About Us

UWC International

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UWC: A Global Movement

The United World College International Movement began over 50 years ago. Founded on the vision of German educator Kurt Hahn, who believed that international hostility and conflict could be overcome if young people from different nations, races, and cultures had an educational experience based on shared learning, collaboration, and understanding so that they would then become the future leaders and defenders of peace.

Presently, the UWC Movement consists of over 60,000 alumni and other members across the globe; ready to support the UWC mission of making education a force to unite people for peace and a sustainable future.

There are 18 UWC colleges worldwide and National Selection Committees in 155 countries providing the opportunity to attend UWC to over 7,500 students each year.

More information here

International Students

UWC International is the organization at the center of the UWC movement and its many different stakeholders. Governed by the International Board and UWC Council, the executive arm of the International Board is the International Office based in London.

UWC International is guided by the exemplary service of our President, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan. Her Majesty’s commitment to international understanding and peace-building initiatives is an inspirational example for UWC Costa Rica.

After serving jointly with Her Majesty in 1999, South African President Nelson Mandela became recognized as UWC International’s Honorary President. Nelson Mandela’s children and grandchildren attended Waterford Kamhlaba UWC of Southern Africa. President Mandela’s unwavering spirit and courageous defense of freedom encapsulate many of the ideals that UWC International and UWC Costa Rica strive to achieve.

Learn more about the UWC movement worldwide at the page www.uwc.org

What makes UWC different?

We believe that education should help young people discover that change is possible, and that they can make it happen.

As a UWC student, you’ll learn how you can inspire change through courageous action, selfless leadership, and careful listening. You’ll take part in experiences and community activities, so that you’re prepared to build with confidence and lead with compassion in later life.


So how do we achieve this?

We’ve built our educational model on a set of principles that aim to help you reach your potential - academically, morally, socially and emotionally. Our schools each have their own distinct identity, but they’re united by these common values:

  1. Education should take place within a diverse college community. Students should be selected from regions and social groups that reflect the wide range of tensions among and between people.
  2. Education requires active promotion of intercultural understanding and the development of genuine concern for others, founded on shared life experiences, and cooperative and collaborative living. This includes talking about and engaging with global issues in the pursuit of peace.
  3. Physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle are integral to developing a balanced person and to expanding our potential. Unhealthy lifestyles limit human potential.
  4. Community interaction is at the heart of school life. This requires the full and active participation of all members of the school or college.
  5. Students should be able to take positive action around issues of sustainability on both an institutional and individual level.
  6. Students must have opportunities to practice personal initiative, self-discipline and responsibility, and to manage risk and embrace challenges. Where appropriate, these opportunities need to be supported by a reassuring adult presence.
  7. Recognition is given to the fact that individuals possess unique talents and abilities. Programmes should exist in each school/college which help students fulfill their potential.

We’ve built our approach and curriculum on these principles, and have inspired thousands to find the skills and confidence to spark change. After UWC, you’ll be able to progress to your chosen university, or to the calling that suits you. You’ll leave here with a strong academic foundation. But also a stronger understanding of yourself, the world around you, and the power to help others.

It’s an education, built differently.
From the north-east corner of the Catholic Church, 400 meters north
San José, Santa Ana 10901
Phone: (+506) 2282 5609
Email: info@uwccostarica.org
United World College Costa Rica is a non-profit foundation offering a two-year residential pre-university program focused on experiential learning. Our mission is to educate a diverse group of people to become happy, healthy and committed individuals, capable through their leadership and engagement, of fostering positive change in their communities in order to contribute to achieving a more sustainable and peaceful world.