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The name Kofi Annan formed my first impression of Macalester College. It was a school that had educated the Secretary-General of the United Nations, one of the most influential people in the world. In addition, a browse through the school prospectus showed me some of the outstanding Macalester alumni in the field of law and justice such as Stephanie Farrior, 1977, a professor at Pennsylvania State University and Maura Dundon 1998, an advocate with Human Rights Watch in California. In addition, Macalester has invested millions in upgrading its campus, 69% of classes have fewer than 20 students, and has over 80 clubs and organizations. All this makes Macalester an excellent undergraduate college, but I feel that these statistics can’t tell me whether it is truly the right college for me. One person who has helped me realize the answer to this question is Leonor Ano, a graduate from the United World College of the American West who is currently in her freshman year at Macalester.
When I spoke to Leo about her experience at Macalester so far, she didn’t talk about these statistic. She talked about the value of the strong international sense of community that existed at the college, which excited her. She loved that everyone was so close and that to some extent it was like another United World College. The same sense of ambition and desire to make a difference carried through and this was what I appreciate about Macalester College. The students there want to make a difference, and thus the opportunity to surround myself with like-minded individuals, means the most. To me, this is exactly like the community at the United World College, where I find such wonderful companionship.
I believe that I will be able to contribute to Macalester College in the same way that I have contributed at the United World College of the American West. Investing myself in the school, whether it is through joining the water polo club, swimming on the school team, or joining the Mac Investment group, Mac players, MACTION, and Habitats for humanity, will allow me to make the most of my experience.
Academically, I am deeply interested in Macalester’s International Studies department. My passion lies in international law, and I feel this would be the perfect foundation for my career. The best way to learn is experientially, and in a community as diverse as at Mac, I will be able to further my education outside the International studies classroom by continuing to engage with people from all over the world. The different perspectives, values, and ideas that people from such a large cross section of society and the world bring to a class will be intangible assets to my education and will also help me strengthen my own thoughts and beliefs.
Essentially, I believe that Macalester will allow me to pursue my academic, athletic, and service goals through the environment of excellence which it provides. The ideals upheld by the college are those which I too value. Undoubtedly, Macalester is the right college for me.
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