Technically, we all live in school. Classrooms are three minutes away from most of the boarding houses. This might be a good thing, as you don’t have to wake up extra early to save time for the walk to school. On the other hand, you don’t get that relief when you come back to the house since school is still so close. Even that, however, can be viewed as either an advantage and disadvantage. In some sense, it helps to keep you motivated, because your classrooms are always very, very close. While in contrast, you have nowhere to escape to after a long day to take a deep breath and relax.
What is also great is that you are encouraged to get to know other cultures. They never put two people with the same nationality in the same dorm. This allows us to get to know different traditions and ways of life in different parts of the world, as one of the main UWC values. It’s a very eye-opening experience meeting and getting to know so many people, who speak so many different languages and have lived in countries you’ve never heard of.
Secondly, the atmosphere at each house is so unique. It is so interesting to hear other students’ opinion on how they perceive these changes. We always get to share different stories about what has happened in our dormitories. Even though we live apart, you have a great opportunity to get to know people from other houses during classes, allowing you to be friends with everyone.
Let’s not forget about half terms and holidays. How excited we all become when it’s time to leave this bubble and go home. While away, you realize that everyday things over here are so unusual back at home. Sleeping in your own room, eating whenever and whatever you want. Not having to do your own laundry. This is what we all look forward to.
Regular schools are so boring compared to Atlantic College. There is no way you can become a lifeguard and help your community normal schools. You do not have any opportunity to learn from so many different cultures. You never get to experience life as an adult, while still forming a strong bond with the amazing house parents, all of them being so friendly, nice and supportive.
Lastly, we all are one big family. We live together, we go to codes together, and we help each other. We love our dorm mates, our co-years, and second-years, and that is what matters.