Young Achiever: Jeremiah off to Costa Rica with UWC

  • Well-deserved placement: Jeremiah Samuels, centre, receives a full-ride scholarship from United World Colleges to study for his International Baccalaureate diploma in Costa Rica. Also shown is Sean Smatt, the chairman of the UWC Bermuda National Committee, left, and Zayna Foggo, the vice-chairwoman and head of selections (Photograph supplied)

    Well-deserved placement: Jeremiah Samuels, centre, receives a full-ride scholarship from United World Colleges to study for his International Baccalaureate diploma in Costa Rica. Also shown is Sean Smatt, the chairman of the UWC Bermuda National Committee, left, and Zayna Foggo, the vice-chairwoman and head of selections (Photograph supplied)


A teenager will head to Costa Rica this month after he was given a chance to study overseas with all expenses paid by a global network of boarding schools.

Jeremiah Samuels, 17, said he had been taking online classes with the United World Colleges since September on a full $83,000 scholarship. He added that he hoped to fly to Costa Rica before the end of the month for the remainder of his studies.

He said: “I’m looking forward to the nature. The thing that a lot of people talk about when they talk about Costa Rica is how beautiful it is and I’m really excited to go to another place where the beauty is one of the most interesting factors about it.”

The United World Colleges gives young people the opportunity to study one of their 18 campuses around the world to get an International Baccalaureate diploma.

Jeremiah, from Pembroke, said that he signed up for UWC in the spring after his mother suggested he apply.

He admitted that he thought it was just a boarding school at first, but added that his interest in the school grew as he read about it. Jeremiah added that he was particularly attracted by the chance to experience a different culture.

He said: “I’ve been to conferences before for summer where I meet people from all over the world and the times that I’ve gone have just been almost life-changing. You just gain perspectives from people who are living completely different lives ... that to me is very valuable.”

Jeremiah said that the UWC contacted him in May to tell him that he had been accepted and given a 100 per cent scholarship.

He said: “It was a rush — it just blew my mind.”

The UWC scheme involves youngsters in more than 150 countries and gives them the opportunity to learn about different ways of life before they attend university. More than 100 Bermudians have graduated from the UWC programme over the past 57 years.

Sean Smatt, chairman of the UWC Bermuda National Committee, congratulated Jeremiah for his “well-deserved placement”.

He said: “We are inspired to see such a well-rounded individual embarking on this life-changing journey.

“Now, more than ever, it is essential that we continue to facilitate deserving young Bermudians’ participation in this transformative two-year international programme which culminates in graduating with the International Baccalaureate.”

Zayna Foggo, the vice-chairwoman and head of selections, said: “With impressive academic, musical and even table tennis abilities and a clear engagement with his local community and global issues, Jeremiah demonstrates an appreciation for the fundamental principles of the UWC international movement.

“He has clearly demonstrated the ability to meet the rigorous academic requirements of a UWC, while also having the desire and interest to interact meaningfully in such an international environment.

“We are pleased that UWC Costa Rica also recognises Jeremiah’s achievements and clear potential by offering a partial scholarship for the duration of his attendance.”

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Published Oct 5, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 6, 2020 at 8:37 am)

Young Achiever: Jeremiah off to Costa Rica with UWC

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