Tibet/India, UWC Red Cross Nordic (2017-2019)
A third-generation Tibetan refugee living in India, Tsering learnt about UWC four years ago when he happened to watch a documentary about life at UWC Red Cross Nordic (UWC RCN). Feeling inspired by what he saw, Tsering decided he needed to get into UWC RCN. So he focused on his studies to get good grades that would allow him to apply for a scholarship. In 2017, his UWC adventure began and he is now in his second and final year at the College.
Tsering says being at UWC RCN has impacted his life in many ways, the first of which is by helping him recognize and understand his own identity. With a Tibetan refugee background, Tsering soon became aware that his story was different from most others. “When we were introduced to each other, the other students’ citizenship and the country where they came from was the same. But my case was different. I am a Tibetan without a country. I come from India, but am not Indian. This intrigues me now in ways that are different to what I thought before. I have become more conscious about my identity and the situation I am in.” This realization has made Tsering more open to learn about other cultures and accept differences.
"I believe UWC Red Cross Nordic is an ideal environment to learn how to adjust to a different place and learn with different people and a variety of cultures. I feel I have become a responsible Tibetan, because when I share my culture with others I must do it properly and I want to learn from others too"
When it comes to diversity and accepting other people’s opinions, Tsering had to work hard on himself. He acknowledges the fact that he used to have strong opinions about his religion and culture, which he used as the basis for his judgement of the right and wrong doings of others. But things have changed. “I know the UWC education has had a lifelong impact on me. I feel have become less biased now. I can understand the other person’s perspective, even though it doesn’t represent mine. Also, I’ve become more rational rather than emotional and I no longer try to impose my ideas on others or show them that their ideas are wrong. Here I have learnt that there is no such thing as a black or white picture, it is more about accepting people as they are. For example, I meet people who are nice to me personally, but are doing things that might be considered wrong in my culture. Learning this, I got more comfortable in socializing with people from different backgrounds.”
Tsering has set his goal to be a neuroscientist. His ambition and personal goal to be continuously and actively learning make him jump out of bed every morning and start the day with enthusiasm. “The curriculum has helped me become an independent learner. I had never written any paper on any subject before I came here, now I am building my capacity on that. The IB curriculum is intense with lots of work to do, and UWC in general and all of its diversity is also demanding, and this is what makes UWC so rigorous. It makes you a person who does not shy away from challenges.”