These are the most frequently asked questions that the Belgian National Committee get asked about the short courses:
My son/daughter is younger than the minimum age criteria but will attain the age limit during the year. Can he/she apply?
The youngster can apply under the condition that he/she fulfils the age requirement when the short course starts. E.g. the applicant is 15 years old during the selection. If the short course starts on 1st August, he/she must be 16 years old on 1st August.
What are the language requirement for this programme?
The majority of UWC short courses are conducted in English. Parents must take into account that some of them are bilingual, others are conducted in another language than English, e.g. Dutch. The main linguistic condition to attend a UWC short programme is the ability to dare express yourself in English. Concerning the bilingual and non-English programmes, the interviewers ask in advance if the participant feels comfortable with that particular language.
Is it possible to apply for a specific programme?
No, applications to specific programmes are not allowed. The selection team tries every year to match the available resources with the interests and personality of the participants. Parents and participants must keep in mind that the UWC values, spirit and ideals are identical to all UWC Short Courses, no matter where the summer course takes place. Any pressure in this matter by parents, candidates or any other person will be reported to the members of the National Committee who will take further actions.
What does the application fee cover?
The application fee offers the right for the applicant to participate in the short course that has been selected for the youngster by the selection committee. The fee also covers food and accommodation costs. It does not cover: external administrative costs (e.g. visa, passport, parental authorization for under aged children...); transportation costs from the home country to the short course or insurance.
Is there available financial support?
Yes, UWC Belgium foresees financial support for participants who fulfil the selections successfully. Finances should not hold people back from participating at a UWC short programme. The given support is need-based and decisions are made case by case. If you wish to obtain financial support, contact the National Belgian Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org without hesitation and as soon as possible.
How long do the final selections last?
The final selection lasts an entire day. The participant must be available from the beginning until the end of the day otherwise the selection committee will not be able to grade the participants objectively.
When will the results be known?
UWC Belgium acknowledges the importance for parents and applicant of being informed very quickly. Once the selection committee has allocated the available spots, the selection committee communicates the final results to the National Committee. Afterwards, the National Committee contacts all participants by e-mail. In other words: the results are communicated as soon as possible.
Is it possible for my son/daughter to miss a part of the short course?
It is important for the participant to be present from the beginning until the end of the short course to ensure his/her's integration in the group and to fully enjoy the programme. This is why it is very important for the participant and for the selection committee to know the availability of the participant.
My daughter/son applied in previous years. Can she/he apply again?
The applicant did not get through the final selection.
The applicant can apply again under the condition that he/she fulfils the age and nationality criteria at the moment that she/he applies.
The youngster did get through the final selection.
If the participant wishes to participate at another UWC short course, he/she must contact the Belgian National Committee directly who will redirect the participant to the short courses. The Belgian National Committee gives preference to non-UWC alumni over UWC alumni so that a maximum of youngsters can benefit from the UWC experience.
How are the students selected?
Selections are based on merit and potential of the candidate. The selection committee is composed of people who cherish the UWC spirit, values and ideals. The vast majority have attended a UWC short or long course in the past. Their experience and knowledge guides them to match the best fitting programme to the participant’s profile or to make the choice not to select the participant. The National Committee always makes sure their decisions are based on objective criteria.
Does this programme offer a safe environment?
Short programme organisers must ensure (among others) a safe and protected environment for their participants and their personnel in order to receive a UWC accreditation. The organisers instore general rules of good conduct (prohibition of sexual harassment, drugs, discrimination based on race, religion, gender,...) and comply with local regulation. Should the participant not feel safe at a UWC short course, he/she is encouraged to communicate with the responsables of the short course and UWC Belgium.
What kind of accommodation is provided?
The provided accommodation depends from one short course to another. All matters that are not selection related must be directed to the respective short course organisers.
Is it possible to arrange for specific dietary requirements?
Many short courses give the possibility to arrange specific dietary requirements. Parents can contact the respective short course organisers on the matter. All matters that are not selection related must be directed to the respective short course organisers.
Who is in charge of the program?
UWC short programmes are mostly ran by individuals who either are UWC alumni and/or people who truly share the UWC values. Short programmes can also be organised in cooperation with or merely by UWC schools. The specific composition of an organising team depends from one short course to another. One thing is sure, to receive a UWC accreditation, the initiative taker must fulfill all requirements set by UWC and the local regulators. During this process, UWC responsibles make sure the organising team consists of responsible and well-trained people.
Will I have the opportunity to visit my son/ daughter?
This kind of initiatives are mostly discouraged unless the short course organiser allows visit of family members / friends in the context of an info day for example. Which does not mean participants are isolated from their beloved ones during that period. In many cases, participants will have partially/fully access to modern communication tools which will allow them to remain in contact with their friends and family at home. In any case, all matters that are not selection related must be directed to the respective short course organisers.
Is there an examination or certification process?
Normally, there are no examination / certification processes in a UWC short course. Organisers, however, are free to instore such a process. All matters that are not selection related must be directed to the respective short course organisers.
Is my son/ daughter allowed to bring a music instrument / sport equipment / game?
Yes. To make sure if it is allowed: all matters that are not selection related must be directed to the respective short course organisers.