How to Nail the UWC Application

With forms, a personal statement, medical records, possible academic tests, first and second interviews, applying to the United World Colleges is no joke, and it may seem intimidating. Hopefully, these pointers will help simplify your application.

Not everyone will have to go through all the processes listed above; the components of the application will vary depending on whether you apply directly to a specific school, or via a national committee, in which case your application will also differ depending on your nationality. Now, regardless of the channel through which you apply, some core considerations apply universally  – here are my tips.

Work hard. When considering your application, the committee will want reassurance of your academic capacity and motivation. The IB is rigorous, and requires substantial effort from students, and the application committee will want to feel confident that you’ll be capable not only of doing well in the IB, but of doing so well that you’ll also have time for extracurricular activities on campus. This, after all, is just as important as academics in a United World College.

Take initiative. As UWC is keen on selecting students who are motivated to make an impact in the world, and to actually go the extra mile to see that change come into effect,   it’s important for the committee to see that you are active and involved, may it be in drama, politics, sport or what have you.

Stay true. Be truthful about who you are and think long and hard about why you want to attend one of the colleges. The committees know very well who would be suitable for a stay at UWC, and which college in particular. Therefore, a truthful application will augment your chances of an enriching and memorable experience.

The personal statement: write at least a couple drafts, and be sure to let some sharp people who know you well proofread them. Be sure to keep the information relevant; don’t waste space on formalities and unnecessary information.

The interview: the most important thing to be sure of, is why you’re applying, and to be able to speak about yourself. I prepared by looking through all sorts of political, economic and social issues and news, and was taken aback when they asked me to simply tell them about myself. So prepare your pitch, but try not to make it too robotic. Most people I’ve talked to felt that the interview went badly, so if it doesn’t go entirely as you would have liked, don’t worry.

Good luck with your application, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

7 thoughts on “How to Nail the UWC Application

    • Dear Anjali,

      There should be directions on how to apply, depending on your country of origin, on Try searching for your national committee and reach out to them. Feel free to email me at if you have any specific questions. Good luck!

  1. Hey, I’m currently 14-15 and planning on applying for UWC in December of 2019 for the DP years, what grades do you have to get to be considered “worthy enough” for UWC?

    • Hi Alesa,

      You should be doing well. There’s usually no specific cutoff (although this may depend on which national committee you apply through, if any). Just keep working hard! Grades are important, but as I mentioned above, there’s a lot more to the application than just grades.

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