Promoted by UWC USA

UWC-USA: Diverse school, impactful students

Life at UWC-USA is full of diversity. It’s the school’s strength — forged from the ups and downs of friendships and collaboration among students who come from all over the world. Aiming to promote understanding, peace and cross-cultural exchange, this is a goal the school succeeds in, as can be seen from its track record of graduates going on to do remarkable things on the local, national, and international stage.

“I love diversity and being around people whose opinions are different from mine, and when I saw UWC-USA, I knew it was the right opportunity for me,” shares student Arame Kobar. “Being at UWC-USA makes you realise how it just makes you more committed and connected with the issues in the world with a different lens. There are so many opportunities for you to create bonds with other students and learn about their culture.”

Born and raised in France before moving to Senegal for a few years, Arame arrived in New Mexico at an unconventional hour. However, even in the quiet of midnight, a group of senior students were awaiting her arrival. Without having to convey her background, Amare was pleasantly surprised when a student from Belgium extended a heartfelt “bonjour.”

“Everyone was just so friendly, and the next day, I was so excited to meet more people who either shared or embraced my culture,” she enthuses. “I remember being really surprised at how easily you can connect with people here.”

Since then, Arame and her friends have been through a lot, from joining countless cooking sessions and dinners to fundraising for the victims of the Turkey-Syria earthquake. All of this makes Arama feel 100% prepared for college and her next steps in life. “If there’s one thing I learned here, it’s to accept, understand and work with different people,” she says. “This is something that will help me in college and life.”


UWC-USA students have the opportunity to interact with others from all around the world. Source: UWC-USA

UWC-USA is where over 200 students from 95 countries come together to study, live and learn from each other. From day one, every student arrives on campus in the fall with a powerful support network already in place. In the residential house, second-year students are always available to guide newcomers and show them the traditions and practices that make the UWC-USA community strong. Faculty live on campus too, offering another layer of guidance.

Relationships flourish thanks to such features. Although students come from very different places, speak different languages, and have different values, the residential life programme unites everyone through the nine values that form the bedrock of its community.

“I think at the end of the day, the true multicultural exchange happens when you’re in the day room at two in the morning because you are hungry, and you get to try a new Taiwanese snack because your friend is there,” says student Pavit Kaur. “UWC-USA helped me to refine my skills through the independence you get from the things that you learn, like living on your own, taking care of yourself when you’re sick, cooking food for yourself and making new friends from scratch.

Located on the edge of the Pecos Wilderness and the Santa Fe National Forest, UWC-USA is a school that prepares students to become changemakers for life. Students here immerse in the wilderness, work at a local homeless shelter, and tutor children — all while completing a rigorous IB Diploma Programme at the same time.

The IBDP is a rigorous pathway to higher education that’s recognised and respected worldwide. It pairs well with the school’s emphasis on learning from people and nature to do good for the world. To complete the programme, all students must participate in Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) — which is divided into four signature programme areas: Wilderness, Arts and Culture, Sustainability, and The Bartos Institute for the Constructive Engagement of Conflict (CEC), which stands out for its world-changing skills. Such experience and credentials open doors to more than 600 universities and colleges in almost 50 countries, with many students impressing admissions officers at prestigious institutions, including Ivy League universities.

It’s the kind of journey that draws many students with big dreams to UWC-USA. Student Georgia Howell, from the southwest of England, was into youth governance and activism but felt her town was getting too small for her aspirations. “When I came across UWC, it was the right fit,” she says. “It offers such a unique environment and education.”


Students are encouraged to explore their passion and interests at UWC-USA. Source: UWC-USA

Aside from academics, UWC-USA students are encouraged to explore their interests and discover their talents. This was perfect for Howell, who was always keen on debate but never had the chance to explore it before joining UWC-USA. “I learned a lot from joining Model United Nations and leading the club in my second year, from public speaking to managing people,” she says. “We also had another debate competition called Ethics Bowl, which I was a part of and learned a lot about philosophy.”

Trips are frequent. Howell’s excursion to the US-Mexico border immersed her with humanitarian aid groups and immigration aid groups. “We visited the border and did water drops and more,” she says. “That was one of the times where, like my privilege and my duty in the world were put in perspective.”

It’s a foundation that makes Howell confident of her future. “I think the way that you have to learn about yourself and manage yourself, learning how much you can give and how much you need. It has helped me to recognise where my priorities lie and how to achieve my goals in university. I think it just sets you up incredibly,” she says.

Want to experience the same? Click here to learn more about this journey of a lifetime.

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