Bella Tseeva (Portugal)
My name is Bella and I’m 16 years old. At the moment I live in Portugal, but I am originally from Russia.
I am interested in the way of life and culture of other nations. Both countries where I lived are multicultural. Arriving in Portugal, I found people from American and African continents. These people bring happiness and positivity into our lives. Here, I learned to always smile. I have lived among different cultures and religions; it is my environment – and exactly the climate that UWC brings. I therefore do not wish to only extract knowledge from this short course, but also to share my thoughts and most important: make new friendships! With various people of different opinions, views and personal stories – I wish to learn more about their countries. Surely, these two weeks will be unforgettable. We will learn a lot and have a great time.
Clemens Zoller (Austria)
Clemens Zoller from Innsbruck is a 16-year-old student at “BG/BRG Gymnasium Sillgasse” in Innsbruck, approaching his 11th grade now.
He applied to UWC and is happy to have the chance to be a part of the UWC Short Course in Imst. He is looking forward to the course and is mostly excited to meet all the new people and spend two weeks with them doing interesting activities together!
Enkuush Mergen (England)
I am a sixteen-year-old living in London, England, but of Mongolian ethnicity. After the summer break is over, I will be going to the Camden School for Girls to start studying for my A-Levels. Acting for Peace particularly appealed to me because the short course combines a great variety of different activities. Plus, it’s a chance to experience the UWC lifestyle since, regretfully, I was not nominated through UWCGB for the schools this year – though I must mention that the whole application process was an incredibly useful, enlightening experience and I met some absolutely lovely people! I am most looking forward to staying in tipis for the wilderness training – since I have always wanted to camp in them – exploring the beautiful Austrian alps and learning new things!
Helena Howen (United Kingdom)
I am Helena Howen, 18 years old, from the UK, living in Geneva, Switzerland. I just graduated from the Lycée International de Ferney-Voltaire, just over the border in France, and am embarking on my gap year. I applied for Acting for Peace to learn concrete ways in which I can make a difference in the world and deal with conflict situations. I am especially excited to meet other young motivated activists and to discuss the issues facing Europe and the MENA region. I am looking forward to our cross-cultural and challenging two weeks together!
Isabel Navarro (Spain)
My name is Isabel Navarro, I am 17 years old and come from Spain. I live in an small village in Alicante called Beneixama. I go to “Las Fuentes” high school in Villena, and this year I have finished the first year of non-compulsory secondary education.
I applied to Acting for Peace because I want to live a new and different experience. At the same time, I would like to learn, have fun, get to know different people who come from around the world, enjoy – and of course, how to transform conflicts.
Furthemore, I attended to a UWC Summer Program in Madrid two years ago. I learned a lot and I liked it so much. In fact, I made close friends there, who I am still in contact with.
Jaafar Bambouk (Syria)
What does “Acting for Peace – The Art of Conflict Transformation” mean to you?
“Peace is the most important issue, but the most difficult one to achieve. I want to become a peacemaker, because I find it an important role in a world. This is why “Acting for Peace” could help me enrich my worldview with new opinions, and to provide me with encounters in a field I have been interested in for so long. I haven’t been able to travel abroad since 2011 and have kept an eye on the news ever since the war in Syria started. This is what I can bring to the short course: real examples about the Syrian crisis. I hope to gain new perspectives and ideas about reconciliation between conflicting parties in Syria in order to find a way how I can contribute to establishing peace [one that may even end my country’ war].”
Narin Zekovski (Kosovo)
I am Narin Zekovski , from the newest state of the Balkans – Kosovo. I’m seventeen and study at a private college. Since primary school, I have always liked to attend social and cultural activities. At the same time I have been to regular acting and dance performances.
My passions are: meeting new people from different cultures, traveling the world, and hoping to be one of the people who can change the world for the better. This short course in Austria will hopefully give me a chance to understand what it means to be a “PEACE ACTOR” better. It is a perfect chance to obtain more knowledge about conflict resolution in order to be one of the change-makers for a more peaceful world.
Netta Hongisto (Finland)
Greetings from Finland with a big smile!
My name is Netta Hongisto – a seventeen-year-old girl with a never-ending passion towards foreign languages and different cultures. After the short course in August, I will start my second year of upper secondary school at University of Jyväskylä Teacher Training School (Jyväskylän normaalikoulun lukio in Finnish).
Last November, I sent an application for a UWC scholarship through Finland’s United World Colleges National Committee. Amazingly, along with 23 other applicants, I was invited for the final interviews in Helsinki. I wasn’t nominated for a two-year scholarship; however, I was for the “Acting for Peace” short course one!
As my interests lie in foreign languages, different cultures, as well as multicultural communications, being chosen for the short course was truly a dream come true for me – I cannot describe how excited and eager I am to meet you all in one week! I look forward to the beautiful scenery in Imst, wonders of cultural exchange, richness of different opinions, as well as the fun of learning together.
Orestja Habilaj (Albania)
My name is Orestja Habilaj, and I am 16 years old. I come from a small European country named Albania. I study in “Ali Demi” high school, and have just finished my first year there. I’m very happy to be one of the participants for this short course! I think that this event will be immensely helpful for my future plans. This will be a unique experience for me, since it will be the first time that I will leave my country. I’m very excited to learn more and meet new people.
Sanel Safic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
My name is Sanel, a 16-year-old Bosnian attending Una-Sana College in the city of Bihac.
There are multiple reasons for which I wish to attend the UWC Short Course Acting for Peace – The art of conflict transformation. First: the idea of change .This UWC Short Course would give me more insight on this idea concept as a whole, and should show me different ways to be influential in the community.
Another major reason is everything else I could possibly learn during my stay at the course. Not only things that are related to the theme of the course, but also all those other aspects I can learn about the culture, the people involved in this project, and the city of Imst.
Sophie Rath (Austria)
My name is Sophie Rath, I’m 16 years old and come from the very south-east of Austria – the city of Graz. I go to the HLW Schrödinger Graz, which is a School of Economics (I am specializing in tourism there), starting my 12th year now (in October due to my internship).
When I applied for UWC, it was almost too late. There were two girls who were students in my school and they told us about UWC, and in that moment – I knew, that this was the right thing for me! Even though I didn’t make it into the 2-year-scholarship, I am very grateful to be a part of the UWC Network and a part at the very first Short Course in Austria!
As I am very interested in different cultures, foreign languages and meeting new people, UWC seemed to be the perfect choice. And to get to know UWC without the whole IB experience and so on – that might even be a blessing. I am excited to get to know the UWC feeling, meet new people and change something for the better.
Viges Peta (Albania)
My name is Viges. I am 18 years old and have just completed high school, soon to start my university studies. I was very excited when I first learned about the “Acting for Peace” short course. The topic, the location, as well as the international dimension of the course, made me express my interest immediately in order not to lose this excellent opportunity.
I am looking forward to attending the UWC course because I want to expand my knowledge and build my capacity in becoming a more powerful actor for peace. I want to exchange experiences with peers from other countries, learn more about their culture and how they act for peace.
As I am currently taking important decisions on my future, I am convinced that my participation in UWC course will be the best bridge between high school and college – where I want to enhance my role as a promoter for peace and conflict transformation further. I also expect to experience a unique summer with new friends and adventures in beautiful Austria, which I haven’t had the chance to visit before.
Carina Karnicar (Austria)
My name is Carina Karnicar, and I am 17 years old. I live in the very south of Austria and have just finished the 10th grade in a regular Austrian high school. I actually applied to UWC for getting a place at one of the colleges, but got a scholarship for the “Acting for Peace” short course instead. It was not quite what I expected, but now – I am really looking forward to it! I can barely wait to experience the two awesome and productive weeks in Imst, with 30 other students from all over the world.
Myra Massoud (Egypt)
I am Myra from Cairo, sixteen years old and will be in the eleventh grade this fall in the Oasis International School.
Being in a multicultural environment, even if only for two weeks, will make a huge impact in my life as I am always searching to learn more about different opinions and ideas. This course will offer me a unique opportunity to interact directly with people coming from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. I hence cannot wait to enjoy this experience and learn from the course, by coming together with people from all over the world – to share ideas and create a better, more united and peaceful world!
Mahdi Sersouri (Morocco)
My name is Mahdi, I am a 16 year-old boy from Morocco, living in Rabat and studying at Lycée Descartes, where I’ll be joining my junior year of high school after the summer. Since my early years, I’ve had a dream – a dream of a better world. A lot of people have similar dreams, but only a few are willing to do everything they can to make it no longer just a dream, but a reality. I am proud to say that I belong to this category of people: I believe in that ideal world and I also believe that I will reach it. Nonetheless, the path to the goal I’ve set for myself is strewn with thorns and all but straight. That made me come to the conclusion that I’m definitely not “making it“– not now and not alone.
Then I found out about the UWC, that nest of optimism and goodwill, gathering people from all countries, cultures and religions – a place where I’d be able to learn all I need to achieve my dream, hopefully. I applied through my national committee, got to the last test, but haven’t been given a scholarship unfortunately. However, I was selected for “Acting for Peace” – a program in a wonderful landscape, with amazing people united in hope for change to a more peaceful world. Through this course, I want to learn the skill that I believe every change maker should master: Conflict Transformation. I am also looking forward to making new friends from all over the world, discovering the beauty of Imst’s landscapes and most of all: having fun.
Ania Wilk (Poland)
My name is Ania. I am sixteen. In June, I finished the 10th class. My homeland is Poland – country full of history, where there was no peace in ages now… It’s great I got the opportunity to attend the Summer Course in the beautiful Tirol, and to learn how to be a good ”peace actor” there – especially now, hundred years after WWI and the 70th anniversary of Warsaw Uprising.
Thanks to sailing (mostly on the sailing ship STS Fryderic Chopin), I saw the world’s diversity and its problems. Travelling and doing sport are some of the things that make me happy. I love getting to know new places, cultures, people and to have fun. ”Acting for peace” will be an opportunity to discuss, get to know what others think and feel, and at last – act! Peace and justice are crucial values for me. I believe in a better world, and I am convinced that we will achieve it one step at a time.