Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
High School: Lycée La Fontaine, Niamey, Niger & Lincoln School, Kathmandu, Nepal
Major: Economics and Mathematical Sciences
My name is Noelle Bahane Balandi. My parents were fortunate to wed on Christmas day, and it is for this reason that I was named ”˜Noelle’ (meaning Christmas in French). I was born in Chad’s capital city, N’Djamena where my family and I lived until I was eight years old, after which we then moved to Nouakchott, Mauritania. I was thrilled about the prospect of moving to a different country and later realized that this move was what triggered my love for traveling around the world and being immersed in different cultures.
After three years of living in Nouakchott, my family and I moved to Niger where we lived for four years. Transitioning into life in Niger was the smoothest for my family because of its similarity to Chad and because we had family friends there. Here, my siblings and I were enrolled in French International Schools.
We then moved to Nepal in 2007 and it came as a big surprise to me that Nepal did not have any French International Schools. It meant that my siblings and I had no choice but to join an American International School and start the rigorous process of transitioning from a francophone-based setting to an English one. The transition was not easy, but being in a new school, a new culture, a new environment and being around people who spoke a new language added insight and growth that I would not have been able to attain elsewhere. We still live in Kathmandu, Nepal and I have grown to see it as my ”˜home’ and love it!
I heard of Lewis & Clark College for the first time when Brian White, the Director of International Students and Scholars, came to my school in Nepal. He gave a beautiful presentation on the college and I was blown away by the beauty of the campus from the pictures I saw on it. Now that I am a student at Lewis & Clark, I feel exceptionally lucky to have ended up here. On top of a beautiful campus, I have amazing American and multicultural friends, a warm and supportive staff at the International Students Office and efficient academic advisors. I am a potential Economics and Mathematics major but thanks to Lewis & Clark, I have managed to enjoy classes in sociology, music appreciation, philosophy of religion and it was equally exciting to learn how to play the piano. I am confident that Lewis & Clark College is a solid academic foundation and look forward to maximizing this invaluable experience here.