UWCSEA is a good school

UWC Robert Bosch College : How a school wants to move the world

Many young people come from socially disadvantaged families, from very poor regions or from crisis areas. The previous academic achievements are also of secondary importance in the selection of applicants. “What is more important is whether the students in their home region have distinguished themselves through a special commitment to society,” explains Nodder.

Nour wants to develop a robot for crisis areas

Nour is 17 and comes from Syria. His family fled the civil war to Turkey. There he applied for the UWC and finally got a place in Freiburg - the young people apply to the United World Colleges network in their home countries without knowing in which country they will get a place. Freiburg has proven to be a stroke of luck for Nour. After graduating from UWC, he wants to study medical technology - perhaps in Berlin, where his older brother is already attending university. Nour's vision is to develop a robot that has the skills of a doctor and can treat injured people in war zones. “There are often no doctors left where I come from because they were killed or fled,” he says. Before Nour came to the UWC, he studied in Turkey at a special school for refugees.

At lunch, Nour is sitting with 18-year-old Kristoffer from Braunschweig. Kristoffer also has a vision, albeit less concrete: He wants to initiate political change. In his hometown he was involved with the Jusos, but now he thinks that parties are not well suited to stimulating changes in people's consciousness. “I can imagine becoming a filmmaker. Because I believe that you can reach people better through good films, ”he says.

Before the European elections, Kristoffer teamed up with other students on campus and held regular rounds in the student café to discuss why we all need Europe. “It was exciting to hear that, for example, a student from the Czech Republic or a girl from Ukraine have a completely different view of Europe than I do,” he says. Finally, the young people in Freiburg organized a demonstration as part of “Pulse of Europe”, together with activists from “Fridays for Future”. They wrote press releases, took care of the technology and gave speeches.

Learning to see things through other people's eyes

Headmaster Laurence Nodder is convinced that global challenges can only be solved together. “That's why you have to get closer and discuss things with one another,” he says. Nodder comes from South Africa, where he was shaped by apartheid. As headmaster, he wants to ensure that young people learn to see things through the eyes of the other.

The focus at the UWC in Freiburg is the great future topic of sustainability. After all, the campus is located in a city called the “Green City”. The students do not stay on the school premises to themselves, but go outside and work on joint projects with the university and other institutions in the city. Conversely, the campus is also open to the city's residents.

A huge school garden makes sustainability understandable

One such joint project is the huge school garden, for example. The former Carthusian kitchen garden offers around 400 useful plants as well as a corner for bees, ducks and chickens and a clay oven built by young people for baking bread and pizza. Volunteers of all generations from Freiburg garden and harvest here together with the students. “I love this garden,” says student Joline (18), who comes from the Ruhr area. In the garden, she gets tomatoes, onions and herbs for the tomato sauce that she and her roommates plan to prepare in the boarding house that evening, she says. “Sometimes I just have a cup of tea in the garden in the afternoon to relax,” she says. For Tobi Kellner, the school's sustainability coordinator, this is exactly what the educational mandate includes: “Sustainability cannot only be learned in theory,” says Kellner. Only through their own experience with the beauty of the garden would the students understand that it is worth fighting for the preservation of nature.