Mikhail Davydov

UWC attended: United World College Maastricht (Netherlands)
Class Year: Class of 2021

I have always wondered why there is no word for the absence of truth. I have also wondered whether it exists at all; at times, it has seemed as though it didn’t, and the world around me reflected this with lies. I wouldn’t be the same, honest person that I am today if not for the deceiving environment I was exposed to the first seventeen years of my life. In order to get closer to the truth, I had to analyze information from different sources and look at the contradictory perspectives. The challenge of obtaining knowledge led me to appreciate being raised in Russia. Being capable of overcoming the barrier of corruption made me not only value truth, but has also conditioned my thoughts, giving me the intellectual and critical capability to explore the world around me.

Studying in UWC Maastricht only made my findings of truth more complicated. I saw how many opinions and perspectives on one issue might coexist. This idea is probably the most important thing that I got from my experience in Maastricht. What’s most important - it was a truly transformative experience on very different levels.

UWC is not just a great place to study, it is also great to travel from. Together with my friends, I have visited nine other countries throughout my UWC life, and the diversity of the world I saw sometimes assured me how right the UWC ideas and values are, but also challenged them. But the most important trip for my academic interests was a trip to East Asia: Japan, Korea and China. I was raised in a family full of orientalists, so Asian culture always surrounded me. Travelling there showed me a completely different part of the world and a completely different mindset, which I hope to explore throughout my studies in Lewis & Clark College. I also hope that interdisciplinary nature of this major will help me to satisfy my interests in art and culture, politics and anthropology.

As many people think, the US and Russia are the opposites. But when talking to my American friends, I saw some similarities in people’s mentalities. I hope to not just discover such a big and diverse country as the US, but also share a part of my culture with other students in the college, contributing to the cultural understanding between two countries in such a tough time.

Lewis & Clark will be my new home for the next four years, and and I believe it will become a place where I not only find friends, explore my academic interests, see the beautiful nature of the country, but also grow as a person and make the next step of my endeavor for truth.