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5th September 2022 | by Lemi from Germany

It is the 5th of September, which means that six weeks have passed since we left the short course. Since then we have been texting, calling, and even visiting each other! We are even planning reunions and reapplying together to the UWC colleges so we can meet there. Do you want to know how such deep connections formed in just two weeks? Well…

For me, REDEQ22 started when I met my umbrella parents Alex and Anna Chiara, and the two Spanish participants Lucía and Vera at the airport at midnight since our flights had gotten canceled. I remember clearly how we drove to the school while talking about UWC and its values. This first conversation, which was the first minutes of my whole short course experience, was so valuable and inspiring to me.

Such moments continued to happen. Every day I was experiencing several situations, to which I connect so much value and emotions, which makes them unforgettable to me.

One of them was the day we tested Covid-19 negative and were, therefore, able to take our masks off after wearing them the whole day for the last five days. It was the first time we saw each other's beautiful smiles. That day was the start of so many awesome friendships, which are still alive to this day.

Another one of those unforgettable moments was one session in particular, although I enjoyed every single minute of every session a lot. We had sessions in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening and it was absolutely mind-blowing how interesting and interactive they were designed. Every single day I learned so much about topics like racism, ableism, feminism, homophobia and most of all about my identity. One session stuck to me particularly though:

It was a role play with all the participants, facilitators, and coordinators where we had to complete a task in groups, but every group got treated differently by the facilitators and coordinators. I was in a group that got treated very badly in comparison to other groups which left me feeling very frustrated and angry. Later in the umbrella groups, where we would reflect on the day, I realized that anger is a normal reaction to unfair treatment. Others, who were in a group that got treated very well, didn’t realize we got treated differently than them which made them feel guilty for their privilege. During the next few days, we talked a lot about our homes and I noticed how privileged my life in Germany is at made me feel guilty for having a better living standard just by being born in a different country. But the game helped me understand better where those feelings come from and how the others feel. From the facilitators I learned that what matters is to turn these feelings into action and use one's own privilege to uplift others.

During our last days, we had sessions for us to reflect on our short course experience. Especially one activity on gratitude stuck with me. It was such an emotional game and it made me realize that we - participants, facilitators and coordinators - created a community in which everybody was included, accepted, respected, and appreciated.

"Everybody was able to be fully themselves without being judged and everyone felt cared for and loved. We build a home together to which we still keep returning every day."

Lemi, Participant from Germany


12th July 2022 | by Lucía Sobrado Louzao

How would you describe with words how it feels to be accepted by everyone? How would you describe the feeling of being truly yourself without feeling judged? That is UWC. A community of people who respect each other, no matter who you are. In the Short Course, I felt that I belonged somewhere, in a community of people who supported me and cared for me.