Clara Canales


Where are you from and which program are you enrolled in at Bard College Berlin?

I was born in Chile and grew up primarily in the Netherlands. I am
part of the Economics, Politics and Social thought degree.

What drew you to Bard College Berlin and why did you ultimately decide
to enrol as a student?

The funky poster with a pile of books on the grass. I thought it
encompassed an easy going atmosphere with a simultaneously demanding
curriculum. However, I ultimately chose BCB for the experience of a
small liberal arts college in a major European city.

What do you like about campus life at Bard College Berlin?

Campus is a little bubble of comfort within an initially alienating
city. It was the perfect starting point to start exploring Berlin.

What do you enjoy about living in Berlin?

Berlin is filled with young, international people. The city is
accessible and made me feel at home relatively quickly. There is so
much going on that it is often hard to keep up. This liveliness
provides us with many additional opportunities to explore our academic
and personal interests outside of college.

Write briefly about a text you've read for one of your courses that's
left a lasting impression on you.

I find it hard to answer this question. Many texts have stuck with me
over the course of the year. However, the reading I would like to
mention was not part of my own course load.

My friend was taking a course on Plato´s short dialogues and over
coffee we started discussing the concept of moderation. She showed me
an excerpt of the dialogue at hand, and together we attempted to tease
out what this concept consists of. To explain it to ourselves, we
took the example of a person who is always dieting. The continuous
desire to be skinnier, to postpone one's self-realization to a later
point of fulfilment. The mentality of: “If I lose 5 kilos I will be
happier.” The person on the diet does not take the time to examine
their current state, to moderately evaluate its pro's and con's.
Instead they postpone their fullfilment to the future. When these
goals are met, people are often not fulfilled and the happiness is
further postponed; a new goal is set. This behavior is inherently
I realized many people's thinking is ridden with immoderation. We
rarely take time to observe our current state. Be it wellbeing,
skinniness or intelligence. We often just focus on what could be
rather than what is.

How do you think the education you receive at Bard College Berlin will
help you in the future? What does a liberal arts education mean to

To me, education's goal is to help develop your character. A liberal
arts education provides input through which you can explore your
beliefs. This education does not sculpt me towards a specific career.
However, it has and will help me realize who I am and what I want out
of life. As I untangle these realizations, I am able to apply myself
more meaningfully.  Therefore, a liberal arts education is more
valuable to me than merely acquiring a degree.