I have never been anywhere outside of my country, Armenia, yet I have been to 80 countries. This sentence may seem very odd to people who do not know my context, however, this is the most precise phrasing to describe my UWC Dilijan experience. I have tasted Norwegian chocolate (the best in the world according to my Norwegian roommate), learnt a Japanese saying about love, participated in a Chinese tea ceremony, made a Serbian Plazma cake, saw a performance in the Lao language, danced to Russian pop music during parties.
Sharing this wonderfully unique experience with crazy and risk-taking people made me appreciate all of the opportunities I have gotten in life and seize each one on the horizon. One of the opportunities that I got to have was exploring theater, which was something I never thought I would be interested in due to my stage fright from childhood years. After two months into the course, the mandatory theater homework became a hobby. The small performances in our school’s Black Box were followed by a performance in one of the best theaters in Armenia. The newly acquired skills helped me gain confidence to stand and present my ideas in front of a crowd, and eventually, theater took such a big place in my heart that I am going to continue studying it in college.
One of my academic interests throughout my time in UWC came to be Economics. Before taking this class I have been told that it includes a plethora of calculations and diagrams. However, I wanted to examine by myself, whether indeed it only dealt with data or it had a further significance. Surprisingly, I noticed a more applicable side right after the first class when the teacher hid some of the classroom chairs to explain the concept of scarcity. Throughout the course, I noticed more ideas that are intertwined with human behavior, and the ties between a country’s economy and its environmental impact. For example, the fact that the confidence of individuals and economic growth partially rely on each other was a revelation to me. This way I realized the hidden common patterns behind individual behavior and economics, making sure that the subject is more than just calculations. Learning all of that made me question why I had not looked closer at how people act before. Hence, economics inspired me to become a better observer.
Coming to Lewis and Clark I am planning to explore many more opportunities which will open up as I start this brand-new journey. I want to explore Oregon’s nature, go to Portland’s theaters, travel as much as possible, participate in cultural events, and gain many unexpected skills. But most importantly I am excited about joining the Lewis and Clark family, which has already shown me a very warm welcome.