Local pupil Nuala O’Sullivan from Petworth, currently at The Weald School, Billingshurst, has won a place at one of the internationally famous United World Colleges.
Nuala will attend United World College Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina for two years to follow the academically challenging International Baccalaureate, as well as a diverse programme of community service, creative activity, personal challenge and global awareness.
United World Colleges (UWC) is the only truly global educational movement which brings together students from all over the world at pre-university level, and is headed by HM Queen Noor of Jordan, and, until recently, former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Students are selected on merit alone, and live together in a unique environment designed to foster international understanding, peace, justice and a commitment to serving their communities.
UWC Mostar is part of the broader UWC movement, founded in 1962, following the concept of the German educationalist Kurt Hahn, who believed that much could be done to overcome religious, cultural and racial misunderstanding and avoid conflict if young people from all over the world could be brought together.
Following the conflict in this part of Europe during the 1990s, UWC Mostar has become an integral and healing part of the still severely divided city of Mostar.
Today there are thirteen United World Colleges, located across the world from Wales to Canada, each having its own distinctive character, but sharing a common mission for peace and international understanding which is now more relevant than ever.
It is common for more than 80 different nationalities to be represented in a College at any one time, and students come from a very wide range of backgrounds.
Graduates of UWCs have gone on to play leading roles in international organisations, business, science, politics, the voluntary sector and many other fields – two have even become astronauts!
Nuala is one of the approximately forty students selected to attend from Great Britain this year, and went through a competitive process of application and interviews earlier this year.
Nuala said: “I am very excited to be given the opportunity to attend UWC Mostar!
“I hope that by attending one of the United World Colleges I will be able to broaden my own cultural horizons, as well as challenging myself to play an active part in my community and learning new skills. I feel very privileged to have been selected to represent my country.
“UWC is a registered charity, and in the coming months I will be getting involved in fundraising events to help others enjoy this opportunity as well.”
For more information on the United World Colleges, and how to apply please visit www.uwc.org.uk, HYPERLINK “http://www.uwc.org” www.uwc.org, or to donate, the Justgiving page: www.justgiving.com/uwc
Report contributed by Hilary O’Sullivan.