How to Survive Your UWC Interview

A lot of UWC applicants are about to be interviewed by their national committees. Here are some tips that might help you out!

Be sure of why you’re applying, and structure your thoughts effectively. Making a short list, or talking to someone like your parents or friends about why you’re applying will encourage some healthy thinking here. By clearly and honestly arguing or at least explaining why you want to attend a UWC, not only will you seem convincing, you’ll also give the national committee information about you that makes it easier for them to place you into the UWC best suited for you. Trust me, they’re not all the same, and that’s a good thing.

Don’t be scared to speak about yourself. You can easily be a little self-centered without  coming off as pretentious. After all, this interview is about you. I prepared by looking through all sorts of political, economic and social issues and news, and was taken aback when the committee asked me to simply tell them about myself.

Most people I’ve talked to felt that the interview went badly, so if it doesn’t go entirely as you would have liked, don’t worry. The important thing is to know the simple stuff, know yourself. Other than that, there’s not really much you can do. So put on a big smile, crack a joke or two (if you can), and hope for the best. Remember that there is a reason why they picked you for the interviews, and not someone else. They do like you, at least a little bit, already.

Good luck!

Mid-Term Break

It’s been a week since our mid-term break, and it is with great pleasure that I can finally say; the internet is strong enough to blog! It may seem bizarre, but getting a strong enough connection is actually is issue, as photos take a long time to upload.

Anyhow, for mid-term, Hilde, Nelly, Tshepi (my link brother) and I went to Mozambique with Tshepi’s parents! After living in a landlocked country for about two months, I cannot aptly express how good if felt to get to the ocean (keep in mind that I used to live on an island).

On Friday morning, we drove, more or less, directly to Bilene, where we stayed at Tshepi’s father’s friend’s house. The house is located above a lagoon, which makes room for some pretty awesome views;

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We went kaiaking in the lagoon, and even though it was fun and we were told it was completely safe, I must admit, I still cringe at the thought of crocodiles sneaking up on us in the surface. If you keep going beyond the sand dunes after the lagoon, you’ll reach the beach soon enough.
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On Saturday we went to a bigger lagoon, where we had lunch and the ability to swim!

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As overjoyed as I was by getting in the water, I managed to cut my foot on some sharp item in the water, but the day was a success, nonetheless! My vague medical skills were put to test, as I was forced to wrap my tank top around the wound, in order to stop the bleeding. I won’t lie, even though the little I know of first aid has come to me from Hollywood, I felt greatly capable.

IMG_1263On Sunday, we went to the prober beach, and after limping across the dunes for twenty minutes, nothing could have pleased me more than the sound of pounding waves, and this view;
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On the way back, I managed to capture everyone in a single photo, as well.
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We went back through Maputo on Monday, where we slept as Tshepi’s dad’s apartment. After staying in teeny, tiny Swaziland for some time, it was surreal to see a big, buzzing city, once again, and we enjoyed our stay there.

As usual, more photos can be obtained in the photo gallery!

Until next time,

Markus

Sun, Rocks and Chalk

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On our way up to the wall on mount Kelly

Last weekend we went rock climbing, and it was great to get back to the mountainside after what seems like forever. It’s possible that the rock climbing group will go to SA for a weekend during easter break.

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Sameen and I

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Connor (connorbaer.org)

Connor (connorbaer.org)

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I’m pretty sure I’ll keep doing this!

A Typical “Cubie”

The rooms on the boys side of Emhlabeni hostel are pretty much identical. There’s a desk, a shelf, a bed, a closet (with a curtain, instead of doors?) and windows. It’s not much, but it gets the job done. In fact, Waterford is the only, or one of few UWCs who offer single rooms, which we’re thankful for! Anyway, here are a couple pictures of my view and my room (yes, Mom, I did clean it).

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Peace

Our First Days in the Kingdom

After about thirty hours of traveling we finally arrived in Mbabane, Swaziland on Friday. We’re currently staying with our Norwegian second year Lise’s link family, and we feel right at home!

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Yesterday we went to a waterfall with a second and a third years of ours, Samantha and Joanna from Swaziland, and our co-year Batya from Costa Rica. It was great to see some more of this beautiful kingdom. We even went swimming!

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Later that night we stayed at Lise’s link family for braai (barbecue) with friends of the family. After that went to the Albert Millin, a local bar, where we met other students from Waterford, and we had a blast! If you ever go, try their food, you will not regret it one bit, just saying.

For now, we’re hanging out in the sun and eating watermelon. Life is good.

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IMG_0090IMG_0097Tomorrow we’re heading over to the school to get started with orientation week!

UWC Applicants: Leverage Social Media!

Heads up, UWC applicants! Social media can be of great help both during and following your application process! Obtaining information about the colleges and connecting with fellow applicants, current students and alumni is easier than ever.

Even before the beginning of the application process, there are plenty of UWC applications Facebook groups. These are useful for asking questions and potentially talking to literally hundreds of likeminded people.

After receiving the brown paper envelope containing my letter of acceptance to Waterford, I quickly got in contact with some of my classmates to-be. We made groups on Facebook and Skyped a bunch. Sharing in this excitement can be a beautiful thing.

Lastly, Youtube is becoming increasingly useful. There are plenty of videos out there about the different schools, which might help you make your mind up about your top choices. Not to mention blogs, like this one – I know it all helped me!