Malefetsane 'Stephen' Moerane
Waterford Kamhlaba UWC of SA, '10
Whitman College Class of 2015,
When I got to Whitman College, I immediately felt at home. The friendly community made it so much easier to blend in and feel welcome. Coming from a United World College, I had expectations of what schooling should be like, and was worried about whether or not these would be met.
It got ingrained in me through UWC life, that education is a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future, and I wondered how this motto would be continued as I embarked on a different education system - the Whitman education system. What I realized as I got into my first class was that we not only have small classes that encourage us to know each other on a personal level, but we are also encouraged to speak up in class because in-class participation is one of the criteria by which we are graded. Few classes at Whitman take on a lecture style, and the majority are of seminar-type, which ensures that the students spearhead discussions with the guidance of professors.
I will admit, I thought that cultural diversity was not very prominent on campus, but I soon realized that diversity comes in many forms; musical talent, religious beliefs and many more, and so students from many backgrounds are united at Whitman.
The wealth of student activities also guarantees a suitable environment for everyone. Take me for example, an individual who likes the idea of sports, but isn’t into competition. We have intramural sports teams in which I can play whenever I want to, but there is no obligation to have daily practice sessions. We also have countless other activities in which I had never even imagined I would want to try. In general, the Whitman community is the surrogate home away from UWC schools.
Stephen Moerane, Waterford Kamhlaba, Whitman Freshman year, Lesotho.