90 long days of summer break have passed, and today we are starting afresh. 72 countries, 198 students, dozens of languages and dialects, all hosted under the friendly roof of UWC Dilijan. The new academic year, true to the unfailing motto “Education like no other”, is officially on.
But before leaping to the universe of the IB Programme, the community had a series of ice-breaking events aimed at getting to know each other, the school and the city that they are going to call home for another two years. It all started with welcoming the first year students. “It is the early hours of the morning. The moon is just past full. There is a chill in the air. Most of the new second years are gathering below the Dining Hall. There is a hush of expectancy and more students run from their beds. Some wear blankets, some wear coats and many have pajama legs showing above slippers. Then a bus arrives and the night is split with a cheer. As the doors open there is an outburst of applause as the brand new first year group, sleepy eyed after many hours’ travel, are welcomed with joy and real affection”, says the Head of College Denise Davidson in her welcome message. The second year students did their best to show the newcomers the spirit of UWC.
After everyone settled and got acquainted with their roommates, the activity week began. Lots of events were organised that week: there was Capture the Flag, when the first year students got to know the campus of the college; then there was a Penguin Hunt, an ultimate opportunity to walk around the city and see all the hidden corners. On a sunny Tuesday afternoon everyone gathered on the football pitch, to play a friendly match of Frisbee.
This was also a new beginning for 15 members of staff, who came to UWC Dilijan to sustain the multinational nature of the academic staff of the college. They too participated in induction week, getting involved in the life of the community and the city.
Just a couple of days before the academic year started, second year students organised an open microphone evening, welcoming all those interested to step up and show their talents. Although the organisers promised everyone that no talent required, just fun, at the end of the evening, they had to take their words back: it turned out that the college is overwhelmed with talented people, both from the student body and academic staff. There was a traditional Japanese dance, requiring a lot of hard work; the delicate tunes of violin; stand up performances and so much more.
Induction Week was then concluded with a Service Day, during which students and staff engaged in the community life and made their own contribution to the welfare of Dilijan.
The induction week is over now, but there are still a lot of exciting things ahead: CAS fair, where the students will have an opportunity to choose their favourite activities, cultural weekends, a unique chance to learn a bit more about the cultural peculiarities around the world. And of course, there is an academic year waiting ahead, filled with theory and practice, knowledge and service, discoveries and achievements.