About Me

My name is Diana, I'm currently twenty-one years old, and am quite amazed that I write/run a blog with readers in more than fifty countries.

I'm a NSLI-Y (National Security Language Initiative for Youth) alumni, having gone to Jordan during the summer of 2011, and I've WWOOFed in South Africa in earlier in 2013. I graduated from the Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa in Swaziland in November of 2014, after two years there. From January to May 2014, I studied and lived on a ship as it sails around the world, as a Davis Scholar on Semester at Sea. Currently, I attend university at SciencesPo Paris at the Reims Campus as a part of the Europe-Africa program.

This blog has two distinct types of posts - the "in-America" posts, and the "abroad" posts. While they're all related to culture, study abroad, travel, or international-study-scholarship-stuff, I know that not everyone reading this blog will be interested in everything I post. There are tabs along the left side of the page, so hopefully you can get to the stuff you find interesting, and not have to swim through the rest of it.

If you have any questions about the blog, feel free to comment on any of the posts - I'll answer within a couple days. I'd be happy to answer any questions about NSLI-Y, WWOOF, UWC, SAS, or even SciencesPo as well, and I like to think I'm a pretty good resource for other exchange programs and scholarships - so if you need help finding them, I'd love to help!

Thanks so much,


  1. Hi Diana!

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and I have to say I love it! You are an amazing writer and I love reading all your stories.. even on topics I have never found interesting, you make them so appealing! Keep up the great work.. this is amazing:)
    Well, here is a little about me, it probably isn't as interesting as your life.. but still. I am also in the 11th grade at an IB school. I live in the states and I applied for the NSLI-Y program for the first time this year! I recently received my semi-finalist notification and am beyond excited for the journey ahead, even though there is a large possibility I will not proceed as a finalist.

    I applied for the Arabic and Hindi summer programs. I love the culture in the middle east and I know it probably sounds like everyone says the same thing when they are applying for a scholarship like this.. but I have always had an interest for the other side of the world!

    Do you think you could give me some advice on the interview and other things that excited you while participating in NSLI-Y? What are the towns like where you went? Are there really animals that walk all over the sides of the roads? Also, what was your interview like?

    I have read many other blogs and such, but yours was definitely one the best!

    Thank you so much, and keep updating your blog.. I love it! Sorry if this was not the proper place to post, I didn't really know where I should have posted because I honestly wanted to comment on everything; it was all so interesting! Thanks! :)

  2. Nat,
    So sorry for such a late response... Congratulations on your semi-finalist notification! If you're interested, you're welcome to join the NSLI-Y applicants FB group that I co-run: http://www.facebook.com/groups/nsliyapplicants/

    The interview (if I'm not already too late in responding to this) is really laid back - nothing to worry about. Just be yourself!

    As far as what my exchange was like, I could go on for days, and it seems like you've read through the posts on here, so I'll spare you. It's very different from America, but begins to feel normal very fast. I hate to describe such general things to people applying to NSLI-Y, as I figure it's better for people to make their own judgments, but it's definitely a fascinating place with great scenery, and a wonderful culture.

    As far as animals on the sides of the roads, there were indeed cats roaming the streets, mostly around dumpsters. That's going to depend on exactly what city you're in, and what part of the city - you never know what to expect!

    Again, good luck on your interview! Join the Facebook group, and I'd love to hear whether you get accepted!

  3. Hi!
    I am applying to UWC through the US National Committee this year! I was reading your post on your experience of applying to UWC and realized that I have the same attitude as you! Was there something in specific that made you stand out from other applicants? Would you mind sharing that with me? I have the attitude that I will get in but I do not want my hopes to be too high, if you know what I mean! I would really appreciate a reply! Thank you very much!

  4. Sarosha -
    I think that if you're looking for something to get accepted, you have to find something in yourself. What makes me stand out from other people is probably not the same as what makes you stand out - although I'm sure you have something! I would say that if you get an interview, it's good to do lots of research about the schools before you go - then, you are able to ask specific questions, and it also shows that you're really interested!

    Keep me updated as you apply! Keep your hopes high - low dreams might keep you from being disappointed, but that's not the goal here :)

  5. Hello Diana,
    I have not read through your blog yet, but it seems like it will be amazing, you are/have done all the things that I hope to one day do! :)I have not been able to find this on the websites (but that may be due to my lack of tech. skills, lol) and the only people I know who have applied to UWC don't know, or are still applicants, but what is up with school placements? I heard that most kids get placed in the US, who are applying from here, but I would really like to go aboard for those two years, I am applying for a study abroad program for this year, that will help me with my language skills- will this be of any help when applying to other out of country schools?
    Thanks, and sorry for asking so late, I only just found out about your blog.

  6. Hello!
    For placements (I'm assuming you're applying through the US national committee), you apply to UWC, and rank your choices of where you'd like to go. Then, once the whole application process is over and they've selected the 50 people to attend, they arrange those 50 people into the different schools, with 25 in UWC-USA, and the other 25 split between the others. When I applied, it was usually around 8 at Atlantic and 1-3 at each of the others. Your choices have no impact on whether or not you get accepted - the placements are arranged after they've made the acceptances.

    I think for where you go, it depends on how you rank your choices. You likely won't get your first choice, but most people that I know who have been accepted have gotten one of their first four or five. You'd be surprised at how many Americans put UWC-USA fairly high up on their list. Honestly, I think that if you have a real passion for one of the schools abroad, and can show that in your interview, and put UWC-USA as your last choice, you likely won't go there. Maybe it has happened, but I've never heard of anybody getting their last choice.

    And no worries about asking late! I don't really update this blog anymore but I'm always willing to answer questions, especially about UWC :) Hopefully welcome to the family!

  7. Hey Diana! I really enjoyed reading your blog :) Have you considered applying to the Minerva Schools? SciencesPo is lucky to have you, but I think you really belong to Minerva!

  8. I'm not sure exactly who you are (unknown?), but I'm quite happy with my uni choice, and being already a third of the way through, I'm not planning on changing.

    I also happen to have a strong belief that one semester, and even one year, is not long enough to really know a place, much less feel a part of it. There are always struggles and issues with studying in different places, and it takes time to get through them. Minerva doesn't allow you that time.

    Finally, I don't belong to a school. My school doesn't own me. I am just myself, and I'm not sure I'd ever want to go to a school that I "belonged to." "Belong at," maybe. But never "belong to."

    It's strange, I'd heard rumors about Minerva going after students that didn't want to go there, but I didn't think it was true. Proved wrong, I suppose.

    Thanks for the suggestion, though - cheers!

  9. Hi,
    My name is Thu and I come from Vietnam.I'm planning to apply to UWC this year and the application will be out in August 2016. On last year application, Vietnamese applicants were asked to write 2 essays, one of them was: " Write a statement explaining why you are interested in attending a United World College and reflecting on UWC's mission and values, what you might contribute to the world, and what you would hope to gain from the experience."
    Can you give me some advice on what I should write on this? I really have no idea what to write to make my apllication look stand out in the pool of applicants. Should I write a story?
    I'm really nervous now.Please help me :(
    Best regards,

  10. Hi Thu! I wish I could give you some magic formula on what to write to be accepted, but the problem is that there is no right answer! And I know that sounds clichéd and all, but it's totally true. UWC looks for a diversity of people who can bring different experiences and thoughts, and so what they're really just looking for is for you to be yourself. And so really, just answer the question as yourself - what are you interested in that you might want to become involved in later? Why are you interested in UWC? I think that the secret is just that the question is more than why UWC is cool and why you are cool - you have to explain why you specifically would be a great person to go to UWC, if that makes sense?

    I think that the story idea can be a good idea, just make sure that you tie it together and actually answer the questions. If you're the kind of person who wants to write a story, though, go for it - they just want you to be yourself! Let me know how it all goes, hopefully the application isn't too bad, and I'll be crossing my fingers for you through the application process!