United World Colleges are interesting places. Students from all over the world and from different socioeconomic backgrounds come together for two years, live and learn together, and after these two years, they all leave into different directions. Richer in experience, some more, some less idealistic than before, some with a clearer moral compass, some (me) more confused about what to do with their lives, but everyone takes the memory of the UWC spirit with them in their heart.
Being one of the Germans at the German UWC Robert Bosch had both advantages and drawbacks. In my service project with the local food bank, my ability to speak German helped initiate the project and allowed me to better interact with the customers and other volunteers than my co-years who didn’t speak the local language. Volunteering for an organization that serves some of the most vulnerable people in German society became an extremely meaningful experience. However, going abroad, learning a new language and getting accustomed to a new culture were among my reasons to apply for UWC.
Going to Lewis & Clark College will therefore be my first time to move abroad to study, a chance that is super exciting for me. I grew up in Berlin, Germany, thus having a big city around was really influential in my decision for Lewis & Clark with its location in Portland. Berlin provides so many opportunities and one can meet interesting people around every corner, and I’m looking forward to finding that same environment in Portland. Lewis & Clark as a college is also the perfect next step to UWC Robert Bosch with its focus on sustainability and being one of the greenest college in the US. I hope that I can contribute to the L&C campus with some fresh ideas from UWC for making the campus even greener. Another factor in my decision was my rising passion for the outdoors, and I’m confident that the Lewis & Clark outdoors program and the college’s fantastic surroundings will allow me to not only continue but also to further develop my skills.
Being raised by a single mother with not a lot of money, this world that UWC has opened to me, now resulting in scholarship for a top US college, sometimes still feels surreal. None of my friends back home moved abroad for university, while I’m moving from one adventure at UWC to the next one at Lewis & Clark.
Out of my past, an interest in inequality, especially in the socio-economic dimension, arose. This is reflected in my interest for many of the social sciences, and I will probably end up majoring in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, Psychology, or Sociology. I love that the Liberal Arts system gives me the chance to explore first and take courses from a range of areas before I have to specialize on one or two subjects, which I perceive as the main advantage compared to the German system where I would only be able to study one subject throughout three years of undergraduate studies.
My description would feel incomplete without mentioning my passion for volleyball. After trying out judo, fencing, and archery, I started playing volleyball at the age of 14 and I’m sure that I found my favorite sport, both indoors and on the beach. Leaving my Berlin volleyball team to attend UWC was the hardest part of moving to UWC, because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to play for a team anymore. I nonetheless tried to play as often as I could with my peers. One of my resolutions for college is, therefore, to join a team where I can practice the sport that gives me so much joy more frequently again.