Your favorite part of the sketchbook are the little drawings and sketches of people and places you have seen in the past. (…) The sun is shining and you are finally soaking in the unique energy, spring reactivates year after year. Wondering about the future, the future of the little black Book in front of you.
Source: blank pages
An eager group of 16 students (and I’d say an equally eager group of 2 staff members) boarded the bus to Paris. The upcoming 8 and a half hours are definitely going to be exciting. The plan has us arriving in Paris by around 10, getting settled, and grabbing some sleep before work begins tomorrow (…)
For more -> And so, it begins.
PC: Martin Hermann
For more -> And so, it begins.
When looking at the date of the last blog post I wrote one could think, that I have abandoned this Blog. Although I have a couple of Drafts for posts, for e.g. one I wrote about my second orientation week, I did not post any of them wither because I did not like them or because I did not have enough time to complete them. Anyways here is a quick update.
After an interesting Project Week in Brüssels, amazing two days in Amsterdam with my best friend and a weekend at home I am finally back on Campus. A lot of things have changed since last year and a lot of things stayed the same. The last months have been consumed by thoughts about University applications and working on IB papers. During the long bus rides during the fall break I had a lot of time to reflect and reconsider my priorities regarding scores etc. One of the main outcomes of this refection was, that I do not want to waste time being unhappy because I am studying non stop, but I want to make the best of my time here while not forgetting about my goals regarding university and my future.
In about 12 days I am going to put all of my luggage into my parents car and they are going to drive me back to Campus. In order to do that I have to decide what I am going to take with me and how. Since I have basically unlimited space in comparison to the students that have to fly to Germany I have to think through what I really need and what would just take up unnecessary space.
What I have learned is that I am going to take quite a lot of food with me since things like rice and other staples are quite unpleasant to carry by bike or foot. Other than that I have learned that having a huge supply of washing powder can be a life saver not only for you and your dirty clothes but also for that one person that always forgets to buy their own washing powder 😉 Of course I also need to take clothes with me I have decided to sort out my closet and give the pieces I haven’t worn in a long time to the Chic Boutique (free thrift shop on Campus). In order to safe some time in the first weeks I am going to take all the school supplies I am going to need with me instead of heading to the city during a time where everyone buys their pens, pencils, folders etc. Oh and of course I am also taking pictures, posters and fairy lights with to decorate the room.
Now instead of using my big suitcase I am going to take a big hiking backpack and some regular bags for the food and things that are going to be used through out the next term.
If you read this blog post and you are a soon to be “first year” you probably still have some questions don’t hesitate to write a comment with your question and I will either reply direct or update this blog post.
About a week ago I had the pleasure to meet the fabulous people who have been selected by the German National Committee to attend one of the 15 United World Colleges. It was exciting, interesting and maybe a bit scary… since about 25 of them will attend RBC with me and my co years next year. We played games answered A LOT of questions. Answering all of those questions was a good and different way of reflecting on what happened over the course of the last two terms. We also got the change of getting to know our co years from the other Colleges a bit better which was really nice since I did not really have the time to write any of them. Talking about Universities and how things are at other Colleges gave me a few new perspectives and and some new motivation to initiate things next year in Freiburg.
Its Friday night and I finally found the time and motivation to write a new blogpost, which I will actually upload.
Last week was pretty crazy we had our “end of year exams“. Which meant that in the lad three weeks my free time especially the weekends where consumed by Biology, Physics and Maths revision. Since we took the tests about two weeks before the Summer holidays start we will hopefully receive our results soon after we have left the Campus. In the last weeks it felt like the whole Campus was obsessed with Exams and Academics, but studying together for hours and hours was not only a stressful experience it actually made me appreciate my close friends here which I could go to and “cry” about Physics, Maths or exams in general.
Yesterday I had my second appointment with our University counselor, who is there to help us with deadlines, standardized Tests and finding out which Universities and Courses we want to apply to. My top choice at the moment would be Psychology in Scotland but I am also considering some Universities in The US. There is a lot to do regarding University applications already, which reminds me how scares the time here is…
There are only about two weeks until the Summer holidays start, the written exams are over but there are still some Orals, the Annotated Bibliography for my EE and the planning of how to do my Anthropology IA which consists of Fieldwork and writing an essay. From Thursday to Saturday our “Outdoor weekend” will take place everyone will join a group for a two day hiking trip (I am leading one together with one of our lovely teachers). The idea of having new roommates next year mostly scares me at the moment. My roommate are some of the most chilled, funny and understanding People I have met : ) In our second year we will share a Room with one of our co years and two firsties. Since we are going to have double the amount of students next year we are also going to have three new student houses.
On the 24th my grandfather will pick me up and drive me home, which is great since I somehow managed to accumulate a bunch of things which I now have to take home. At home I am planning on repairing the violin my grandmother gave to me when I started classes here. And of course I am looking forward to see my family and friends again, although I am already leaving to Portugal two weeks after returning home. I am going to stay there for about ten days until the 17th. Which means that I am only returning one day before the zero first year meeting in Berlin is taking place. I hope I can convince my parents to allow me to attend it despite the tight schedule.
I am planning to write more Blogposts during Summer, reflecting on my first year at UWC RBC and of course also about visiting Bea in Portugal etc. so stay tuned !
Soon the German National committee will send out letters for the about 50 applicants that have been accepted to a UWC. In this Blog Post I want to write about being a “local” student at a UWC, meaning that you are from the country that the school is situated in. I have not attended a UWC other than the one in Freiburg so the differences I will point out are based on my experiences compared to the experiences of german co years at other uwc´s and internationals here at RBC.
When I received my acceptance letter I was really excited and relieved that my efforts payed out. Then I saw that I´ll stay in Germany to be more specific Freiburg which is only about 200 km from my hometown near Stuttgart. I was so happy about the fact that I would get the chance to study and life at a place like UWC, but the idea of how this would look like changed a lot. The landscape, language and the people outside the college would be familiar. I imagined that as a “German” in the beginning I would take the role of a host helping with grocery shopping, getting around town with public transport, explaining laws and rules and of course teaching some basic german sentences. I also knew 24 of my co years since I met a lot of them at my choosing weekend and then the rest of my german co years at the “zero-firstyear meeting”.
(At the zero-firtyear meeting all my german co years attending RBC)
(All of my german co years)
After I have spent half a year in Freiburg I can say that it is definitely a unique experience to be “a local”. The fear that you will miss out on experiencing new cultures as close as at other uwc´s is unnecessary. You will be confronted with cultural differences on a day to day basis and to a certain extent your own culture at times will seem foreign and you will start to get to know your own culture a lot better at least from an outsiders perspective.
Before arriving last summer I was told that there will be a german in every room. As it turned out this is not completely the case since I have a Roommate from Leipzig and in other rooms there is no german. Initially the idea was to have someone, who is familiar with the culture that surrounds your college and can help you with problems that might arise in the beginning and through out the year due to missing language skills etc. And as I had imagined before I had to explain a lot of things like rules regarding traffic lights, which supermarket is the cheapest, etc.
Everybody at RBC is required to learn German, but in our Service (CAS) it is often of advantage or even required to know German at quite a high level. Examples would be working at an elderly peoples home or with children. As it turns out to be way more difficult if you do not know “enough” German, at the same time this encourages students to learn/ teach German and it offers a platform for real life language training 🙂
(I thought I will just upload this post now and complete it as soon as I have enough time)
Click here for a really good blog post from my co year Sophie.
Here is a brief overview of how an average week day looks like for me at UWCRBC. Oh and there have been some changes to my weekly VAS program since we can choose our Creative and Action activities new in the second Term. As Actions I now play Football aka Soccer on Fridays and Ruby on Tuesday for my creative CAS I choose Queer Green Marx where we talk about all kinds of issues on a kind of philosophical level. Outside of the CAS program there is also the philosophy Club on Sudays, college service which for me would be the Chic Boutique ( an on Campus thrift store ) and last but not least there is the beloved RBC Fitness program where each student has to choose two activities (if you have two Actions you only have to attend once a week), I go running twice a week and do sprint training we will see if I can keep up all of those fitness activities but since there are either in the morning or at weekends it should be ok.
Day in the live of a UWC student:
6:15 waking up
6:30 attending the Fittness program in my case that would be running on Thursdays and Saturdays
7:30 heading to the Mensa for breakfast
8:00 Maths class on trigonometry
10:00 Morning break for some coffee or fruit
10:30 English A class on Gernres and the Graphic Novel Maus and about the upcoming FOA’s an oral presentation in the IB program
12:30 Lunch at the Mensa
13:00 German A class on ” Das siebte Kreuz” (the seventh cross) creating a summary for the book
14:30 visit of two professors working in the field of sustainability / sustainable architecture
18:00 Dinner is being served in the Mensa
19:00 playing saxophone and doing vocal exercises with my Roomie
20:00 time for homework Yay solving Physics problems and writing a anthropological response to a Fox news video
9:00 early check in in our Admission building didn’t make it today
10:45 normal Check in in the houses
HAPPY NEW YEAR 🎆🎇🎉
A new year has started and in a few days I’ll be back at RBC starting the second term. It’s incredible how fast the first Term has flewn by and how excited I’m for the second one.
Since I have two A languages English and German plus Anthropology where I’ve been faced with a lot of reading and essay writing which I haven’t been used to before coming to UWC. Half a year ago I would only read books which would be related to psychology and the books which we had to read in school. This made it especially hard for me in the languages since I suddenly had to read three or more books at once in a fairly fast pace while also do a close reading analyzing style of the writer etc.
I started to read more by downloading audio books and listening to them to relax or come down after a busy day. In the Winterholidays I discovered Book hauls and vlogs on YouTube that really helped me to figure out what I could read next. So now I have a good list of graphic novels, novels etc. that I am acutely excited to order and read.
My TBR (to be read) for January now consists of Half of a Yellow Sun from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, blink from Malcolm Gladwell and Saga Volume 2 (which I still have to order) from Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona K. Staples
To keep myself motivated and on track with reading I’ll probably include small book reviews, recommendations and lists of what I’ve read or want to read.