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Have you met Olivera (Oli) (Year 46/2021, Macedonia), one of our incredible first-year students? In her young life, Olivera has already started on creating a feature movie in Macedonian and is working with her former teacher on an educational app for school-aged children. Sounds remarkable, right? But wait, there is more.

“My name is Oli and I am from Macedonia. One of the things I’m most passionate about is filmmaking and that’s one of the reasons why I chose UWC. I instantly understood that I’d have the chance to meet a lot of different people and discover a plethora of intricate stories that would inspire my filmmaking later in my life. I want to make movies about social issues and mental health that will help raise awareness and shed some light on the things we often don’t like to talk about.”

In order to learn more about acting, performance and what makes a captivating stage production, Olivera chose IB Theatre with Pearson alumna Virginie Magnat (YR 9/1984, France) as one of her subjects.

As part of class homework students had to perform a cultural exchange with another student with a vastly different cultural background than their own.

“The task was to share something meaningful from our culture, such as a song or a dance and combine the two of them,” Oli explains. In the end, the group created a performance from the exchanged cultural pieces.

“As we taught each other the pieces something magical happened,” Olivera beams.

Random pieces went surprisingly well together, such as an English song that perfectly aligned with an Australian dance or Oli’s Macedonian lyrics worked in harmony with the notes of a song from the American civil rights movement.

“I very much enjoyed this exercise and experienced the diversity on campus deeply. To learn and understand what others find interesting, normal or unusual was all about seeing, acknowledging and appreciating the difference.”

But this was more than a lesson in diversity: Students had to work as a team to put the pieces together and experiment and perfect the transitions between the individual parts, which are all essential skills in theatre work.

“I really love this. I want to create movies and what I learn in class will apply to filmmaking. I could have made a feature movie based on this experience.”

Time at the College goes by fast and Olivera already evolved from the newly arrived first-year to an active member of the student body.

“So far I had a great time here at Pearson. Two months filled with joy, diversity and making friends is all I could ask for!”