UNST girl Bethany Scott has secured a place at one of United World College’s (UWC) prestigious schools.
She went through a challenging selection process after being selected for interview. UWC look for excellence in academic results but also select students on their ability to benefit from and contribute to UWC’s aims of using education to unite people and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.
UWC have 12 schools around the world, including Atlantic College, housed in St Donats Castle in Wales. However, Bethany will be travelling a bit further afield as the school she has been allocated is Mahindra United World College of India, near Mumbai.
Bethany, 17, said: “I am delighted that I am going to India. I’d applied to UWC after Bobby Macaulay from Unst told me about it. He went to the UWC in Swaziland and said it was an amazing experience. “You have to get good results to get into UWC but they look at lots of other stuff too. At interview which took place at Atlantic College we had to take part in discussions about world problems, and took part in loads of daft games, and were observed participating in the group.
“They prefer people to have a wide variety of interests too, not just stuck in books all the time. The interview was actually really relaxed, and it just felt a lot like they were trying to get to know me better.”
A former pupil of Baltasound Junior High School and the Anderson High School, Bethany is a keen musician, learning both fiddle and piano. She works part time as a waitress at the Saxa Vord restaurant and as a shop assistant at the Final Checkout in Unst, and enjoys sailing.
Last October she spent almost a month on board the Tall Ship Tenacious, working with disabled people as they sailed from Southampton to Grand Canaria. She has an excellent academic record, gaining eight 1s at Standard Grade and an A in Higher maths while at Baltasound, then a further five As at Higher level this year at Anderson.
She said: “You do need good results to get into UWC, but they don’t have to be totally perfect. UWC values personal qualities and interests as much as academic results.
“Shetland young folk are ideal UWC candidates as they have such a wide variety of experiences, such as sports, music and voluntary skills. Also, UWC are always on the lookout for students who do not fit into the ‘stereotypical’ UK mould.”
Bethany will study for an International Baccalaureate at Mahindra, which is the course all UWC schools follow.
Living arrangements at Mahindra consist of four “Wadas” that contain 10 houses, each containing eight students, who will be from many different countries. Every Wada has house parents who look after the students, and the campus also has excellent sporting and social facilities.
The campus is in a rural setting about 40km from the city of Pune. English is the main language used in all UWC schools, but Bethany will have the opportunity to learn Hindi and some other languages during her course.
Bethany is one of two students from UK to be selected to go to Mahindra this year. She met the other pupil at a UWC Orientation weekend in England during summer.
Bethany leaves Shetland on Wednesday and is due to arrive in India next Saturday. The IB course lasts two years and she has holidays twice a year. She has received a scholarship from UWC which covers the majority of the course tuition fees and living expenses while at Mahindra.