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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

As a new student at UWC Atlantic, you and your family probably have many questions about how life is at the College. The list below will provide you with very useful information for the next two years you will spend with us. We hope you feel more confident after reading this section.

At UWC Atlantic, all staff members are committed to guiding you through the experience. At the heart of our support system is our team of tutors. The tutor is your first point of contact if you have any problems or questions. Each tutor has 8-10 tutees. Our staff in The Learning Centre (TLC) are also available to help with social emotional support through counselling and support for specific learning needs. We also have a nurse and health care assistants on site weekdays from 07.00. House mentors guide and support the residential programme and at least one of them lives in a house attached to each of the residential buildings. There are two house mentors for a ‘house’ of 44-52 students. Our Welcome Team staff, including designated night staff are there 24/7 to provide emergency support.


There are seven residential houses. We will open an eighth house for the 2022/23 academic year. Each floor or corridor contains at least one bathroom shared between 2-4 bedrooms.  There is a day room, at least one quiet room and kitchen in each house. 


You will eat three meals in the dining hall in the Castle. Coffee and tea are available in the Dining Hall throughout the day. 

Breakfast is from 07:15- 07:50, and then coffee break at 10.25.

Lunch is available from 12:00 to 13:45, and supper from 17.30 until 19.00.

The times for meals on weekends are different. Students will get information about it once on campus. 

Our catering team is making sure to create balanced meals and meet everyone’s dietary requirements. If you do have special dietary requirements or allergies please indicate it in advance or inform your house mentor once you arrive. 

You will be responsible for keeping your room, bathroom and the common areas clean and tidy. The College supplies you with the equipment and materials to do this. Professional cleaners come to clean the bathrooms and common areas regularly.

You will need to check-in with your house mentor or tutor on duty every night. Check-in from Monday to Thursday evening is at 21.30 after which you must remain in your House. Check-in is at 23.00 on a Friday and Saturday. Check-in is at 21.00 on Sundays to allow for a scheduled house meeting every Sunday from 21.00.


We have recommended a short packing list which you will find at the end of this document. It will be your responsibility to label your belongings and keep them safe. We strongly recommend that you leave all valuable items at home unless needed for your studies.

Students should be aware that the British electricity system is 230 volts, and that the college wiring system requires that British Standard three pin fused plugs are used at all times.  Travel adaptors are not to be used. Where possible all electrical equipment used should be CE and/or BS kitemarked and be fit for purpose. For laptops and mobile phones, students should contact the manufacturer directly to request a lead/charger that is compatible with British standards. Electrical adapters must also conform to British standards. Students must not purchase cheaper alternative extension leads and chargers online. Any electrical items, adapters and leads that are deemed not safe for use in the UK will be confiscated by the house mentor and returned to you when you leave. For smaller items such as hairdryers and straighteners it is recommended that these are purchased on arrival in the UK; however, if this is not possible, the items should be compatible with British standards. Rice cookers, portable cooking equipment and kettles are NOT to be brought into the college.  Additional heaters, if required, can be provided by the college. No electrical fairy/Christmas lights are to be used. The college tests all electrical appliances on an annual basis and reserves the right to prohibit the use of non-compliant items.


The College will provide you with a set of bed linens (quilt, pillow, sheet, cover and pillow case). You will need to bring a towel(s) or buy one when you arrive.

Bedding will be laundered by the college. Students will be expected to launder their clothes and washing machines are provided for the students. If students choose to bring their own bedding they will be expected to launder it themselves.

In case of illness, students can visit the Wellbeing (Health) Centre. Routine medical treatment and treatment for accidents and emergencies will be given free of charge under the British National Health Service (NHS). The College has a full time nurse, health care assistants and three counsellors. The counsellors are available weekdays 0900-1700 and have a drop in session every Thursday 1800-2000.


National costumes are a ‘big deal’ at UWC, so if you have one and you can pack it in your suitcase; it is great to bring it. We have culture weeks, national and regional evenings and other days where we celebrate our different cultures which means exposing others to food, clothing, songs, poems, dances, ceremonies etc. Our most important event to celebrate diversity is the annual UWC Day on 21 September. So, it is a good idea to pack traditional spices, a flag, some photos and other small items that you think will help you effectively share your culture.


Culture Shock happens to us all but what exactly is culture shock? According to the Random House Dictionary, culture shock is “a state of bewilderment and distress experienced by an individual who is suddenly exposed to a new, strange, or foreign social and cultural environment”. Most new students find that not only is the culture of the geographical location of their new College different from their own, but that the College has its own specific culture, too. Almost all of it will be different from what you are used to. You will be living and studying with students your own age and much of the time will not be directly supervised by adults; methods of teaching and learning will be different from what you might expect; and you will make friends from around the world. There will be a wide diversity of students, teachers and staff. UWC is about understanding differences so first and foremost be respectful of these diverse cultures, be curious, and try to learn from them and explore different perspectives. Do not be shy about asking questions, sharing your culture and celebrating where you are from.

Life at UWC is intensive and filled with many academic and non-academic experiences. It is important to find a good balance in using your time and ensure some free time for relaxing and entertainment. All student houses have a screen with TV and Internet programmes available as well as a large foosball table. During the weekends students can attend fun activities organized by our Student Life at Atlantic College Council (SLACC), run by students, including dances, festivals, creative workshops and music events etc. There is a student cafe called Hideout, serving hot drinks and soft beverages free of charge, each Friday. It is a space where students can socialize, relax, listen to music and play some board games. Each Saturday evening you  may have a meal at the student led restaurant called Hot2Go for a reasonable price. There are many other student initiatives, where you can spend some enjoyable time according to your interests. 



Your arrival date will have been confirmed by the Admissions Team. The college will provide transport from Heathrow Airport on arrival day (a charge will be made for this service). All students have to complete a travel form and a travel information document will be included with the enrolment forms.   

If you are going to make your way straight to the College, please arrive at 14:00 (or after). Your parents can accompany you.


On arrival day you will be greeted by current students and staff. You will have an opportunity to settle into your room. If parents are accompanying you to the College, they can visit your boarding house on arrival day (not on any other day of the year, except on departure day). You will begin your orientation programme the following day. This will offer you orientation of the campus and an opportunity to learn more about the subjects and co-curricular programme before you make your final subject, service and activity choices. The orientation programme lasts for 6 days, including the weekend.


During October and Spring Breaks you can stay on campus, take a trip or travel home depending on your circumstances. During the Winter and Summer breaks the campus is closed. You and/or your parents are responsible for finding accomodation for you for the Winter and Summer breaks in case you are not able to travel home.

You will be sent a form for you to make preliminary subject choices. Please complete and submit this form as it will help us in our timetable planning. Once you arrive at College you will have the opportunity to receive further information in each subject and confirm your choices or make changes if needed. Your academic programme will only be finalised after you personally met senior academic staff and the university guidance counsellors after arrival.

We will not be able to send any information regarding the content of the subjects before classes begin.


To minimise disparity between students, we recommend pocket money be limited to no more than £500 per year. We would stress that this limit is more than adequate for a student’s needs and would ask that parents adhere to the figure given.  Please note that this does not include the cost of calculators or College Yearbook, personal trips away, trips run by staff or transport to and from the College.  


£500 pocket money should be transferred in advance using the college bank details, or payable by £GB cheque on arrival day at the Accounts Office. Please make the cheque payable to ‘UWC Atlantic’ with the student’s name on the reverse side.  Other currencies are not acceptable. In some instances, pocket money allowances are provided by the student’s scholarship, and this money is paid directly to the student’s Pocket Money Account from the College Accounts Office.


Please note: When transferring a combination of different payments in one amount, it is vital that the email contains a breakdown of what is being paid so that it can be correctly recorded (eg. caution fee £x and pocket money £x).


The College runs a ‘College Bank’ for all students whereby they can withdraw pocket money 5 days a week. 


Students may require additional funds to finance their projects in the spring, but parents and sponsors should know that the College is committed to keep these additional expenses low, and it is possible for students to undertake projects within the College at no extra cost.


Our students come from different backgrounds, so it is expected from all of them to be moderate in their material possessions and spending during their time at UWC Atlantic. 

The current students have suggested the following packing list.


  • A warm coat for winter
  • A waterproof coat or jacket
  • A few items of clothing that you do not mind getting dirty 
  • A lot of socks (it seems that the dryer eats them)
  • A lot of underwear (same applies)
  • Formal/smart outfit (the college holds some formal events and conferences)
  • Boots/comfortable shoes
  • Sport clothes including a swimming costume
  • Sport shoes
  • Towels
  • A bathrobe
  • Shower slippers
  • Toiletry bag (toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, shampoo, shower gel/soap - the basics; please note that you can also buy these in the college shop/student hub)
  • A laundry bag


Make your life practical

  • A laptop with a UK lead/charger.
  • A pair of earphones
  • An alarm clock
  • A graphical calculator (Casio fx CG50,, you can buy those from the college at a cost of approx. £90 but please do not buy again if you have one. The college can provide calculators to students who are most in need.)


Make your life cool

  • Your flag (the bigger the nicer)
  • Your national costume
  • Your musical instrument if you play
  • Sheets and pillowcase from home, if you want to make your room cosier 
  • Favourite photos/posters from home (you have a nice pin board)
  • Your camera if you are interested in photography or movie making

The £250 refundable Caution fee will cover any damage to College property, cover lost books and documents, unpaid medical fees, travel for non-emergency medical appointments, etc. If students leave their dorms/corners untidy at the end of the term, they will be charged a set amount of £50. The £275 is paid in advance to the College. The balance is refunded at the end of your two years after any deductions are made.

Please note: When transferring a combination of different payments in one amount, it is vital that the email contains a breakdown of what is being paid so that it can be correctly recorded (eg. caution fee £x and pocket money £x).