Miron Banjac

UWC attended: United World College of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Class Year: Class of 2022

All throughout my life, I had trouble defining myself. I come from an ethnically divided country still recovering from the effects of war. In this environment, I identify and have family backgrounds with all three major ethnicities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So naturally, being brought up in a polarized environment was very difficult at times and shaped me into the person I am today.

Due to this, I was drawn to the United World College in Mostar. I saw in it a sense of idealism that I aspired to. Never could I have imagined that it would lead me to such progress, change and an opportunity to study in the US. My UWC experience led me to understand what it is I seek in my life, new experiences and a progressive learning environment.

When I found out about Lewis & Clark, it seemed to me like just the thing I need to keep moving forward. My interests are broad and I believe that L&C has the means to facilitate them. It is my hope to gain a double major in Mathematics and Philosophy. I feel that this combination will allow me to pursue my ambitions as an educator. I believe that most approaches should be interdisciplinary and what better way to follow this path that than to study two different fields.

My greatest goal in life is to reform education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. To move from a stagnant lecture type of classrooms to a more interactive shared learning experience.

Mainly, I wish to represent for others what my professors represented for me. A lot of things I did outside of the classroom were to help me gain the skills necessary to pursue this path. Whether it was teaching Yoga, organizing events or volunteering at an elderly center, I pursued to gain knowledge and share it. My mother always told me: “Knowledge is not just to know, but to know how to teach.” This has become the central quote of my path towards achieving my goals.

However, as I am writing this, it is summer time and I am enjoying it to the fullest. I am taking a lot of adventures in nature and doing my fair share of mushroom hunting around Bosnia. Come August, I will do the yearly trip to the Austrian Alps with my family for some soul searching. On the other hand, I eagerly await Portland and the new challenges and delights it will bring.

This, among other things, is the most simple and genuine way to explain who I am at this stage of my life. I hope I get the opportunity at Lewis & Clark to question every one of my fundamental beliefs and put them to an academic test. I seek to gain a comprehensive understanding of the environment around me and influence it to the best of my abilities.