Mariane Diaw

UWC attended: Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific (Canada)
Class Year: Class of 2016

I was born and grew up in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal located in western Africa. I went to Anne Marie Javouhey catholic school, a local regular school, up to eleventh grade. The first time I heard about the United World Colleges was from my mother’s friend who used to work in the ministry of Education. She suggested that I apply. I thought being one of the three students yearly selected through Senegal was completely unachievable. I realised how wrong I was when I was offered a scholarship to attend Lester B. Pearson College UWC. From that time on, I have the belief that everything on Earth is possible, a belief that grew stronger when I stepped into Pearson College.

For me, being at Pearson involved undertaking multiple challenges since I didn’t even speak English at my arrival; I had never travelled outside my country and had never been away from my family. With the support of my teachers and friends, I learned that overcoming these challenges was more than acheivable. In fact, I grew in confidence, improved my English and found my place in the Pearson family.

In addition to a solid education, Pearson provided me with the opportunity to meet people from countries that I had never heard of before and which have cultures and ideas completely different from mine. Interacting with my peers who have views of the world that differed from mine was an occasion to deepen both my social understanding and theirs. Consequently, I recognised that exposure, open mindedness, and the will to learn from different cultures lead to tolerance, acceptance and sensitivity towards others.

The international aspect of Lewis and Clark triggered my interest the most. It would encourage the celebration of difference and the acceptance of each other’s life style. Also, the small size of the classes brings professors closer to their students, enabling great interaction and dialogue.

Lewis & Clark College will strengthen my academic learning and allow my involvement in various extracurricular activities. As I have grown passionate about financial analysis, international trade and development, I aim to graduate in economics. I am eager to explore international relations and am sure an international school such as Lewis and Clark will offer me the most valuable training in this area.

Beside classes, I enjoy socializing with others. I like sightseeing and discovering historical areas. Since dancing is my favourite sport, I hope either to perform or choreograph both modern and traditional dances during school events.

I am looking forward to developing long lasting relationships and learning from this diverse assembly of students and faculty.