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United World College - 3 Essays; Why UWC?, Family background, Personal challenge


Collegegirl22 1 / 2  
May 25, 2012   #1
Hello,
my name is Ann and I'm applying for a United World College.
They want three essays:

Please write an essay of not more than 300 words explaining why you are interested in attending a UWC and reflecting on UWC's mission and values, what you might contribute to the school/college and what you would hope to gain from the experience.

Since I can remember I was torn between staying in the familiar world around me and the demanding desire to explore everything new crossing my way. But almost every time it was curiosity that won. In a city as small as mine it doesn't take forever to reach the limit of things you can do and see. Not only because of that I always loved the holidays when my family would leave at 5 in the morning for France, Belgic or Italy. But after a few vacations even though I saw a lot of famous sights I wasn't really satisfied. I really wanted to experience culture, which is why I started my exchange year this march. I already learned a lot about Japan, its people and their way of life and I'm sure I'll learn more in the months I have left. But I want to attend an UWC because I want to know why people all over the world lead wars against each other or kill for their country, because I want to better the world and have no idea how and because I want to realize where my place in this world is.

Of course, it'd be fantastic to have friends from all over the world but its also the singularity of a place where so many different points of view gather which attracts me.

UWC's values impressed me the first time I heard of them and when I read about them I was convinced I had to apply because they resemble what kind of person I want to be.

I want to throw my laughter in, my optimism and my readiness to change something. I would like to help my coyears feel home, challenge myself academically and personally and make my college and UWC proud of me.

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In the space below, please write an essay of not more than 300 words describing your background and family. Include an account of any experiences you have had in meeting people from other backgrounds than your own.

My origin is pure german. I know that because my grandfather showed me a family tree, the kind they had to make during the Nazi regime reaching back until 1800. I don't really feel "german" though. I think people are not primarily citizens of their country but their parent's children. My mother Bettina is unquestionably one of the persons who know me best in the world being not only my mother but also my best friend. Us sharing the same strong character there are maybe not many days that go by without a minor or major argument between us but we love each other. My father, Ralph, is more considerate than and we have the same way of thinking, sometimes it's like we're soul mates. Our relationship is open and unlike many of my friends I always tell my parents everything and there's pure trust on both sides. My brother's and my relationship is not as loving, but in tough times we are siblings after all.

The connection to my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins may be not as deep as they live a few hours away but sure as affectionate.

Of course it was hard to leave a family like that behind to live with a new one for ten months, which were not biologically programmed to love me, which trust had to be earned first. Kazuyo, my host mother is a kindhearted woman and as "unjapanese" as she could be, being very open with her emotions, just like my host sister Sumire who became one of my best friends here. I thought it would be extremely challenging eating, sleeping and living with people from a different background. Maybe it was, but as soon as you shared your first joke in their language you realize it's worth the effort.

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In the space below, please write an essay of no more than 300 words, describing an important event in your life or a significant personal challenge. 28 W├Ârter.

It was a cold day and as we reached the KZ, a bus filled with teenagers, we saw there was snow lying on the ground. As we got closer to the big wooden gate covered with razor wire conversations one after another fell silent. Being taught about places like this will never leave a memory like standing in the mud facing a gallows, knowing that 69 years ago somebody stood in the same place, not in a fancy winter coat and leather shoes but barefoot in a striped pajama, quivering in the cold air. It's hard to describe the feeling that places like Struthof stir in me, disgust of the methods the Nazis used, unwilling and disbelieving that somebody who sent out bills and the cremated body to families of people they experimented with, tortured and killed excruciatingly could have been human.

I always thought all people would feel like that. But when our teacher told us about little chambers, not high enough to stand in, which were used as "special" cells and said that people imprisoned there sometimes lost a quarter of their weight my friend next to me grinned at me and said: "I should go in there too someday."

I was shocked, angry, it sickened me how somebody could show such an insensitiveness to their origin and his country's history. That impression was deepened later that day when two of my male classmates walked through the memorial in lock step.

That was the day I got pulled out my ideal world and realized how humankind could make the same mistakes over and over and why it's so important to be aware of it. When I got home I googled how many countries aren't democratically ruled right now. It said it were 45 of 193, almost a quarter.

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So, thanks for working through this and sorry, as I'm not a English native there are probably a lot of mistakes ;)
Thanks again and looking forward to your reviews!


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