Breaking bread and sharing our diversity - UWCSEA's Home Away from Home initiative
By Molly Fassbender, UWCSEA Foundation
Over the weekend of 2–3 March, UWCSEA families opened the doors of their homes and offered huge smiles and a warm welcome to our international boarding students. The families and boarders had come together through the Home Away from Home initiative (co-organised by the Foundation Parent Ambassadors, and the PAs East and Dover) to share a delicious home-cooked meal, great conversation, and cultural traditions.
Over 300 boarding students make the UWCSEA campuses their home during the academic year, many leaving behind family siblings, extended family and pets. The Home Away from Home programme gives boarders a chance to re-connect with a family environment and for everyone to create new friendships and bonds across the UWCSEA community.
Families loved getting to know the boarders and hearing their stories of how they came to UWCSEA, and younger kids had many questions about what life is like living away from home. Boarders felt so welcomed by the families, ‘like a second home’, some even participating in family dance sessions and board games competitions.
"We really enjoyed meeting the students and sharing stories about our different cultures and foods." UWCSEA family
"We made dumplings together and I felt so at home with the family. I can say that night is one of the best nights that I have had at UWCSEA!" Boarding student
“I loved watching the friendship develop between my kids and the boarders.” UWCSEA family
The families and boarders shared experiences and made friendships that may last for years to come. Interacting with people from different backgrounds goes a long way towards creating cultural understanding and appreciation, broadening our horizons and opening minds. The Home Away from Home Initiative shows how the very simple act of sharing a meal creates opportunities for multicultural understanding and appreciation, making the world a better place - how very UWC!
Did you know that many of UWCSEA’s international boarding students are scholars, whose two-year IB education at UWCSEA is funded by gifts to the UWCSEA Foundation? Learn more about the Scholarship Programme here.