Miguel Haro Ruiz

UWC attended: United World College of Costa Rica
Class Year: Class of 2020

My name is Miguel, I was born in León, a city located in the north of Spain. However, when I was one year old, my family moved south to a city right next to the border with Portugal, Badajoz. For this reason, I have grown exposed to a constant exchange of cultures and traditions which, added to the North African influence that this part of the country is exposed to, developed in me at an early age an eagerness to travel the world and soak in as much as I could from my experiences. I started visiting countries nearby home, such as Portugal, France, Italy, Belgium or the UK, and not that close such as Iceland. Every new city, museum or temple that we stopped by made me grow a deep interest in European History, which little by little I started to understand and interpret. This made me reflect on the way History has shaped what today we know as Europe and the impact that it has on the current events of the continent, a matter that concerns me ever since.

When I got into UWC Costa Rica, my horizons became broader as I came into contact with a completely new environment for me. There, I kept expanding my knowledge in History, with the help of great professors, and discovered other passions such as Anthropology or Physics. I also happened to meet the people who I consider my closest friends up to now. With them, I went around the dreamlike beaches, volcanoes and jungles that Costa Rica is proud of, and I experienced a closeness with nature that has kept me amazed thenceforth. UWC Costa Rica gave me the opportunity to go through and enjoy what I would have never thought about doing back in Badajoz, such as singing, acting, organizing a MUN conference, becoming an English teacher or even playing soccer. On the other hand, UWC Costa Rica also taught me how to fight back unfairness and how important it is to face conflict and reach agreements in our current times, a lesson that I keep present in my daily life.

As unbelievable as it seemed, I started to write about my experience at UWC Costa Rica in the past tense and a pursuit for a new place to call home began. I was looking for a small school with an international mindset, where I could be given the chance to study what I wanted, close to a city full of stimuli that could sum up to my college experience. Lewis & Clark offered me all of these and stood out thanks to its beautiful campus and all the outdoor recreation that Oregon offers. At this point I don’t know if I will major in Economics or International Affairs, because I really like the social sciences; or if instead I will discover a new passion in Environmental Studies, because I come to L&C open to finding other fields of study that may interest me but that I have not had the chance to explore yet. Whatever my final decision is, I am sure I will finish my years at L&C turned into a professional ready for anything I decide to do next. For now, I am looking forward to meeting my professors and peers and understanding how L&C works on the academic level. On top of that, I am very excited to join a track & field team after a two-year gap and retake the challenges that I left uncompleted back in Badajoz. Outside the classroom I also want to enjoy acting and singing the way I have done it over the last two years, discover all the secrets that Portland and Oregon have yet to show me and let myself be surprised by new people, places and activities that I am sure will help me become the person I want to be in the near future.