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The UWC Movement

German educator Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound, conceived the bold concept of United World College in the 1950s at the height of the Cold War. Hahn believed that much could be done to overcome religious, cultural, and racial misunderstanding if young people from all over the world could be brought together to live and learn.

Today, the 17 UWC schools and colleges make up a movement that includes more than 55,000 alumni around the world.  While each campus is distinct, the commitment to the mission is shared across the movement. Indeed, the UWC mission and philosophy is more relevant now than ever: given the tensions and crises that exist, the world truly needs the compassionate citizens, committed activists, and thoughtful leaders who graduate from UWCs.

No matter which school they attend, UWC students develop a deep sense of self, a passion for values in which they believe, and an understanding of their individual capacity to impact the world. Graduates are equipped and inspired to become change-agents. Taught the skills and values that reflect international understanding and deep respect for others, they are poised to lead positive change in their future communities, institutions, and beyond.

Click here for a list of links to individual UWC schools' and colleges' websites.

Meet Mzwakithi Shongwe, '12, who came to UWC-USA from Swaziland.


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mailing address:  post office box 248,  Montezuma NM 87731-0248  USA

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UWC-USA is one of 17 UWCs on five continents. Other countries that have UWCs include Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Swaziland, Thailand, and Wales.


UWC-USA students perform more than 18,700 hours of service every year through our association with 25 community partners. More than 2,500 people in Las Vegas, N.M. and the surrounding community have benefited from service projects led by UWC-USA students.


UWC-USA has 228 students representing more than 70 countries, from Armenia to Zimbabwe. Eleven students come from countries identified as conflict regions. Representation within our student body includes: Africa 10%, Asia 28%, Europe 29%, North America 23%, South America 10%.


Students don’t apply directly to the school; they are selected by committees in their home countries based on academic achievement, leadership, and curiosity about and involvement with global events and cultures.


Philanthropist Shelby Davis has created a $40 million endowment that provides 50 U.S. students with full scholarships to attend a UWC every year.


Our more than 3,357 UWC-USA alumni are spread across the globe: North America 26%, Latin America and Caribbean 16%, Africa 10%, Middle East 6%, Asia 14%, Europe 21%, Pacific 2%


UWC-USA offers the International Baccalaureate diploma program. Students can choose from IB classes in 28 subjects – a remarkable number given the size of the school.

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