Our boarding community
Welcome to the boarding community of UWC South East Asia We are proud to introduce the UWCSEA boarding community to you. Our community is vibrant and culturally rich, a place where students are part of a supportive international family. The culturally diverse community provides a caring environment that nurtures self-discipline, self-management and leadership skills and is true to the mission of the UWC movement to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. With over 45 different nationalities represented in the boarding community, and over 70 in the student body as a whole, our students readily gain the international exposure and understanding that is central to the UWC experience. In fact, our boarders not only gain insights into many different cultures, but also discover a deeper appreciation of what is special about their own. As Directors of UWCSEA’s two boarding houses, our first responsibility is to ensure that students are happy and successful members of the College community. Our boarding house staff proactively support our boarders, encouraging them to make the most of the opportunities offered by the College and to participate fully in both the educational programme during the week and in the life of the boarding house after school and on weekends. While most students settle quickly into boarding, for others being away from their families can be a more difficult adjustment. A comprehensive orientation programme held the week prior to the start of classes each academic year, is the first in a series of opportunities designed to foster friendship and community spirit. The programme of events and outings held both on campus and around Singapore includes cultural talks, in which boarders introduce the rest of the community to their countries and cultures, as well as themed evenings, movie nights and outings. Life in the boarding community is enriched by UWC national committee and other scholars who are resident in the boarding houses. These scholars are selected on the basis of both their academic ability and their commitment to the UWC mission and values. The scholars contribute much to the rich and diverse life in our international boarding family. Dover Campus hosts over 40 scholars across Grades 8 to 12, and there are plans for similar numbers of scholars to join the boarding community on the East Campus. Our experience has shown us that many boarders find it difficult to leave our community at the end of their schooling; such is the richness of their experience here, and the strength of the friendships formed. The lasting links established across the world are a demonstration of both their life-defining experience while at UWCSEA and their identity as global citizens of the 21st century. UWCSEA’s boarding experience prepares young people for university life and beyond, equipping them with the confidence, independence, social skills and compassion needed in the wider world. If you are interested in joining our boarding community please contact us. We would be delighted to show you around, answer any questions you may have and, ultimately, welcome you to our community. Gabriel Abad Director of Boarding, East Campus
Max Hull Director of Boarding, Dover Campus
Advantages of UWCSEA Boarding in Singapore opens a wealth of travel and cultural opportunities. UWCSEA’s programmes take full advantage of being located in a global hub, while the College’s ethos expects students to explore the cultural diversity offered at both the College and in the region. While the language of instruction at UWCSEA is English, the boarding houses truly reflect the international nature of the education on offer, with students from around the world living in the custom-designed accommodation. “Multiculturalism is such a part of life here, and I came so predisposed to live in such an environment that I found it almost normal from the start. Sharing my bedroom with a Japanese, a Malaysian and an Indian, moreover with a Buddhist, a Hindi and a Muslim, was something I never expected to experience. It is amazing to see how well we share our lives in this little bubble created by our opened minds.” Francesco Martin, Chile (Dover) The learning programme at UWCSEA focuses on five elements: academic, activities, outdoor education, pastoral care and service. While students graduate with an IB Diploma, and the Diploma results are outstanding by international standards, the overall learning experience at UWCSEA involves far more than the academic programme. Through college, local and global service, students have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. From visiting local care centres in Singapore, to building houses for families in Cambodia, students respond to our call to action in multiple ways. The outdoor education programme further encourages students to expand their horizons and take on new challenges, as they participate in age-appropriate expeditions. The extensive activities
Student support Boarding provides a boost in selfconfidence for students and helps develop independence and self-management skills, while still providing a safety net of school-organised routines and schedules. The routines of a boarding house ensure students have a balance between academic and leisure pursuits, resulting in time dedicated towards homework and towards other pursuits such as sport, music or community service. Specific time is set aside for study each day; all students have an allocated space that they can personalise to support their own programme of study.
programme allows students to follow their passions (or discover new ones), while our pastoral care programme ensures we support their self-discovery and development as an individual. For further information on UWCSEA’s learning programme, please see accompanying School and College Guides. “Studying at UWCSEA is a horizon-widening experience which I would never have been able to experience in other schools. It has developed me into an all-rounded person by encouraging me to take up responsibilities and undertake new challenges. Here, you can initiate activities, take part in music concerts and sports tournaments, and go overseas on field trips. On top of that, this school celebrates and treasures cultural diversity. I have the privilege to meet people coming from all around the globe and learn about their cultures. Studying at UWCSEA was a rewarding and fulfilling experience for me, one that I will never forget.” Prudence Chow, Hong Kong (Dover) Involvement and participation are central to boarding life. There are many opportunities to contribute to UWCSEA’s boarding activities, which are as diverse as they are stimulating. These activities - ranging from international evenings to rock climbing to games nights - are highly varied and take advantage of UWCSEA’s extensive recreational and residential
facilities. Other boarding activities include thought-provoking discussions and presentations, which provide boarders with the chance to hear different perspectives and share ideas. Boarders have the chance to pursue a wide range of extra-curricular and recreational activities, both on and off campus. Many activities, such as sport and music, take place on campus, and there are a host of nearby recreational options such as sailing, bicycle and exercise trails, libraries and park connectors. Singapore’s size and excellent transport systems make it easy and safe to explore the entire island. UWCSEA provides a ‘closer-to-family’ option for many of our boarders who come from, or whose families are based in, the Asia region. Singapore has a vibrant and varied expat community, and expatriates from over 70 nationalities make up the majority of our student community. Therefore, most of our students, day or boarding, understand both the challenges and opportunities of living in a new country. The school community is naturally geared to understanding and providing support for students as they adjust to living away from home, possibly for the first time. Being closer to family also means more frequent visits; this is especially important for younger boarders and their parents.
Although, as in any family, there are some guidelines and general regulations, these are designed to allow a group of people to live together in a supportive community that has high expectations of all its members. Boarders are expected to contribute to the boarding community by showing individual initiative, and are encouraged to get involved in a range of diverse activities. This could involve becoming a member of one of the house committees or sitting on the House Council; helping select movies and books to add to our collection; participating in a sporting activity, such as swimming, football or on the climbing wall; or supporting social, charitable and sporting initiatives and events. Many students adapt to boarding life right from the start, but we recognise that for some students it can take a little longer to settle in. In both cases, we actively support our students in establishing themselves as part of our friendly and caring boarding community. While the boarding house staff are on hand to provide support to all students, the College also employs qualified counsellors who are available to provide students with support on a confidential basis.
Boarding facilities Impressive modern facilities, coupled with experienced and caring staff, ensure the well-being of students.
Dover Campus There are two boarding houses on Dover Campus. Mahindra House accommodates students from Grade 7 to Grade 10, while Senior House is reserved for students in Grades 11 and 12. The purpose-built accommodation is airconditioned, with rooms of four students sharing living space and an en suite bathroom. While boarders need to ensure their rooms are kept tidy, daily cleaning and regular laundry services are provided. Each boarding house has both kitchen and laundry facilities open to students. In addition, residents have access to the schoolâ€™s recreational and academic facilities catering to special interests such as libraries, games and common rooms for relaxation, sporting facilities, music practice rooms, wireless computer access and dedicated study areas.
East Campus The East Campus Boarding House is easily recognisable - at 14 stories it is the tallest building on the campus. The comfort and security of the boarders is at the forefront of its design, and it has been fitted with state-of-the-art facilities including the latest IT, communications and security systems. The boarding house accommodation is split according to the grade level of the students. As they progress into the higher grades, students move from shared rooms (quadruple, triple or twin bedded rooms) into more private, single bedded accommodation, affording greater privacy and independence.
Opportunities for boarders to relax and recharge after a busy day are enhanced by the extensive in-house facilities, with communal spaces on each level. These include a games room, library, movie room and a prayer/meditation room. Boarders have access to the schoolâ€™s facilities after school hours and on the weekends, including the gymnasium, swimming pool, full-size football pitch, music practice rooms and more.
Security While Singapore has a well-deserved reputation as a safe and welcoming country, security in the boarding houses is a priority. The boarding houses are selfcontained buildings located away from the main part of the school on each campus. Security guards control access to both campuses 24 hours a day, and additional checks in and around the boarding house ensure the safety of our boarders.
Meals Boarders are provided a healthy, balanced diet with a variety of food catering to different tastes, religions and cultural preferences. Halal catering is available. A communal, cafeteria-style kitchen allows boarders to socialise over meals, while pantries and kitchens in the boarding houses enable residents to make a hot drink or snack between meals or while studying.
College Clinic A well-resourced College Clinic with qualified nursing staff is open during the day. A qualified doctor also visits the clinic regularly to provide medical care. Hospitals near both campuses and world-class medical and specialist centres provide easy access to further treatment if necessary.
“‘So, how is boarding life?’ is a question that we are usually asked and that we are never able to give a proper answer to, simply because it is impossible to describe this unique experience in a few sentences. Cooking dinner together in the kitchen, swimming with your friends after dinner, running desperately from the guardhouse to the lobby to get our sign-in cards as our we are about to miss our curfew, are all things that characterize our everyday lives very well.
Most of us come from thousands of miles away. It is our very first experience of being away from our family and friends, and the environment that we are used to. We are really lucky; living in the boarding house is something that helps us feel that despite the distance there is a community that we truly belong to. Starting from the activities on Orientation Week, organizing the International Evening, and the wonderful trip to Desaru, have all been experiences that have made our community stronger.
The most amazing thing about being a boarder is that you never feel alone. When you go down to the common room, there is someone to talk to. No wonder we barely make it to class in time in the morning—it is not easy to go to bed early with so many friends around! Among the 130 boarders living in Senior House there is always someone to turn to if you face a difficult exercise with logarithms or if you just need help with choosing what to wear for a special occasion.
Students come here from different cultures with different values, habits and traditions. Being a part of this community gives you the opportunity to get a better understanding of the diversity of the people. Just try going to the common room on a Saturday night. You will see people juggling, playing the guitar, singing, painting the wall or learning how to count to 20 in Korean. It is a lively community with amazing and versatile people who are happy to share their skills, and their understanding of the world. I’m happy to be a part of it.” Evelin Toth, Hungary (Dover)
UWCSEA Dover has a flourishing boarding community of around 200 young people, while the East Campus will host around 120 residents in the newly-constructed boarding house by 2015. UWCSEA’s boarding option is for full residential boarding. There are no options for weekly or ‘day’ boarding. Middle and Upper School boarders (Grades 7 to 10) live in under the care of two houseparents. Usually living away from home for the first time, our younger boarders are provided with a caring environment and high levels of social and emotional support to help them make the transition to boarding life. The older boarders in Grades 11 and 12 enjoy a greater level of freedom appropriate to their increased maturity. However, with this also comes greater responsibility, not only in terms of selfmanagement but also in taking an active role in contributing to boarding life.
Admission Students can join the College as boarders from Grade 7 (age 12) to Grade 11 (age 17). Day students are also able to apply to transfer into the boarding house if the need arises. Students are accepted into the Boarding Houses after an interview process. When coming to UWCSEA as a boarder, we ask that families commit to staying in the boarding house for at least a year. When accepting a place as a boarder, the student is committed to remain a boarder : for one full academic year, in the case of Grade 7 to Grade 10 students; or until the completion of the IB Diploma Programme, in the case of Grade 11 and 12 students.
Please contact admissions for further information on applying to the appropriate school on your preferred campus. The admissions team will be pleased to assist, offer a tour of either campus and provide more information: Dover Campus T +65 6775 5344 East Campus T +65 6305 5344 firstname.lastname@example.org www.uwcsea.edu.sg/boarding
“Boarding has become not just a place to live but my home and my family. Although living with so many people might be tough at times, you learn something new from someone every day. This has made my cultural experience in UWCSEA amazing.” Sofía Guerra Rodriguez, Guatemala (Dover) “Coming to UWCSEA has changed my perspective and now I feel like my opportunities are endless. Before I was a frog in the well, now I am swimming in the ocean.” Rachel Tan, Singapore (Dover)
“It surprised me how easy it is to study in the boarding house. At first my impression was that you couldn’t concentrate with everyone else around. However in this community everyone respects each other and everyone wants to learn. Boarding life makes it simpler. When you don’t know how to do something you can always ask your friends for help. Boarding boosts all areas of your life - more friends, more sports, more fun!” Gordon Tse, Singapore (East) “In this school, I can see the world. My roommates are Burmese, Indian and Korean. I know many people from all over and I find out more each day that the world is more than I know.“ Rudhi Putra, Indonesia (Dover)
“I never expected to be in an environment where the concept of ‘international’ is a philosophy. After the initial transition period, I understood and accepted how different everyone is. After my first year, I realised the impact that being a boarder had on me. Boarding has taught me to become mature and independent, how to be comfortable with my peers, how to forge new friendships and build unbreakable ones. It taught me that no matter what, someone is always willing to lend a hand.” Nabila Hassan, Malaysia (Dover)
Photographs by Henry Chang, Tom Soper, Q.Yang, David Caleb, Gabriel Abad and UWCSEA staff and students.