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Is the UWC a school or a college?
The UAE & GCC  UWC National Committee uses the term 'college' in the British sense of 'sixth-form college'—the final two years of secondary school.  So UWCs are upper-level secondary schools. For some students, this means eleventh and twelfth grades, and for others it means the equivalent of twelfth and thirteenth grades.

Where are the UWCs located ?
Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Swaziland, UK, Thailand and USA.  Our 17th school,  UWC Tanzania opens its doors to students in 2019.

Does each UWC offer a specialty or a focus area?
Yes, each UWC is unique. For example, UWC-Atlantic College in the UK and UWC Pearson in Canada are located near the ocean and offer outdoor programs that are geared toward aquatic life.  UWC Adriatic in Italy fosters music and cultural exploration.  Click here to read about the individual colleges.

Can I choose which UWC I attend?
Not directly, but we will ask you for your preferences. However you should be prepared for the possibility of being sent somewhere else altogether. We know that every UWC offers an incredible experience, and you won't know exactly what it will be like until you get there. A country which does not sound particularly interesting to you when you apply may end up being your beloved second home for the rest of your life!

Do all applicants go through an interview?
Once the application process closes, the Selection Committee will review all the applications received against the UWC criteria and draw up a shortlist of potential candidates.  We may also conduct preliminary interviews virtually, e.g. using Skype, as part of the short-listing process to help clarify information in the application.

Candidates who are shortlisted will be invited to attend a selection event in person.  This will be of between half to one full day and may, on occasions, fall over two consecutive days.  Selection days usually consist of individual interviews, group activities and opportunities for parents and students to get to know UWC better. 

As we incorporate a range of assessment activities into our selection process, students in locations where there are few applicants may be required to travel to a selection event in another GCC country at their own cost. 

Is there an age limit for applications?
Students must be at least 16 years of age, or 17 or 18 on September 1st of the current application year.

What is the UWC GCC National Committee?
It is a volunteer-run committee. Its mission involves:

  • Selecting students from across the GCC for places in UWC Schools and Colleges around the world
  • Raising the profile of the UWC movement in the GCC
  • Supporting UWC alumni in the GCC

The National Committee is tasked with finding the most appropriate students to send to the different colleges and that is a task we take very seriously. If you are selected for a place at a UWC college, the National Committee will be one source of support (in addition to you College community, your family, and your friends of course) and we hope that you will keep in touch with us during your time at UWC.

How many places are there for students from the GCC at each of the colleges?
The number of places for national and expatriate students changes every year. Typically we have at least 10 places at the international colleges however this does vary, and we may not necessarily send students to every college every year.

How does the National Committee prevent bias in the selection process?
We take each application seriously and do our best to create a fair process for everyone. If any selection panel member has a current or prior personal association with an applicant or her/ his family (as a family member, friend, teacher etc) they are required to step aside from any part of the selections process where they may influence the selection decisions. 

I am not fluent in English, does this matter?
No. Do not be discouraged from applying to UWC because of a lack of fluency in English. It is not a requirement to apply, but it can be one of the factors evaluated during selection. If you feel unable to complete the online application in English, please email us at 

15 of our 16 colleges/schools have English as their teaching language. UWC Costa Rica teaches in English and Spanish.

How much does it cost?
Typically we send only qualified students if they meet all costs themselves. This includes tuition fees, airfares, insurance, visas and pocket money.

Are  scholarships available from the GCC region?
A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available based on demonstrated financial need.

I applied last year but did not get in.  Can I apply again?
As long as you are still within the age limit, yes you are welcome to apply again.  

Can I attend UWC for only one year or transfer into a UWC from another IB school for my last year?
No. The UWC experience is two years in duration. There are no opportunities for transfer into or between the schools/colleges.

I’d really like to apply but my parents aren’t keen.  Can you help?
Attending a UWC College is a big transition for many families.  If you or your parents have any questions do get in touch and write to  We will do our best to answer questions ourselves and/or put you in touch with past students and their parents.

I have dual nationality and residence. Which  national committee should I  apply through?
You are only able to apply to UWC through one national committee, regardless of the numbers of nationalities you have.

Your first point of contact should be the national committee in the country you reside and school in, since virtually all selection processes will require you to attend personally.  If this national committee is unable to accept your application, please contact the Committee in the other country that you hold a passport for.

If neither national committee is able to accept your application, please contact UWC International Office for more information and guidance. 

Still have questions?  Email us and we will do our best to respond to you promptly.