“It surprised me how easy it is to study in the boarding house. At first, my impression was that you couldn’t concentrate with everyone else around. However, in this community everyone respects each other, and everyone wants to learn. Boarding life makes it simpler. When you don’t know how to do something, you can always ask your friends for help.
Boarding boosts all areas of your life—more friends, more sports, more fun!”
Gordon Tse, Singapore (East)
The UWCSEA boarding experience is a culturally rich one, providing a supportive international family for our students. Its caring environment nurtures self-discipline, self-management and leadership skills. With over 45 different nationalities represented in the boarding community, and over 80 in the student body as a whole, our students readily gain the international exposure and understanding that is central to the UWC experience. Our boarders not only gain insights into many different cultures, but also discover a deeper appreciation of what is special about their own.
Life in the boarding community is enriched by UWC national committee and other scholars who are resident in the boarding houses. Scholars are students from all over the world who attend the College on a full scholarship. they are selected on the basis of both their academic ability and their commitment to the UWC mission and values. The scholars contribute much to the rich and diverse life in our international boarding family. The College hosts nearly 100 scholars in grades 8 to 12 on both campuses.
Such is the richness of their experience here, and the strength of the friendships formed, many boarders find it difficult to leave our community at the end of their schooling. The lasting links established across the world are a demonstration of both their life-defining experience while at UWCSEA and their identity as global citizens.
UWCSEA's boarding programme prepares young people for university life and beyond, equipping them with the confidence, independence and social skills they need to be successful.
Boarding life: a student perspective
“‘So, how is boarding life?’ is a question that we are usually asked and that we are never able to give a proper answer to, simply because it is impossible to describe this unique experience in a few sentences. Cooking dinner together in the kitchen, swimming with your friends after dinner, running desperately from the guardhouse to the lobby to get our sign-in cards as we are about to miss our curfew, are all things that characterise our everyday lives very well.
The most amazing thing about being a boarder is that you never feel alone. When you go down to the common room, there is someone to talk to. No wonder we barely make it to class in time in the morning—it is not easy to go to bed early with so many friends around! Among the 130 boarders living in Senior House there is always someone to turn to if you face a difficult exercise with logarithms or if you just need help with choosing what to wear for a special occasion.
Most of us come from thousands of miles away. It is our very first experience of being away from our family and friends and the environment that we are used to. We are really lucky; living in the boarding house is something that helps us feel that despite the distance there is a community that we truly belong to. Starting from the activities on Orientation Week, organising the International Evening, and the wonderful trip to Desaru, have all been experiences that have made our community stronger.
Students come here from different cultures with different values, habits and traditions. Being a part of this community gives you the opportunity to get a better understanding of the diversity of the people. Just try going to the common room on a Saturday night. You will see people juggling, playing the guitar, singing, painting the wall or learning how to count to 20 in Korean. It is a lively community with amazing and versatile people who are happy to share their skills, and their understanding of the world. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Evelin Toth, Hungary (Dover)