A UWC education is founded on the principle of bringing young people, from disparate backgrounds, to live, learn and grow together. The diversity of our student body as a UWC is a deliberate focus of our school and every student, no matter their individual life story, is deeply impacted by the opportunity to develop meaningful and engaged relationships with peers from around the world. Our commitment to nuanced understanding of the cultural and linguistic identity of all of our students helps us to ground ourselves in an asset-based, additive approach to intercultural learning and understanding.
One of the unique features of the UWC movement is the National Committee selection process, which brings further, rich diversity to our campus for the Diploma Programme years of the International Baccalaureate. National Committee students join students coming in new to us through Global Selections and join alongside our school-based admissions students to formulate a uniquely diverse microcosm of the world in our Diploma Programme.
Get to know our diverse student body:
- School-Based Admissions - Day and Boarding
- National Committee Admissions
- The Global Selection Programme
- High Performance Athletes
The majority of UWC Thailand’s students come through our School Based Admissions process, entering from age 2 through grade 12 and joining our community after a rigorous selection process that seeks to identify mission-aligned students keen to make a difference in the world and to commit to our unique learning context- which prioritises both academic excellence as well as service, action and agency and meaningful connection to the outdoors.
Our school based admissions students come from unique and varied backgrounds and we actively seek a deliberately diverse student body at every age and stage. Get to know one of our school based admissions students:
Joaquín was born in the United States, though from birth his family split their time between their home in the US and his hometown in Urique, deep in the Copper Canyon of northern Mexico. At the age of eight, Joaquín moved with his family to the jungle of Costa Rica where he attended an IB World School that shared its campus with howler monkeys and kinkajous. Costa Rica is where Joaquín fell in love with surfing and also where he deeply began to understand how important nature and sport were to his life. As he finished grade 9, Joaquín took a seven month sabbatical journey on bicycle, with vehicle support, through Central America, Mexico and the United States before making the move with his family to Phuket and joining the UWC Thailand community. Now a DP student, Joaquín still loves to surf and enjoys training as a High-Performance runner while spending as much time as possible with his family and friends. In his spare time he likes to discuss Global Politics topics and explore Phuket.
- National Committee selected students
- Dare to Dream 1 & 2
- Davis Scholars
- UWC Thailand Future Women Leaders
- Conflict Zone Scholarships
UWC depends on the dedication and expertise of a network of more than 4,000 volunteers to find and select students in over 150 countries worldwide.
One of the most important things about a UWC education is our community. No matter which school you attend, you’ll be part of a diverse group of people that will encourage you to challenge and expand your perspective.
Building that community is so important. And that’s the role of our national committee system.
The UWC national committees (NC) are groups of people - mostly volunteers - who are responsible for finding and selecting students with potential in over 150 countries and territories. Most students apply to UWC via their UWC national committee: this way, they are assessed within their own national context by people from their own country, and, if they are offered a place, they will usually receive financial support based on their needs.
These committees are made up of a wide variety of individuals, including:
Parents of UWC alumni
Education professionals, and
Community leaders who have embraced UWC’s mission and values
All of them have a deep understanding of the local context where the applicants come from, and are in the best place to understand your story and your potential.
Make sure UWC national committees are the best route to apply to UWC for you. And if they are, find your UWC national committee of citizenship or residence and apply through them!
Meet two of our National Committee-selected students:
Hailing from the island of Tarawa in the South Pacific Island nation of Kiribati, Robuti was born and raised on his island, leaving his 31 square metre atole for the first time when he boarded the plane to come to UWC Thailand. After a competitive process the year before being chosen as the only student of 50 applicants on Tarawa to attend UWC this year, Robuti was a star pupil back home, excelling in the sciences and winning multiple prestigious local awards. Since arriving on the island of Phuket, Robuti has loved experiencing this new life off his small island and in sharing about his beautiful island culture with his new classmates and teachers. An avid athlete, Robuti has also made the varsity volleyball team, runs with the cross country team and loves to join any football match available.
Jimale’s journey to UWC is marked by his steadfast determination and drive to succeed. Originally from Garowe, Somalia, Jimale later moved to the countryside of Somaliland when he was two years old, alongside his family, all motivated for the education they had strived for but had been denied since the civil war that ravaged Somalia in 1991. When Jimale started school, so did his parents and the journey of education began for the entire family. Challenging moves have marked Jimale's life- first with a move to the city in Somaliland, then another move to Abaarso School of Science and Technology, where, upon arrival, he first began to learn English. Finally, Jimale arrived at UWC Thailand!
His acceptance into UWC Thailand as he entered grade 11 has meant that his dreams have grown bigger and his horizon has expanded. With near perfect English after only a few years of study and with the backing of his strong Muslim faith and pride for his home country, Jimale has loved moving to Thailand and living on a tropical island so surrounded by green spaces. But, his heart remains with the children he has taught coding to for years and each evening still he connects online with his students back in Somaliland in order to give back to his country as others have given to him. Jimale is currently focused on two life-long goals: learning to ride a bike and learning to swim. Once those are ticked off his list, entry to a university in the US where he can learn Computer Programming is his main focus.
The Davis-UWC Dare to Dream Program was launched in early 2018 through a pledge by Shelby Davis of over USD 100 million towards the UWC movement’s scholarship fund. For three years, from 2018 to 2020, the donation has provided funding for 100 additional scholarships per year for students selected through UWC National Committees to attend one of the 18 UWC schools worldwide for their final two years of secondary education. Since Dare to Dream’s launch in 2018, 297 students have received scholarship funding.
In 2021 Dare to Dream 2 was launched in hopes of continuing the forward momentum of the UWC Movement. Shelby Davis doubled his annual Davis-UWC Dare to Dream Program pledge from USD 5 million to USD 10 million, leading to the creation of up to 300 new scholarships per year through this program only. Dare to Dream 2 increases the number of needs-based scholarships by creating a matching campaign to activate further funding. Dare to Dream 2 was established with the goal of developing a global “one-team approach”.
“UWC provides a unique education to students from across the world independent of their socio-economic means. Each year, UWC national committees identify promising young people in almost 160 countries to attend UWC schools and give them access to international education they would otherwise never even dare to dream of. We need to equip a new generation to work towards a better world. The Dare to Dream scholarship recognises UWC’s capability to do that and to bring together students from the most diverse backgrounds from around the globe. I hope it will encourage others to support UWC in eliminating a privileged socio-economic background as a prerequisite for world-class education."
~ Shelby Davis, UWC Patron
Through the UWC movement there are two types of Davis Scholars:
Davis Scholars are U.S. citizens who receive an automatic financial stipend on acceptance to any of the UWC schools and colleges. 25 of these scholarships are reserved for students attending UWC-USA and then usually two scholarship places are reserved for U.S. students at each of the other campuses. For entrance into a UWC school and college, at grade 11, Davis Scholars are selected by the National Committee as their top students--regardless of financial need. Those students selected then receive $25,000 USD yearly to support their fees into the UWC school or college they are selected for. In order to complete the fees levels needed for the school or college, students might receive additional financial support from the college or from their family.
“The striking feature of the United World Colleges is that they embrace the entire world across all divides of race, history, culture, wealth, religion, economic status and political belief.”
— Nelson Mandela, former UWC President
- Our graduates are change-makers with depth of character, grit and initiative. The worldwide reputation enjoyed by UWC Thailand’s learning programme means that our students are highly sought after by a wide range of universities around the world.
However, many of our students would not have the financial means to continue their educational journeys without the incredible support of the Davis UWC Scholars Program, a scholarship fund that provides need-based support for graduates of UWC schools attending one of 99 partner colleges and universities across the U.S.
Here at UWC Thailand, we are tremendously grateful to Shelby Davis and the Davis UWC Scholars Program for providing our graduates with the opportunity to pursue their dreams beyond our campus, to make positive and meaningful contributions to the colleges and universities they attend, and to extend and deepen their commitment to making education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.
The yearly selection process identifies two or three female grade 11 students, one of which must be of Thai nationality, who have a chance of receiving a two-year fully-funded scholarship for the IB Diploma Programme at UWC Thailand. The candidates, who have already undergone the rigorous National Committee selection process, are further to determine which females would reflect the UWC Thailand mission and values and show leadership skills, with intention to act as positive change agents.
The qualities that the selected students should possess are: strength of character, commitment to equality, mindful leadership, service, and academic standing.
Throughout the year, the young women will be invited to attend monthly meetings with female leaders in the school community, allowing them the opportunity to talk and learn from women leaders who have paved the way before them and who will serve to inspire them in the many paths available to reach positions of leadership in the future.
We would like to acknowledge our generous donor for supporting these young women to be able to make a difference in the world.
The Horizon Refugee Scholarship Fund
In 2016 the Horizon Foundation decided to expand the partnership and, together with UWC International, started a Horizon-UWC Scholars Programme targeting refugee students, young people from conflict zones and other students coming from underprivileged/marginalised backgrounds.
Horizon scholars are exceptional young people from the Middle East and Asia (particularly Palestinians, Syrians, Afghans and Tibetans). They are academically able and community-driven, with a desire to become change agents. Scholars are typically 16 to 19 years old when they begin their penultimate year of secondary schooling at one of the many UWC schools and colleges around the world.
Meet two of our past candidates:
Coming to UWC I got to experience so many things for the first time, for example: saw the ocean for the first time; swam in the ocean for the first time; learned how to swim properly for the first time (can’t wait to show it to my tibetan friends back home); had this amazing opportunity to receive diving lessons for the first time; ate thai food for the first time; Celebrated Loi Krathong Festival for the first time; Celebrated Christmas for the first time and made several friends from many different countries for the first time. The list can go on but these are the ones that helped me open up my horizon of learning.
When I first joined the Global Politics class, there was no topic related to Tibet nor did any student know about Tibet. After explaining Tibet using the IB core concept, students become more aware of violations happening in Tibet and have started to link it with their learning. Not only this, I was able to share my stories as a refugee with all the students and staff in UWC Thailand through the podcast called “Youth has a story to tell” organized by Kru Olivier. In that process of explaining Tibetan history to others, I also gained a better understanding of myself. After coming to UWC Thailand, I was more aware of my culture and country.
Around the world, from Lebanon to Syria and Ukraine to Afghanistan, children's lives have been turned upside down by conflict and war. And yet these children continue to dream and to have hope. It is through this belief that children from challenging circumstances can have a bright future that the UWC Thailand community has committed to stepping in and providing, for the most promising and motivated of students, a place to live and to study for the final two years of their high school education. Each year, UWC Thailand welcomes students from conflict zones to complete their high school education and to steward them on to post-secondary studies in the United States.
This year our Conflict Zone Scholarships support female students from Afghanistan and Kosovo. One of our two students joins us through the UWC Afghan Initiative sponsored by our sister school UWCSEA. It is only through the generous donations of our broader community that we can support students coming directly from Conflict Zones around the world.
UWC for Afghan Youth Appeal
UWC Thailand continues to work to raise money for the Afghan Youth Appeal. As a school, we have offered two places to refugee students in the next academic year, 2022-2023, and we are currently working on a project with a sister UWC school for them to fund a student at our campus. This is a project very near and dear to our hearts and the parent community has come together to discuss options for further fundraising later in the year. Further updates will come at the start of the new year.
The opportunity to study is a crucial stepping stone for young people to build a better future for themselves and their communities. As an organisation with a mission to make education a force for peace, we have been working for years to support youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, including refugees and internally displaced people, giving them access to a quality education and a personal and academic sanctuary.
Some of our students who enter in our Diploma Programme years have long lived global lives and so application to join our boarding community for the final two years of high school takes a unique route, called the Global Selection Programme. Students in this programme apply with our support to the UWC movement, foregoing any opportunity for financial aid, and with the hopes that they will be selected after a rigorous process for entry.
At UWC Thailand, any student, irrespective of their pathway of entry can apply to be a High-Performance Athlete and take advantage of the support available through our accreditation with World Academy of Sport and our designation as an Athlete Friendly Educational Centre. Our World Academy of Sport accreditation also allows those student athletes who qualify to opt for a three-year IB Diploma tract, as opposed to the standard two-year diploma route.
Our current High-Performance athletes train and compete at a high level nationally and internationally across the following disciplines:
- Muay Thai
Students at any age and stage can inquire about becoming a High-Performance Athlete. Designation as such follows a process and ensures each student is ready for the heavy demands of competing at such a high level.
Please note: Scholarship funding is NOT generally provided for High-Performance Athletes at UWC Thailand.