Teresa Serra

Teresa Lourenco de Almeida Lucas Serra

UWC attended: United World College of South East Asia - East Campus
Class Year: Class of 2024

From the moment I was accepted into the United World College of South East Asia, I began going through a lot of transformations in character. Having had an opportunity to go abroad on a scholarship so early in my life, I became more humble. And taking on this adventure brought upon some of the best and hardest times in my life. I had never felt as academically challenged or stimulated as I did in my two years at UWC. I had not felt as connected to my peers and as attentive to my surroundings as I did in UWC. This new found sensitivity only confirmed that stepping into the unknown was the most important thing to do when searching for personal growth. Being home meant comfort was easily granted. In Singapore, I dreaded comfort as it equaled boredom.

A big part of any alumni’s UWC experience would be the people that surround you. The diversity of people and experiences you become acquainted with is unmatched, and your friends with whom you share your day to day life quite literally become your second family. By the time you graduate, home does not represent a place anymore, but a feeling that you might just get around the right people in the right place.

To me, there is nothing more attractive about an academic institution than a sense of awareness and responsibility for local communities. I have a deep desire to actively engage with both the people and environment where I am, and I’ve sought for these interactions to be in places where I have studied previously. Knowing that Lewis and Clark puts an emphasis on international engagement and collaborative scholarship among other things, immediately grasped my attention. Seeing my generation being proactive and reactionary, I feel we are amidst a new era of advocacy where wanting change and advancement is a goal within reach. All is achievable with collaborative scholarship. I am thus confident I will be deeply engaged with student activism both on and off campus.

While I am not fully positive of this, I am planning to major in International Affairs. I am very much an internationally minded individual, which was only heightened through my UWC experience.

My favorite discussions to participate in require some understanding of the current state of the world’s societies and how different countries interact and are affected by one another. In addition to this, most of my academic and personal interests are somewhat correlated with a desire to make sense of Human interactions in a global context - how do they begin; what’s in it for different parts; what do these interactions look like and what are the common outcomes? I hope I can pursue this subject further in both academic and social contexts at Lewis and Clark.

Outside of the classroom I’m deeply moved by anything creative and expressive, namely music and movies. When applying to schools I sought to find how cultural dynamics worked both on and off campus due to my desire to engage with any opportunities in the music and film industries. During my time at UWC, I worked as a volunteer for the Singapore Film Festival, which I also hope to do in Portland. I am also very interested in applying as a DJ for the student run radio station at Lewis and Clark, as I am used to interacting with my local university radio station at home in Coimbra.

One of the advantages of attending UWC in Singapore is that we are strategically located in Southeast Asia, which means we are very close to an array of wonderful places. In different contexts but always well accompanied by friends, I was lucky enough to visit Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Kazakhstan. Each one of these trips was distinctly different, but ultimately culminated to impact me equally intensely.

I will be arriving at Lewis and Clark feeling nothing but enthusiastic about everything that’s to come in the next 4 years. If there is one thing I hope to accomplish it is change, both within myself and perhaps in the community I’ll be a part of in Portland. I want to feel as connected as I can to people and to places, too. I can surely say I look forward to get to know Lewis and Clark inside out.