Alumnus Miguel’s Journey to Harvard

June 19, 2024

From UWC Maastricht to Yale in the US. Alumnus Miguel has had a whole journey, and it isn’t over yet, as he’s starting his PhD at Harvard after summer!

When Miguel was at UWC, from 2018 to 2020, he received a lot of advice from his peers. Now, being back on campus and staying for a few weeks, he wants to pass on his own advice from UWC and his adventures afterwards to our current students! He was worried about coming back, as he didn’t know the students anymore, but as soon as he stepped foot on campus, Miguel felt back home. While getting to know our students, he experienced a very welcoming atmosphere and had many interesting conversations!

UWC Life

His two years at UWC had been filled with activities from starting a dance club with one of his Venezuelan peers, volunteering at an elderly home in the area, to participating in the student council and the International Peace Conference. He loved the residences, where he shared the space with people all around the world and getting exposed to new ideas. He kept a journal about his life, and only after graduating he allowed himself to read back and saw the growth he experienced during his time here.

One of his favourite activities as a graduating student was the String Game tradition, where they would pass a ball of wool to each other while sharing memories with them. In the end, a beautiful shape was born and the string was cut, giving everyone bracelets of memories. This tradition was sadly lost due to covid, but Miguel wants to bring it back with this generation of students! Even tough he graduated, he still loves giving back in any shape to his UWC community!

University and beyond

After graduating from UWC, he started his bachelor’s and master’s in molecular biology at Yale. Miguel liked how free he was and how many opportunities he had to explore other interests besides his major. He did a few art history classes and even got a certificate in education. He remarks how UWC really prepared him in every way possible for university life, especially as a residential student, as it was much easier to adapt to living together at Yale with others.

Besides being well-prepared for university, UWC also prepared him to take matters into his own hands and be the change he wants to see in the world, and not just wait until it will become perfect. Now, he will be starting his PhD at Harvard, but Miguel is already looking further. His passions lie in biology, but also in education. He wants to make a difference, either through working in research, a pharmaceutical company or becoming a science teacher! Either way, Miguel wants to incorporate the UWC values of creating a better future in biology and science. And maybe one day, we can welcome him back again at UWC Maastricht, as a teacher!