Thao Tran

UWC attended: Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific (Canada)
Class Year: Class of 2015

I grew up in Hue, a small town in the central area of Vietnam. It used to be the capital of the last dynasty of Vietnam, so there are many historical places to visit in the city. I often spent spare time wandering around places such as the royal palace and the kings’ tombs to take pictures and volunteer as a tour guide. I left my parents to study at the age of 12, so it has helped me a lot in dealing with homesickness that I faced sometimes at Pearson College.

I found out about the UWC scholarship when I was searching for scholarships on the Internet. I was rather hesitant to apply but my older sister encouraged me to try and fortunately I was awarded a scholarship to go to UWC Canada (Lester B. Pearson College).

Two years at Pearson College have passed so quickly that I can hardly imagine I am going to be a freshman this fall. Two years is not a very long period of time, but it has given me many memorable experiences. There I met a friend from Madagascar who is now my lifelong best friend. There, I shared a room with 3 other friends from 3 different continents. I enjoyed our conversations so much, which lasted from 8 pm until after midnight. I loved the feeling when I could ask my roommates about their countries and their points of view about certain problems in my country. It is just so refreshing to hear news around the world updated each day by the students there. One more thing about Pearson that I love is the closeness between faculty, staff and students. Having studied in a very traditional educational environment before, I was taken aback when hearing students call teachers by their first names. Gradually, I understood that there did not seem to be a boundary between teachers and students there. I miss going to the dean of students of my school to talk to him about something random or sometimes my problems and receiving ice cream, cookies, and of course good advice afterwards.

All of those memories made me consider Lewis & Clark College. Since this is not a very big college, I can still experience the intimacy between people here. I also heard that the professors at Lewis & Clark are very accessible and friendly. I think that will be a beneficial factor in my undergraduate education.  While attending Lewis & Clark, I want to develop myself to the fullest and explore as many new experiences as possible.

Up to now, I have been thinking of majoring in either Chemistry or Economics, but I hope to find other opportunities as well. I like studying something that is both scientific and social which will help me to explain things at the “atomic” level.

I like traveling. In my family, I am the only one who has been traveling the farthest. My parents and my sister have not been able to do so, so I hope one day they can come to visit me in Portland. I have been to Singapore on a student-exchange trip. It was the first time I had been abroad. It was a hectic trip. We made use of every hour because we had to study, volunteer and perform arts with the local students. My favorite destinations are France and South Korea. I have a goal to travel to South Korea to watch the Winter Olympics in 2018.