The sense of togetherness and unity is unwavering here
How did you find out about UWC and why did you apply?
I discovered UWC when I was 15 and living in Thailand as an exchange student. I was telling a friend from home what my first month was like being immersed in Thai culture when he told me of a dream of his called UWC. I went to research it, and within five minutes of exploring the website it became my dream as well. I was just beginning my journey into learning about other cultures on this exchange when I realized this is where my path was leading – to UWC.
What were your first impressions upon arriving at Waterford Kamhlaba UWC?
What I remember strikingly is how easy it was to talk to people I’d never met and the atmosphere was welcoming. I felt new and confused, but at the same time I knew that I had made it to the right place. Walking through the field and sitting in the amphitheater for the first time was like a dream. I had only browsed through photos of the school two and a half years earlier, and I could hardly believe I was now there.
What do you enjoy most about life at Waterford Kamhlaba UWC?
The sense of togetherness and unity is unwavering here. No matter where you’re from, what you do, what you believe in, or how you came to UWC, there is always someone who has your back. The trust and friendships I’ve already built in the month I’ve been here are unique. The entire school is filled with incredible people from diverse backgrounds, and I love that not a day passes when I don’t meet someone new or have a conversation when I learn something new.
What’s been the hardest or most challenging part?
The most challenging part of being at Waterford Kamhlaba UWC is being unable to share my experience with my friends and family in other parts of the world. It’s such a spectacular place that has given me so many opportunities that I only wish I could share it through more than just photos.
What subjects are you taking?
At higher level, I’m studying anthropology, English language and literature, and geography. At standard level, I’m taking mathematics, biology, and siSwati ab initio.
What other activities are you involved in?
In such a short time, I already find my schedule jam-packed with the endless activities. Most notably, I’ve started a martial arts club and a kayaking club with other students, and I’m endeavoring to bring a school newsletter or magazine back to life. During the week, I participate in girls’ soccer, rock-climbing, debate, InFocus, dance, tango, flute lessons. I would like to do more with slam poetry and salsa classes and I hope to learn photography in a new club.
What are your ambitions after you leave school?
I would love to work for an embassy or the Peace Corps, allowing me to live in other countries while working. Before that of course, I plan on going to university in the US and studying international relations, political science, or social work. Within the nine months between finishing IB and beginning university, I would like to travel and volunteer in Africa, or where I had been living before, in Guatemala!