UWC Concept

A school that goes far beyond

the classroom

An 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.




The teachers and staff at UWC colleges bring exceptional professional qualifications to their jobs. Many of them already have many years of professional experience. Just as the rest of the school community, they come from all over the world, are generally well-travelled and speak several languages. They usually live with their families on campus and participate actively in UWC life. In this manner the teachers are on hand to support the individual development of each pupil.


Most teachers have a master’s degree. Not a few have a doctor's degree. Many of them have either worked in other professions or have been involved in social projects before beginning their teaching career. This experience and knowledge enriches both their teaching and the extracurricular activities they organize.




Keen to learn more?

Our FAQs provide answers to the most frequently asked questions.



Living and Learning on Campus

The experience of living and learning with young people from over 50 countries enables students to learn about and appreciate different points of view and ways of life. These two years are the beginning of many lifelong friendships. The multinational composition of the residences and learning groups creates a microcosm that encourages discussion and questioning. The small class sizes also encourage the creation of an engaging atmosphere, which in turn has a positive effect on the learning process.


Living together on a daily basis means sharing beautiful as well as difficult moments. Students learn to surpass themselves. This bonds and strengthens the students.



Support and Development

Learning and growing goes best when one feels at ease. At UWCs, experienced staff and an optimally equipped learning and extracurricular environment encourage the personal development of all students. Regular exchange, clear rules and duties, as well as mutual attentiveness create an atmosphere of care and trust.


Living the campus life, where everyone knows one another, it’s easy to tell if things aren’t going well in which case the guidance team can quickly come up with a solution. There is also a wide range of support and extracurricular programs. These include music lessons, sports, learning groups and individual coaching. If a UWC doesn't offer a particular activity on campus, an alternative is often to be found in the surrounding neighborhood.




Short Courses

Would you like to get to know UWC, but you are not sure you can commit to the full two years? Maybe the UWC Short Courses are for you.





A Proven Concept

The concept behind the UWC schools is over 50 years old and was originally formulated by 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. These young people should be old enough to be rooted in their own culture yet still open to new ideas. Personal suitability should be the only yardstick for selection.


Supported by generous donations and sponsors, the first UWC – UWC Atlantic College – was opened in 1962 in the medieval castle of St. Donats in Wales. UWC Atlantic College was then followed by UWC Waterford Kamhlaba in Swaziland in 1963 and UWC Lester B. Pearson in Canada in 1974. The most recent of the colleges opened in Tanzania in 2019.



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. UWC colleges are in the top IB Diploma Ranking, which compares the results of all IB schools worldwide. In addition, the IB Diploma promotes independent, project-oriented learning – skills that are crucial for success at university or in the workplace.


But a UWC education is also ideal for alternative and entrepreneurial career tracks. Some students choose professional training after graduation and some later start their own companies. UWC supports all students in their search for the career path that suits them best.