UWC Concept

A school that goes far

beyond the classroom

Excellent global education

UWC is far more than just an international school. Within the IB Diploma Program, students receive an outstanding, internationally recognized education. In contrast to other educational programs, the IB focuses on the development of independant learning, the appropriation of social skills and the critical questioning of one’s own thinking.


Through social and cultural projects, students are taught valuable life competencies. These include easy interaction with other cultures, organizational know-how as well as communication skills. Through its holistic approach, the IB Diploma is a door opener for all Swiss and many top universities abroad.



Excellent pedagogues

The teachers and school employees at the UWC colleges provide outstanding professional qualifications. Many of them already have many years of professional experience. They come, just as the school community, from all over the world, have traveled a lot and speak several languages. They usually live with their whole family on the campus and actively participate in UWC life. So, the teachers can support the individual development of each pupil.


Most teachers have a master’s or even a doctor's degree. Many of them have either already worked in other professions before starting their teaching career or have been involved in social projects. Therefore, they can bring this knowledge both into their teaching and into the extracurricular activities they organize.




Keen to learn more? Our FAQs provide answers to the most frequently asked questions.



Living and learning on the campus

Living and learning with fellow students from more than 100 nations allows everyone to get to know each other and to appreciate each other’s visions and ways of life. These two years are also the beginning of many friendships that remain intact for life. Additionally, the international nature of the residential buildings and learning groups creates a microcosm that encourages discussion and questioning. The small class sizes further create a personal atmosphere, which in turn has a positive effect on the learning process.


Living together on a daily basis makes it possible to live through beautiful experiences as well as conflict moments together. This helps students to surpass themselves and bonds everyone together.



Support and development

Learning and growing are best achieved in a stimulating environment. At UWCs, an experienced care team and an optimally equipped learning and extracurricular environment promote the personal development of all pupils. A trusting and caring atmosphere is created by regular exchange, clear rules and duties, and by mutual attentiveness.


Through the daily personal interaction on the campus, everyone knows one another and recognizes if someone feels dejected. This allows the care team to respond quickly to individual needs. There are also a wide range of care and support programs. These include music lessons, sports lessons, learning groups or individual coaching. If these are not offered at one specific UWC, the local environment usually will offer appropriate alternative opportunities.



Short Courses

Do you want to get to know UWC, but do not wish to commit to it for the full two years? Maybe the UWC Short Courses are for you.




A proven concept

The idea of the UWC schools came into existence over 50 years ago and originates from the educator Kurt Hahn. At the UWCs, he wanted to bring together young people from all over the world to promote international understanding and peace during the Cold War. The aim was that the young people should be old enough to be rooted in their own culture, but still open to new ideas. The selection should also only encompass the candidate’s personal fit and ability.


Promoted by generous donations and sponsors, UWC Atlantic College was opened in 1962 in a medieval castle of St. Donats in Wales, the first UWC in the world. UWC Atlantic College was then followed by UWC Singapore in 1971 and UWC Lester B. Pearson in Canada in 1974. The most recent of the currently 17 colleges will be opened in Japan in 2017.



A future without limits

Attending a UWC is an excellent starting point for later studies at a prestigious university or college in Switzerland and abroad. The UWC colleges achieve top spots in the IB Diploma Ranking, which compares the results of all IB schools worldwide. In addition, the IB Diploma promotes independent, project-oriented learning - skills which are crucial in later university studies or in the workplace.


But a UWC education also gives the appropriate means for alternative career tracks. Thus, some of the students for instance opt for self-employment after their graduation. Overall, UWC simply encourages all pupils to go their own way.