Our New Mexico-based college sits on a 200-acre site on the edge of the Pecos Wilderness.
Student profile: 227 students aged 16 to 19
Campus and facilities: UWC-USA was founded by the late businessman Dr Armand Hammer on the site of the historic Montezuma Castle near Las Vegas. In the 1890s, it was a popular mountain resort that hosted distinguished guests including former presidents of the USA Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt.
College buildings and residences sit on 200 acres on the edge of the Pecos Wilderness in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range.
Specialisms: Students and faculty work together on the college’s agro-ecological programme. They can work on a 20-acre ‘farm’ which is a short walk from campus. It has a year-round garden, chickens and a classroom in a converted barn. They also work together in a laboratory to explore food science, horticulture and sustainability issues.
Beyond the classroom: Students can experience and learn from the unique local environment through expeditions and trips. They participate in at least one overnight camping trip and many go on to become wilderness leaders in their second year.
There’s an opportunity to serve the local community through volunteering. Students and faculty devote nearly 20,000 hours each year to community work.
Emphasis is placed on intercultural communication skills. Students practice these skills through working together to develop campaigns for social change and by analysing local and global issues. They are encouraged to identify ways to apply what they’ve learned in their home country.
I came to UWC-USA with nothing and left with the tools to do anything. Indebted would be an understatement; grateful would also fall short. Thanks are forever due to a community that is far greater than the walls in which it is housed, the zip code in which it resides, and the world it calls home. The UWC movement is just that, a movement with the incredible ability to always move forward. Today, while many strive for change, UWC embodies progress.
Meghan Jennings, UWC-USA student from 2003 to 2005