Tsering Tashi is in his second and final year at UWC Red Cross Nordic. He came to know about this College four years ago, when he was in 8th grade. A video documentary he watched about students who have attended the College inspired him. So he started studying hard in order to get good grades – a criterion for winning a scholarship.
Tsering says UWC Red Cross Nordic impacts his life and his attitude in various ways, ranging from recognition of his identity to becoming an independent learner. He is a third-generation Tibetan refugee living in India, and he became aware that his status is different from many others. “When we were introduced to the other students, their citizenship and the country where they came from is the same. But my case is different. I am a Tibetan without a country. I came from India but am not Indian. It intrigues me now in different ways than before. I became more conscious about my identity and the situation I am in.”
This realization makes him more open to learn about other cultures and accepting differences. “I believe UWC Red Cross Nordic is an ideal environment to learn how to adjust to a different place and assimilate with different people and a variety of cultures. I have become a responsible Tibetan because when I share my culture with others I must do it properly and I want to learn from others too.”
For Tsering, accepting others’ opinions is the difficult part of assimilation with diversity. He acknowledges that he used to have strong opinions about his religion and culture, and he was using it as the basis for his judgement of the right and wrong doings of others. But this has changed. “I know UWC education has had a huge impact on me. I have become less biased now. I can understand the other person’s perspective even though it doesn’t represent mine. Also, I became more rational rather than emotional and will no longer try to impose my ideas on others or show them that their ideas are wrong. Here I have learnt that there is no such thing as a black and white picture, it is more about accepting people as they are. For example, I meet people who are nice to me personally, but are doing things that might be considered as wrong in my culture. Learning this, I got more comfortable in socializing with people from different backgrounds.”
Tsering has set his goal to be a neuroscientist. This ambition and his personal principle of being a lifelong and active learner gives him the energy every morning to get out of his bed and start the day with enthusiasm. He sees a good combination of his passions, his principles and accessing education at UWC Red Cross Nordic. “The IB curriculum has helped me to be an independent learner. I had never written any paper on any subject before I came here, now I am building my capacity on that. The IB curriculum is intense with lots of work to do and UWC with all of its diversity is also demanding but this is what makes UWC so rigorous. It makes you a person who does not shy away from challenges.”