- Stories of Alumni
After graduating from UWCD, our alumna Natalie Bianca (Kenya, UWCD’20, Kenya) continued her education at Lake Forest College in Illinois. She is a freshman majoring in Chemistry and double minors in Biology and Women & Gender studies. Below, Natalia ponders on her time at UWCD, reminisces on her days at the campus and shares how IB has prepared her for college life.
As a student, how did you organise your life in Dilijan?
My student life at UWCD was actually quite structured. I had a set time to go to breakfast, work on my IB assignments, and time to explore Dilijan. Walking around the town had to be the most refreshing thing to do especially after a long week of being in classes.
What was special about living in Armenia with co-years from all over the world?
There are so many advantages when it comes to studying and living in Armenia. Firstly, the food. I got to try so many different types of foods from different types of countries and all for free! Secondly, I advanced in Spanish and got to practice other languages with my friends. Being able to share more about culture especially in terms of language and music had to be the best thing. It is funny how I can now recite Spanish, Russian, and Armenian songs without stuttering and with great pronunciation. Many of my great memories are from dinner times when we would listen to music and dance in the cafeteria altogether. I will say my strongest friendships have come from UWC. Untill today, I communicate with my third, second and first-years and when we see each other, we are able to pick up from where we left off.
What is it that IB taught you?
Studying in an IB programme has definitely taught me to be strong and patient with myself. Doing about seven7 subjects and having to write papers afterward is definitely not that easy. It takes energy and time. However, the most special thing to me is that my teachers were like my friends, who were always ready to help and encourage me at all times.
What about co-curricular activities?
Other than academics, I took part in DILIMUN. MUN has been something that I have genuinely enjoyed being part of. I got to meet a lot of people outside of UWC which allowed me to network, make new friendships, and develop my communication skills.
Which advice would you give to current students and applicants?
One piece of advice I would give to current UWCD students is to enjoy the ride. Go out, discover and visit new places in Armenia. Take advantage of what the country has to offer, you never know when your experience will be cut short. For future students, I would say that UWC not only focuses on academics but also helps to discover your own potential in different spheres. Make sure to be involved in different activities and take advantage of your time in Dilijan!