A letter of thanks from Mohammed Talib (Sudan, Class of 2015) who was received a full scholarship through support from alumni and the Haggar Holding Company in Sudan. Mohammed is currently studying at Middlebury College in the United States on a full scholarship, with the support of the Davis UWC Scholars programme.
I cannot think of any decision in my life better than my decision four years ago to go to “MUWCI” (Mahindra United World College of India). My UWC Mahindra experience has made me a better person intellectually, academically, and socially, and truly transformed me as a person.
The International Baccalaureate academic programme offered me an outstanding education that I would not have dreamt before UWC. I was introduced to new areas of knowledge that my education system in Sudan neglected such as Economics, History and many other social sciences. I learnt the importance of diverse and broad knowledge, the prime reason that motivated me to strive for a liberal arts education at Middlebury College. The education I have received left me with a strong base in all areas of knowledge that has put me ahead of my Americans peers in every course I take.
Next, the activities and social interactions UWC Mahindra offered have also deepened my understanding of global issues and changed my perception of many concepts. As soon as I felt comfortable with my English and started getting involved in conversations, I started learning and developing awareness about many issues I was not aware of. MUWCI’s Triveni system (co-curriculars focusing on Creativity, Action, and Service Learning) exposed me to many concepts and activities. My hike with my teacher Arvin Dang to the Himalayas on my first semester was a life changing experience. After living in a city my whole life, my Himalaya trek helped me build a strong connection with and appreciation of nature. The time I spent challenging myself outdoors developed my leadership skills, confidence and self-reflection. It also taught me why it is important to care about international issues such as global warming.
The CAS system allowed me to interact with farmers in our valley on a more personal level, and learn another meaning of life. The rural Maharashtrian farmers were perhaps the simplest community I have interacted with, yet they were the happiest. With them, I learnt that contentment is fortune, and happiness does not need more than satisfaction. MUWCI’s Triveni system influenced my life in ways I cannot explain in this letter. My activities were at the core of my UWC experience, along with the friends I have lived with. On this note, I do like to express my gratitude that the Admissions Office fundraised for two twinned scholarships for a student each from Sudan and South Sudan. I spent a lot of time with my South Sudanese ‘twin’, Joseph in the football field playing football. He was a great player, and it was my pleasure to play and share those beautiful moments with him – something we would have never done when living across a conflict border.
Finally, in UWC Mahindra, I learnt about the many differences I have with my peers. My peers and I acknowledged those differences, and talked comfortably about them. This tolerant and cultural understanding I saw in UWC Mahindra is what makes me most hopeful about a world like today’s when fear and xenophobia is taking over our elite and most educated. In fact, when the Trump administration’s Travel Ban was announced recently, the first to passionately speak out against it amongst my peers were my UWC friends. Across the movement alumni and students came forward to testify about the rich friendships they have had with other UWC students from the 7 banned countries. I also gladly took part in a MUWCI campaign that proudly featured 8 students & alumni from the “banned country list” – all of us on full scholarships made possible through organizations like yours. Thank you!
In UWC Mahindra, every experience counts, and every experience is a life lesson. My Mahindra experience did not stop at Mulshi Valley. It is with me today, tomorrow, and every single day of my life. Thank you for making this precious opportunity possible.