Впечатления студентов о колледжах: UWC Atlantic College

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Hogwarts or being lost in the 12th century castle

I have always dreamed of living in the middle ages, but I have never thought that my dream could ever come true. However, having filled in the application form and submitting it to the UWC National Committee, I have done the first step towards it.

And here I am, in a gorgeous place surrounded by a castle built in the 12th century and ocean. And I’m over the moon that UWC Atlantic College is my home for the next two years. However, when I came here I realised that it’s not a location and appearance of the place that makes it unique and extraordinary. It is the people, programme and life itself that makes me appreciate each day spent here.

Activities, services, lessons, lectures, open spaces, workshops, balls, conferences and so on and so forth; everything that can be called a transformational education,  characterise the college. Life here is so eventful and intense that you sometimes find it difficult to choose what you would like to do and keep up with the plan. However, it teaches you to set priorities and do your best to achieve your goals.

When I arrived I was truly amazed to discover that people devote as much time to academics as to the co-curriculum programme. I won’t tell you much about the academics, because it’s obvious that IB is demanding and quite difficult. But there is a phrase, that always fills me with enthusiasm to study and gain knowledge from all possible sources – “IB today, I be your boss tomorrow”. Inspiring, isn’t it?  What I like most about IB is that it was made for you to choose and concentrate on areas you would like to develop and become an expert in. I find it really useful and practical because unlike the educational system in Russia, you don’t get scattered and you are allowed to take you time and use it efficiently to prepare for challenges you might face in the future.

Co-curriculum programmes are dedicated to engage you in the things you are passionate about. I am in Social Justice Faculty, and this term I’m working with elderly who is struggling to use a computer and children who have difficulties in reading. Both of the projects are interesting, but the second one is a bit challenging and comic as I am a non-native and I am supposed to teach native English speakers to read. However, I am sure that I have learnt a lot from this experience and will learn much more.

Activities are essential part of AC. They broad horizons and make me think about issues brought up in the world. You really need to be creative and think critically, leaving alone all prejudices brought from home.

And then, the events…..These are unforgettable experiences which you can get only once and only in UWC! Every day I meet new people (although I have been here for 3 months), discover a lot of new things and develop my previous knowledge. I regret my eyes were closed earlier and I couldn’t see and understand anything I can see now.

Finally, people….The most important and distinguishing part of the whole UWC movement is its people. You will never meet in one place so many enthusiastic, creative and determinant people who would like to take measures in their own hands and make a change in the world. Everybody is friendly and happy to help. We are one big family.

And I’m waiting for first years to come here and join our family.

Элеонора, UWC Atlantic College

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"Dear National Committee,

If one day somebody will tell you that it’s quite easy to start new life in a new place using new language and with incredibly new people surrounding you, don’t believe that person. So, actually, it’s really challenging to be so far away from home and try to become a part of the new society. The first half-term at Atlantic College was aimed to introduce a wide spectrum of life’s features and different possibilities which are provided for students here. It was very important – at least for me – to get as much information about life around me as it possible and to understand the main principles of the UWC movement in general and of the AC in particular.

When I had arrived at AC I met here the amazing diversity of cultures, nations, languages, traditions and opinions. So, first of all, these 2 months allowed me to plunge into the new ambience, make new friends, improve my English skills and feel comfortable in this small “world” of events, talks, jokes, subjects, supporting, own discoveries etc. which is called “Atlantic College”.

On the other hand, during this period I have learnt a lot of pragmatic stuff like how to live in communal house, use local swimming pool, walk on the correct side of the road, be on the first code (that's our name for the lesson) in time, have fun on the weekend, sleep a lot, work hard, play hard and other things like these.

I reckon that the most exciting part of my being here was first year camp. Actually, I love this place because of two main reasons. First one is a large number of “first times” in my life. You know, usually we have very boring, routine life and it’s pretty hard to find there any bright moments. So, the first year camp was full of such remarkable moments. For instance, I had never jumped from high (about 7-10 meters) cliff before I did it in the camp. Or I had never ridden a surfboard or kayak. It was impossible for me even think about coasteering before the first year camp. So, definitely, I like that place because there your wishes come true. Secondly, I really appreciate the camp because there I felt that we are one. I mean we are united by AC, UWC, by common aim to be there in that moment. And it is extremely exciting when you are standing around people who are from all around the world and you are singing your national anthem, and in that moment you can feel that together you can change something in the world.

Our first weeks here were just the first step on the big stairs; it was the small, but very important step. Since now till that moment when we’ll pass away – we are one big AC-family. And it doesn’t matter what kind of obstacles we’ll meet throughout our lives because we will be able to overcome everything with support each other. Or it just seems that we will. Or I just believe in that.

However, when someone believes in something, it does make sense, doesn’t it?

I am really excited about our firsties (first years) next year. We love you in advance! Be brave and sincere! And very soon your second years from Russia will meet you (yes! you! that one who is reading this note now) with our national flag and lots of love in the most rainy country in Europe (but anyway wonderful country)!".

Антон, UWC Atlantic College

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