Osaebea Amoako

UWC attended: Waterford Kamhlaba, UWC of Southern Africa (Swaziland)

Born: Swaziland
Lived in: Swaziland

My mum was Zambian and my dad is Ghanaian. They settled in Swaziland and that’s where I was born and have lived my whole life with my two brothers, one older and one younger than me. Life in Swaziland was very laid back and slow. There was very little to do as a child, so strange as it may seem, I enjoyed going to school and learning about anything and everything! I liked going to science fairs and even entered in one or two. I attended the UWC in Swaziland, Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA. Initially I had no desire whatsoever to attend because a lot of the friends I had made in primary school wanted to go to another high school, and being the creature of comfort that my 13-year old self was, I wanted to follow. My mother was the one who insisted I go and I am really glad she did!

My mother passed away in my first year at the college. She always spoke of having dreamt of an international education for herself as a child, but was never able to realize it. I know that through me she would have been able to realize her dream, so I know that completing through to IB was partly for her. It was my last two years at Waterford, being in the IB program, that really solidified the fact that Waterford was where I wanted to be. It was the first time I had the chance to interact with so many people from such diverse backgrounds and nationalities, and like a sponge I tried to soak everything up - the colors, the sounds, the tastes and most importantly, the ideas. Learning how other people do things and hearing their cultural views on certain issues opened my mind to other perspectives and opinions I had not previously considered. It was a thoroughly enriching two years that not only taught me more about myself and those around me, but also the importance of enforcing the ideals that the UWC movement stands for.

I chose Lewis & Clark because I feel that, like the UWCs, it too seeks to communicate the idea of internationalism, something I have come to strongly believe in. During the application process, I received more information and feedback from Lewis & Clark than all the other institutions I applied to. The more I received, the more I grew to love everything that was said about the school, and when time came to choose a college, knowing that Lewis & Clark had taken the extra effort to inform me about their school definitely made it easier. Studying at Lewis & Clark, or any school in the USA for that matter, would have been unfeasible without some form of financial assistance. I am very grateful that Lewis & Clark, along with the Davis UWC program, have generously accommodated my financial need and made this opportunity possible.

I know there will be differences between living and studying in Swaziland and Portland. For one, the two cities differ significantly in size. Swaziland is a tiny country and, as I have mentioned before, Mbabane is a small town with very little activity. I’m looking forward to having something to do at every moment in Portland. I believe I am ready for something fresh and that’s exactly why I am extremely excited about studying at Lewis & Clark. A new and bigger place with new challenges and experiences and chances for more growth in all its forms.

I plan to major in biology. I like the broad scope that it encompasses and feel that with such diverse interests majoring in biology will satisfy that. As for career plans, I do not have anything set in stone. I see myself going into the medical field, though. I love languages because I believe understanding one another and where we all come from is crucial for solving a lot of issues. I have studied French and Spanish and want to continue with both while hopefully learning a new one , maybe Japanese. I’m really interested in East Asian culture and I am considering participating in an overseas program while at Lewis and Clark. Still, I am not limiting myself to that alone; I want to learn a lot of different things and am open to everything. I love music and enjoy singing and dancing so I hope to take part in some of the music groups on campus. I would also like to participate in the community service projects. I like to take walks and, seeing as Lewis and Clark seems to have such gorgeous surroundings, I look forward to some exploration.