- Stories of Alumni
Jeremy Chan is our third generation alumnus from Hong Kong. After UWCD, Jeremy first took a gap year with Global Citizen Year in order to take a break and reflect on his two years in Armenia. Currently he is at Davidson College in North Carolina. For his third year of university, Jeremy is studying abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science as an Economics major and Latin American Studies minor.
What was your student life like in Dilijan?
The best thing about student life in Dilijan is that we could all live with our classmates who are from all parts of the world. There were also many Toon time activities and student-organized events to participate in. I remember League of Toons was a very fun event where each Toon would compete with other Toons in different sports and activities. This definitely helped create a bond that is hard to find in other boarding schools. It was also very nice how the school was only limited to two years (200 or so students) allowing all of us to actually know each other and to be able to sit with any person and still have a great conversation during meals, Toon time, etc.
For me, what I learned in the IB or in my textbooks doesn’t last long, but the friendships I made in UWC Dilijan definitely last. I am very lucky to have been able to see some of my best friends after graduating and even though we haven’t seen each other in forever, I can still have great conversations and banter with them.
What is it that IB and UWC teachers teach you?
I think the IB did prepare me well in terms of the workload for university, and it also taught me to think critically. A lot of the material that we covered in the IB was retaught in my first year of university.
Which CAS projects did you participate in and what did you get from that experience?
One CAS that I really enjoyed was the water polo CAS. I used to play water polo back in Hong Kong, and I was very surprised that there was already a water polo CAS and team in UWC Dilijan when I arrived. We had weekly training, team dinners and matches. For my CAS project, I was able to invite a local team from Yerevan to come play against us in Dilijan. It was a great experience to be able to play competitively against a local team and we also treated them to lunch at our cafeteria!
How was the transition from UWCD to university?
After graduating from UWC Dilijan, I decided that I wanted to take a gap year with Global Citizen Year in order to take a break and reflect on my two years in Armenia, but also to gain some working experience to figure out what I really want to study. My gap year in Ecuador was really great as I was able to continue to learn Spanish and the local culture. I’m very grateful to UWCD and the Davis scholarship that allowed me to take on this gap year.
Going to university after my gap year was not the easiest in my first semester. I would keep comparing UWC Dilijan with my university, which obviously was not a fair comparison. However, I eased into it and I really enjoy the university that I am attending now. I am currently at Davidson College in North Carolina with a few other UWC Dilijan alums!
What are you doing now?
For my third year of university, I am currently studying abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I am an Economics major and Latin American Studies minor, which is really great because I get to take an array of classes that are all very interesting. I have tried to remain somewhat in contact with Armenia and I was recently nominated to join the Dilijan Global Shapers Hub which is an organization under the World Economic Forum. I really hope to use this opportunity to create projects with fellow shapers to give back to the country that was my home for two years.
What are your best memories from UWC Dilijan?
Some of my best memories of UWCD were definitely cultural evenings. Watching other cultural evenings was always a lot of fun, organizing the Asian cultural evening was great too. Although oftentimes stressful as we would only start preparing a couple hours beforehand, it always turned out great. Every time we did a cultural evening, I would learn more about my own country, but also realize the similarities there are between my country and other countries in the region.