The weather is warm and sunny in the summertime, and often hot during the day! The air is very dry. We are in the high altitude desert between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, so participants will be well over 6,000 feet (2000 meters!) in altitude all of the time. Participants need to watch out for sunburn and wear a hat and sunglasses. It is extremely important to drink water and consume electrolytes in this part of the world. We sometimes have summer “monsoons” when it rains almost every day, then clears off and is cooler.
The GLF is a non-academic program, so participants are not required to take any written examinations. That being said, participants are tested every day of the program through physical and emotional challenges. We believe that participants experience true personal growth and learning when they have overcome challenges, and we provide a supportive environment for such growth.
Although this may not be something that participants think about, it is certainly something parents sometimes worry about. Las Vegas, NM (where UWC-USA is located) is a safe place. The school itself is a closed campus, and we have our own security personnel. When the program moves off campus for the Culture and into the Challenge Phases, participants inherently take some more risks; however, the GLF staff is trained to manage the group, so that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable learning experience.
While we do not demand advanced English proficiency, it is important to us that you are able to speak, read, and write well enough to learn from this opportunity. We want everyone to be able to contribute. The English ability will be assessed during the interview.
At UWC-USA, the relationship between participants and staff is casual, yet, professional. Inside and outside the classroom students and teachers conduct themselves more informally. How informal you think the relationship is, depends on your background. At GLF students and faculty address each other by their first names. We expect everyone to exercise the highest level of respect towards each person of our community. The program staff are extremely devoted, passionate and knowledgeable people who enjoy working with youth on issues of personal matter as well as issues that will change the quality of life for people around the globe.
Participants are encouraged to be open to new ideas and experiences, because there are many. Our program is too unique, too different, and too extreme to fit into any context to which participants have previously been exposed to. Therefore, trying to judge what it has to offer, is next to impossible. Participants find that keeping an open mind and coming to the GLF with lots of energy results in many truly remarkable experiences. The hardest part of the program is saying goodbye to friends and to the community that the GLF experience has created.
Many GLF alumni consider applying to UWC through their home country National Committee. Each country’s National Committee has a slightly different selection process and criteria to select students. In the United States, for example, American GLF alumni who wish to apply for a Davis Scholarship do so through the United States National Committee. Participation in GLF does not guarantee their acceptance to UWC, nor does it negatively impact an applicant’s chances through the United States National Committee.