Asmita Kumari Mandal

7th cohort-

On 7th March, Saturday I attended an orientation program organized by United World College Nepal. For the program, we spent two days in a monastery at Namobudha, Kavre. We reached there at 4 pm, got our schedule and had a briefing. Then, we had a team building activity for refreshment and also to know each other better. Then before we go to our rooms, we walked around the monastery. I have never been to a monastery before, so I thought it was really beautiful and artistic.

At around 6 pm we gathered to the meeting hall and attended a session about mind-full living. I think the session was very effective for me. Because I know that many times while we are in a class or walking around somewhere, physically we are there but mentally we are not. So that this session helped me learn how we can be both physically and mentally present in current situation and place.

After that session, we went for our dinner. It was very interesting for me because for the first time I was having dinner alongside Buddhist monks. I experienced Tibetan food and new culture. After dinner again we had a session about UWC residential life. We discussed about the challenges and how to overcome them. Then, we divided four groups for our team work. Within the team, we had to prepare some performances for the next day. And then we went to sleep. Spending night with new friends was really fun and I enjoyed it.

This is the early morning view from Namobuddha. The Sunrise view was amazing. Then we started the day with morning yoga and meditation.

Since I always love to explore and experience new things, I enjoyed this stay a lot. As I am from Terai region, I do not know much about Buddhism, and many other religions. So it was an opportunity for me to know about Buddhism. While visiting the monastery and Stupas, I tried to learn about the meaning of all the pictures displayed around the monastery and related histories as well.

The final session was about interacting with the senior students, also known as “UWCers” who are currently studying at different colleges. We discussed about the problems and their experiences in new countries. We also discussed about time management and how to approach teachers for the help.

As we all are from diverse culture and places, this orientation helped us know each other better and learn about each other’s culture. We will have similar situation in UWC as well. We will get new roommates, visit new places, experience new religion, new culture and many more. And we have to do our best to adapt, explore and learn. So the orientation was very much helpful.