Monthly Archives: March 2018

March 25, 2018

Amanda Aarnio (RCN ’15-’17)

March 25th, 2018|

As I am writing this I’m in Cape Town, South Africa, one of eleven ports as part of our voyage around the globe. I am travelling with Semester at Sea, a school programme that in short could be described as an American-based floating university. Together with 500 other students, mostly American but also some international, we are studying while at sea and are free to explore the countries while in port. I remember hearing about this programme in my first year of UWC. My world had opened up – just coming to UWC had made me realize how much more there is in the world than my small village back home, and it had made me want to explore it all. In UWC, I had made food with my Moroccan friend, danced Bollywood-dance with my Indian friends and talked about daily life in Vietnam. Being able to travel to all these countries that my friends come from and experience all these things in its natural setting sounded too good to be true.

We talk a lot about the concept of a “single story” here on the ship. How a country (or really almost anything) is not either/or, but both/and. How it is true that China has a lot of pollution, but also has stunning landscapes and nature. How Myanmar has tensions between ethnic groups, but also the most open and friendly people I’ve ever met. How I, in South Africa, have seen the richest areas but also the poorest. I find myself fascinated how each country has so many different sides, and I think it is this fascination that makes me suffer from something that I think many UWCers can relate to – wanderlust.

Growing up on Åland Islands, an autonomous island in the Finnish archipelago where travelling with ferries are part of our daily life, I thought that I should be immune to sea sickness. I was wrong. The waves in the Pacific are different from the ones in the Baltic Sea, and some days it’s just impossible to focus on homework. Days like these I seek up one of my friends and play cards in the restaurant, or watch movie after movie in one of our small cabins. As each UWC nominates two students each year for this program, there are quite a few UWCers on the ship. By sharing the same experience and having the same values, we have grown close and enjoy spending a lot of time together. From them I have learned about daily life in other UWC schools, and how they all have their own personalities. UWC Waterford Kamhlaba (Swaziland) doesn’t have PBL weeks (Project Based Learning), UWC Robert Bosch College (Germany) is off every Wednesday morning to do service work in the community and UWC Li Po Chun (Hong Kong) is located in the outside of the city and has a Starbucks right outside its campus. From them I learned that although our schools operate in slightly different ways, they are all UWC, and they have in some way sculpted us to become part of one big beautiful UWC family.

It is almost a year ago since I graduated from Red Cross Nordic. So many times I have stopped and reflected upon where I would have been today if I wouldn’t have gone to UWC – and with that I don’t mean physically, although South Africa is kind of cool, but rather what my values would have been. In some way that I cannot really put my finger on yet, UWC has lead me into a path of wonder and curiosity, of friendships and a confidence that we can accomplish anything we want. And for that I am immensely thankful.

Our Earth, Our Future

March 24th, 2018|

Nils Vagstad and Mike Doyle

The world is facing many environmental problems all around the globe today. In this year’s Environmental Global Concerns (GC) we explored some of these issues, with the events of the day being titled, ‘Our Earth, Our Future’. The event was organized by and for the students.

The aim of the GC was to raise awareness and to motivate students to make positive changes for the sake of the environment and this started the day before the GC. On Thursday the school celebrated Earth Hour. Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature). The event is held annually encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour, from 8.30 to 9.30 pm. We celebrated this event by having a bonfire with hot chocolate and snacks.

On the day itself we had interesting lectures from Mike Doyle from UWC Maastricht on the topic of, Towards Carbon-neutral UWC’s and from Nils Vagstad from NiBIO who talked about Food security, nutrition and sustainability: A global challenge- a common responsibility.

During the day we also had a lot of workshops organized by students themselves. Here is an overview of all the workshops:

1. The meat industry: Dog farming
2. Hike and Food discussion
3. Vegetarianism and Veganism
4. Algae and Plastic in the Ocean
5. Do It Yourself
6. The Dark Side of Charity
7. Indigenous cultures and the Environment
8. Reasons behind, Solutions and Sustainable Energy
9. Cooking with Local food
10. Insects and New technologies
11. Creative solutions to environmental issues

At the end of the day we all hope that the students learned a lot of new things about our earth and came to recognise ever more strongly that it is worth fighting for its future – and our future.

Gift from Skogstad Sport

March 24th, 2018|

Skogstad Sport has given us a generous gift enabling us to equip students with good clothes for outdoor activities.
With our deliberately divers student body, this is a great contribution towards making each and everyone
properly dressed for activities in all seasons. Our team at Ridderrennet looked more stylish than ever before.
Thanks a lot to our friends in Skogstad Sport, who are based in the Nordfjord part of our county. You help us feel at home in the mountains and on the fjord!

The Las Americas Show

March 23rd, 2018|

Last weekend, on Saturday 17th of March, we had the Las Americas Show. Following RCN tradition all regional shows have an afternoon bazaar prior to the evening cultural show with a variety of stands at which each country is showcased through food, information and discussion. We had twenty stands representing countries ranging from Bolivia and Venezuela to the US and Cuba. At each stand you found students that came from that country and they engaged in different ways – conversations, handing out food from their home country, or telling indigenous stories.

The evening show was filled with cultural acts, such as a Central American Folklore dance, a Caribbean soca dance, and a Broadway musical act. There was singing and also a couple of comedic acts.

The day was organized by a passionate group students from Las Americas, as well as others, and was a great success. We had a day full of cultural sharing, fun and, as one student put it, “… the days like these are why I came to UWC”.