While Anni-Maria Ojanen ’26 was initially intrigued by Hamilton College because it shares a name with a recent musical she saw, she chose the College because she felt she found a place where she could explore her curiosities.
During an admission information session about Hamilton, Ojanen heard Director of International Recruitment Anna Wise mention the open curriculum. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is actually kind of cool,’” Ojanen said. “I really want to learn about things that I've never thought about studying before. That’s why I really wanted to come because that's not possible at many other colleges to the extent that it is at Hamilton.”
Ojanen is among the new Davis United World College (UWC) Scholars to arrive on campus this fall. The Davis UWC Scholars Program is the world’s largest, privately funded, international scholarship program that supports more than 3,800 undergraduates from 165 nations. Students are selected to attend one of the 18 highly competitive United World Colleges for their last two years of high school, and graduates are eligible to receive institutional grants through the Davis UWC Scholars Program that support need-based scholarships at one of nearly 100 U.S. partner institutions like Hamilton. Ojanen, who is from Kouvola, Finland, attended UWC Costa Rica.
Xinyuan "Grace" Chu ’26, another Davis UWC Scholar, was looking for a small liberal arts college with a strong academic reputation and an engaged global community. She found it all and more in Hamilton.
“I have been longing for a place where I can explore and study what I want,” said Chu, who hails from Shanghai, China, and attended UWC Changshu China. “Since Hamilton has an open curriculum, I can fully experience my passions without worrying about studying subjects I don’t like. The college’s emphasis on communication and writing skills will help me become confident in expressing myself, which is useful in any field.”
Like Chu, Zhaowuji “Cecil” Zhou ’25 is a Davis UWC Scholar from UWC Changshu China and was eager to experience Hamilton’s open curriculum. Since arriving in January, he has taken courses in myriad departments, including literature, philosophy, psychology, music, art, and classics. While Drawing and Dream/Life have been his favorite courses so far, he’s found supportive professors and passionate classmates in every classroom and art studio.
“The open curriculum is something that brings out the best side of the student body and teachers, and I really appreciate that,” said Zhou.
The United World Colleges work to build multinational, cross-cultural communication and understanding among all its students. Hamilton’s Davis UWC scholars note similarities between their new college community and the UWCs they attended and are eager to share their experiences while learning from others.
“UWC is a close community and I liked that,” Ojanen said. “I like meeting new people and hearing their stories.”
In addition to Hamilton’s Davis UWC Scholars, two new members of the College’s leadership team also attended UWCs: Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Ngonidzashe Munemo graduated from UWC Atlantic College (Llantwit Major, Wales) and Vice President and Dean of Students Christopher Card graduated from Pearson College UWC (Victoria, British Columbia).