In pursuit of her long-held aspiration for international education, Sitamaya Tamang embarked on a transformative journey to UWC. While embracing the promise of personal growth and academic exploration, she also grappled with the emotional weight of leaving loved ones behind. Throughout her UWC journey, she benefited greatly from academic enrichment and networking opportunities. During her Summer break, she took the initiative to organize career counseling sessions in her school in Nepal with the aim of informing and empowering the students of grades 9 and 10 for UWC, Samaanta, and other scholarships.

With deep gratitude, she acknowledges the pivotal role of the Samaanta Foundation’s unwavering support in propelling her forward along this transformative journey. Sitamaya Tamang is a 9th Cohort Fellow at Samaanta Foundation. She is currently pursuing her IB Diploma degree at UWC Robert Bosch College, Germany.

Ever since childhood, the idea of studying in an international college, surrounded by a diverse group of students, has been a cherished dream of mine. Yet, the realization of the dream always felt distant and uncertain. However, in the quiet hours of the night on August 24th, something incredible was set in motion. It was at that moment, bidding farewell to my family and loved ones at the airport, that the mixed emotions swirling within me marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey to UWC, a journey that would come to define me as a proud representative of Nepal. Pride and excitement surged through me as I set foot on this path that I had yearned for, a journey of personal growth, academic exploration, and cultural immersion. Yet, the heaviness of leaving my friends and family pressed upon my heart. In the midst of these emotions, I was reminded that our shared aspiration bound us together. In the midst of these emotions, I was reminded that I was not alone; I was part of a larger movement fueled by the dream of studying at UWC.  

The first flight of my life was an experience that was as novel as it was nerve-werecking. Despite being surrounded by my fellow Nepalis, I felt a longing for my family and friends. Nevertheless, I embraced the reality that was before me, I found moments of joy in the journey. All these thoughts had weighed on me and I had fallen asleep, after about four hours I was awakened by a breathtaking sight; the sunrise painting the sky from the plane’s window. We arrived at Doha Airport. 

As I boarded the flight to Frankfurt Germany from Doha the landscape shifted Dramatically. The view from the plane was enchanting as if I was soaring through a painter’s canvas. The panorama of Doha’s cityscape in Qatar was a sight to behold. The journey continued, and after a five-hour flight, Germany came into view. Upon landing in Frankfurt, I was met with a group of second-year students from our school who had arranged to greet us at a cafe in the airport. In those moments, their warmth and kindness was palpable. Introductions were made, names exchanged, and a connection had been formed.

Everything felt new to me; the culture, the cuisine, and the lifestyle. Initially, trepidation shadowed my interactions with others, fueled by my limited proficiency in English and the fear of ridicule. However, the reality I encountered was far from my anxieties. The welcoming aura of the UWC community embraced me, and their continuous encouragement echoed in my ears: “Sita, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any assistance.” As time passed the connections I forged grew warmer, more comfortable, and increasingly reminiscent of a feeling of belonging.

The campus was buzzing with teachers, seniors, and fellow students all remarkable individuals who radiated a spirit of support. Their willingness to assist and their open-heartedness was the embodiment of a harmonious community. Fueled by a fearless determination to seek help and thrive in this new environment, I found myself adapting and growing. My initial week at RBC was an amalgamation of overwhelming moments and enriching experiences. The people I met there were from backgrounds and cultures that were as diverse as the places they hailed from – Africa, Asia, and Europe. Amidst this diversity, a thread of unity held us together, transcending privilege and adversity. The absence of judgment created a space for understanding, teaching me the essence of community and its building blocks.

Since then, my UWC experience has not only offered me academic growth but has also been an intensive lesson in time management and social networking. As I reflect on my evolution from a year ago to the present, I recognize the substantial improvements in my communication and leadership abilities. These advancements can be attributed, in large part, to the teachings and experiences imparted by the Samaanta Foundation. Embracing their value of “Paying it Forward”, I have taken it upon myself to share my experiences and my lessons with my community.

During my current summer break in Nepal, I have initiated career counseling sessions for the students of grades 9 and 10. . The primary objective of these sessions is to familiarize them with the UWC scholarship and the Samaanta Foundation Scholarship, along with other opportunities available to government school students post their SEE Examination. Sharing my journey of acquiring these scholarships has been an honor, a privilege, and a source of immense satisfaction. Guiding these young minds, offering insights and encouragement serves to kindle hope and determination within them. I aspire to empower them to pursue their dreams fostering a  positive impact on their lives and communities.

Among all this Samaanta Foundation holds a special place in my heart. I am immensely grateful for the invaluable support that has been a beacon of light, illuminating my path to UWC and beyond. This transformative journey, from my hometown to Samaanta and UWC has been marked by self-discovery, intellectual growth, and personal evolution. Every step I have taken has been guided by their dedicated and professional mentorship which I believe has helped me lay a sturdy foundation for my future endeavours. Words cannot express the depth of my gratitude towards the Samaanta Foundation for their unwavering support, which has been the cornerstone of my journey, propelling e forward with unwavering force.