Santiago Longhino

Santiago Gonzalez Longhino

UWC attended: Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa (Eswatini)
Class Year: Class of 2025

I became an international student very early in my life. At a very young age I left Mexico, my birth country, to live in Italy, home country of my mother. Here, I was living with my grandparents. In the beginning the change was not easy, immediately I was put in school without much knowledge of the language, so communicating was very hard for me. However, time and friends made me overcome this struggle, and in a matter of months I felt I had found a new home.

Change and diversity have always intrigued me, so I decided to apply to UWC hoping to embark on a new fascinating experience. I still remember the day when I received my acceptance letter. I was on a school trip in the south of France. I recall the feeling of excitement overcoming all other emotions, but in that moment I realized that I was about to leave family and friends that in the past years had brought me so much happiness and joy. Then I read that I was assigned to the United World College of Southern Africa, in a country named Eswatini. Being honest I had never heard of such country, and the idea of going so far made me a bit nervous. However I left and in this small and beautiful country that is Eswatini, I found people and encountered experiences that have marked me for life. From the breathtaking landscapes to the vibrant people living there, Eswatini allows me to have a whole new perspective on the world surrounding us.

After UWC and the many complications due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to pursue a whole new adventure. Once more I packed my things and left for Paris, with the goal of following one of my biggest passions: cooking. Cooking helps me connect with my emotions, making me happy. Here in Paris I have been working at an Italian restaurant, an experience which is closely connected to growing up in a very traditional Italian family. In my free time I like to walk around Parisian cafes and read, and I enjoy being with my friends at cultural events, because it allows us to spark interesting conversations around the things we do and see. On top of all, I love Paris because of its diversity, the way in which people from different cultures and nationalities coexist and contribute to the richness of a city. I believe that this is very evident when looking at the city’s artists, in a way thats the reason I love art.

UWC gave me the tools I need to have an international perspective in local issues such as inequality, cultural diversity and conflict, it convinced me even further to pursue areas of study that will allow me to connect with people and contribute, even in the smallest amounts, to a more sustainable future.

For this reason I look forward to majoring in International relations and minoring in political economy at Lewis and Clark. Moreover I’m exited to join a community which is intellectually driven and thriving for social change.