What makes studying at United World College a wonderful experience

15 Dec

I had never even changed school before.

All my life I had studied at one place. So, it was difficult leaving DPS Ruby Park: friends, memories, even teachers and the school itself. It was not just about school though. I was leaving my city, where I had lived all my life; I was leaving my country; and lastly, my family. It was very difficult. Being an emotional person didn’t help either.

But, I arrived with a smile! 🙂

I was looking forward to coming to a new city, meeting new people, exploring cultures; and fair to say, it has been worth it! I’m loving the United World College experience.

I remember reaching the United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA) campus on 8th of August, getting out of the car, and seeing the smiling face of a guy who turned out to be my roommate! Everyone was so welcoming and nice. The first week was orientation and just getting to know each other. And boy, did I make so many friends! I met people from places I had never imagined I would meet. That is the thing about UWC – it is a truly global school.

At UWC, we are one big peaceful and diverse community. I love it! I have amazing roommates, who are crazy in their own way! You have to be a boarder to truly feel like a UWC student. You won’t get bored here because you will always be occupied with something or the other. Extracurricular activities are a big part of student life, and our school focuses on the theme of service. It is mandatory for us to go and volunteer once a week. I love working with children, hence I go to a primary school, and spend time with the little kids. It doesn’t end there though. Every other week, we have an event or fair, and I try to be a part of it in one way or the other.

While everything else is amazing, we can’t forget academics! I was really worried about the change from CBSE to IB. My first day of school was great, but a bit weird. Ah, the differences! While we were 40 people in one class in my old school; the maximum number here is around 12-14. Of course, it’s much more relaxed as well. But, I’m glad to have studied in India for a long time. The strict education there has helped shape who I am. While, the way of teaching here is so different from what I was used to, my time at the Wharton summer program helped me to adjust. I’m so glad I went there.


Winning the Marshmallow challenge – an exercise in teamwork, at the Wharton Summer program. Naman is standing at the extreme left.

While all subjects are taught differently here, English is the one subject that seems radically new. Back home, English was about reading stories and answering questions.  It’s nothing like that here. Here, English is about understanding, analysing, evaluating, and commenting on the text. It took me a while to adjust, but I’m glad I could, as I enjoy it more. IB is challenging, but it has been a wonderful experience so far. The subject choices, the freedom to mix and match, to choose what you want to study, is what makes it so much better.

To be honest, thinking of negatives is really difficult. Boarding is wonderful, and if you live boarding life the proper way, it will be the best time of your life. But you do need to be wary of the people you’re with! I’m glad I’m not into anything questionable.

Being a boarder has sometimes been a challenge. While the people here are so nice and friendly, there have been times when I’ve been down for one reason or another; but I couldn’t really talk to anyone about it, as I didn’t know them well. Times when I really wished I had my close friends and family by my side. But, I’m happy knowing that they are always there for me (and I have their photos next to my bed!). Shout out to my friends who stayed with me while I went through this transition (you know who you are). I am incredibly thankful. Another upside is that I have become really organized over the past few months here.

I am at UWC to learn, and I feel really privileged to be here. I’ve loved meeting people from other countries. We are a family now. One big and diverse family. I am so proud to represent India here. I’ve got what I wanted from enrolling in a global school and couldn’t have asked for more.

The smile that I arrived with is not leaving my face anytime soon 🙂


By: Naman Dugar


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