Graduation 2017 at UWC Dilijan

On 27 May, UWC Dilijan said “see you soon” to its second generation of alumni. 87 students from 50 countries set off to the bigger world, anticipating a brand new page of their life. Gap year or university, they are going to take their two years at UWC Dilijan with them to every corner of the world.

The Graduation Day started with UWC Experiences, a showcase of the life at UWC Dilijan, where students provided an insight into their classes, co-curricular activities and campus life in general to more than 700 guests to the College. One of the highlights of the morning was a drum performance on improvised musical instruments, where music students played on trash bins and a PVC organ, all built by the students themselves.

"We don't need visas to cross continents", Katie, Russia

Another big moment of the morning was the fashion show by Mungo, a UWCD’17 student from Malawi, who has launched his own fashion design collection combining ethnic patterns with the traditional techniques of western needlework.

The day’s events continued with the Aurora Dialogues, where renowned educators, humanitarians and activists spent dozens of breakout sessions discussing education, human rights, the refugee crises and much more.

The guests of the graduation ceremony had the chance to appreciate the Dilijanian rollercoaster of sunshine and pouring rain for themselves. The ceremony was timed to the second, and when a momentous thunderstruck happened during Global Politics teacher Jaime’s address, the audience was convinced that it was part of the show. Little did they know that nature itself was giving a round of applause to the UWC Dilijan class of 2017, bidding them all the luck in years to come.

Naturally, the evening was rich in emotional speeches, promises to miss each other and the determination to keep in touch, regardless of which corner of the Earth everyone ends up. It became even more emotional after several of the first generation of alumni visited the school to be there for their friends and share the exciting moment. Brazil, Portugal, the US, Denmark, and of course Armenia - a year after they were here on the same stage, saying good bye to their UWC Dilijan Experiences, they were back in Dilijan, reunited.

“I hope to see you back here as alumni, as guests and one day as parents, who continue the cycle”, Veronika Zonabend

Speaking about corners of the Earth, the majority of UWCD’17 have received offers from the most coveted universities, including the University of British Columbia, Bennington College, Princeton, Yale, the University of Edinburgh and many more. 2017 marked the first year when a UWC Dilijan alumna was offered a place at the University of Cambridge. Several students are taking a gap year, during which they will be volunteering at UWC Thailand, implementing projects aimed at sustainability in Malawi, promoting human rights and elaborating their artistic skills in Russia.

In any case, this is going to be a wonderful year for all 87 who “just-graduated” from UWC Dilijan; hopefully, they will come back in May 2018 to share their impressions about their life after UWC.