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Learning through Residential Life

Photo by Ayooluwa Kolawole, UWCA'21

At UWC Atlantic we expect every individual to not only be part of our community, but also to actively contribute to its wellbeing and the wellbeing of all members.

As a student you will be required to promote and live by the UWC and College values, both as an individual and alongside members of the community from around the world. 

An essential part of a student’s experience at UWC Atlantic is their boarding house. During your two years at the College, it becomes your family away from home. Each house has its own unique features and character but what they all share is their importance for each student's wellbeing.

We currently have eight residential houses on the UWC Atlantic campus; Whitaker, PK, Powys, Gwynedd, Sunley, Tice, Kurt Hahn and Antonin Besse. All houses have around fifty students each.

Every house has a number of dormitories, with four students from different countries in each dormitory. This deliberate diversity aims to increase inter-cultural understanding as often your dorm-mates become amongst your closest friends. Each house has a communal area, a study room (quiet area) with computer access and a small kitchen area. 

Every house has 2 house mentors. The house mentors are responsible for the day to day operations within the house, to help organise house events and to ensure you feel safe and secure. Some students can initially be unfamiliar with aspects of Residential Life, for example sharing a room with others or living with such a culturally diverse community. This is just one of the many fundamental and significant features of our learning programme and environment and the house mentor is there to offer support. House mentors are typically teachers, other staff members or partners of staff and often have families of their own living with them. House mentors form a vital part of the College’s wellbeing ecosystem.  They help make each house a community and communicate with tutors, Heads of Year, the Vice Principal Student Life, Safeguarding (DSP), Wellbeing & Belonging and the Wellbeing team when there are issues that need to be addressed. 

All students are required to complete duties within their house to enable everyone to live happily and safely together, and to create a communal sense of ownership and pride. Students are expected to keep their personal area clean and tidy, wash their own dishes and help with keeping their room and the communal areas clean and welcoming. 

Every week during term time, there will be an ‘Open House’ where students are encouraged to spend time in their own houses. Food will be provided by the house mentor and sometimes students come forward to cook dishes from their home countries.

At UWC Atlantic we expect all students to be fully committed to, actively support and participate in all aspects of the programme. They will be expected to regularly reflect on their level of participation and their role within the community. They will need to think and be aware of how they interact with, and are perceived by others and take responsibility to help build a happy, respectful and safe community. Please click here to learn more about the UWC Model. Given the challenges of the programme and overall intense nature of life within the College, students may find the demands challenging at times. 

At the heart of College life and alongside the wellbeing of the community, is the need for students to look after themselves and be conscious of their own personal health and wellbeing. They will need to work hard to effectively balance their time and commitments to ensure that they get adequate sleep, regular physical exercise and time for personal reflection or relaxation.