconstruction of Venezuela. I describe myself as a curious human being, and I trust that the upcoming four years will continue the journey of exploration and self-discovery that UWC ignited.

United World College

United World College of Dilijan (Armenia)