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How can I give my application to UWC my best shot?

16 August 2018

An application to study at a UWC school is the first step in a life-changing experience. Not just life-changing for you, but also for those whose lives you will impact during and after your time as a UWC student.

UWC South East Asia student sits in deep discussion with a tutor

While UWC schools follow the well-recognised IB Diploma curriculum, beyond that we are unlike other schools. We are deliberately diverse. We come from 156 countries. We come from all kinds of backgrounds. We hold a wide and varied range of beliefs.

Despite - and in celebration of - these differences, we share a common purpose: the pursuit of global peace and sustainability.

The UWC application process is designed to allow you to demonstrate your authentic self. No two UWC students are the same, and so we seek to understand what makes you uniquely wonderful, ready for two challenging - but deeply rewarding and life-changing - years, and committed to our shared purpose.

To help, we’d like to share our five top tips for maximising your chance of success in joining UWC:

1. Get in early

There are a limited number of places available at UWC schools each year. When that number is reached, applications may close. So, finishing your application and hitting that exciting “submit” button early is important.

Don’t miss out. Complete your application now.

2. Keep your options open

This only applies to those applying through the Global Selection Programme.

Numbers of places available through the Global Selection Programme are strictly limited in each school. You can maximise your chance of being offered a place by declaring your interest in more than one school. You can list the schools that you’re interested in attending on your application form. We encourage you to choose up to four UWC schools that you would like to attend.

If you're applying through your national committee, you won't be able to select the school to apply to but you do have the opportunity to tell us the order of preference for the schools that you'd most like to attend.

See the difference between applying through the Global Selection Programme and applying through the national committees.

3. Know and show us your true self

Strength and belief in yourself and your commitment to make a positive and lasting impact on the world is important for students to succeed through the challenging UWC experience. Be confident, and show us your true and authentic self through your application. There is no typical UWC student, so don’t try to be someone you’re not. We want to see you just as you are.

Our questions are designed to bring out your individuality. For instance, our Global Selection Programme application form includes questions about your reading preferences, how you resolve conflict, and what changes you would make if you were made headteacher of your school for a week.

4. Celebrate your interests and passions

Your interests, hobbies and passions are what make you stand out in a crowd. Our Global Selection Programme application form, for example, asks you to tell us about your involvement in cultural activities, sport, youth associations, community projects, and more. 

Tell us what your interests, hobbies and passions are, but also why they are so important to you. What do you gain from them? How do those interests contribute to your resilience and character? What do others gain from your dedication to those interests, hobbies and passions? You may also wish to read our advice on how to shine through your hobbies and interests in your application form.

5. Offer clarity in your commitment to our mission

This is very important. We only accept students at UWC who effectively demonstrate their passion and dedication for our shared mission to strive towards global peace and sustainability. We specifically ask you about this in our Global Selection Programme application form, with questions about what you consider to be the most important social problem in your surroundings, how you would work towards solving it, and how you would contribute to the UWC mission.

Your commitment may show in many forms, from support for specific causes (environmental, social, political, or more) or from a deep sense of empathy towards others. Spend time familiarising yourself with our core values and ethos. Read our impact stories. Then articulate how you intend to become an essential member of our global network and advocate for our mission.


Don’t forget to get your application in early - we look forward to getting to know the real you!

Complete your application now.

*Please note, application deadlines submitted through national committees vary from the Global Selection Programme. Please consult your national committee’s website for more information if you’re applying through this route instead.