Where is Pearson College?

You’ll find Pearson College along the wooded shores of the Pacific Ocean at sheltered Pedder Bay, on the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island. We’re 29 km west of Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, Canada. Click here for ferry and air directions to the College.

What is the mission of Pearson College?

UWC makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.  We believe that to achieve peace and a sustainable future, we must:

  • Value international and intercultural understanding
  • Celebrate differences
  • Promote personal responsibility and integrity
  • Encourage mutual responsibility and respect
  • Prioritize compassion and service
  • Respect the environment
  • Advocate idealism
  • Accept personal challenges and take action
  • Listen and collaborate
  • Set fearless examples.

What does the ‘UWC’ in Pearson College UWC stand for?

Pearson College is part of UWC (originally an acronym for United World Colleges, but now UWC), a network of 13 schools, colleges and programs across five continents that deliver a challenging and transformative educational experience to a diverse cross-section of students, inspiring them to create a more peaceful and sustainable future. UWC is headquartered in London, England.

What age should students be when applying to Pearson College?

Canadian students are ideally finished Grade 11 when they are admitted, and age 16 or 17. Exceptions are possible.

Please visit to our Admissions FAQs for more details. 

How does the College select its students?

Pearson College does not usually select any of our students. Students are nominated by UWC National Selection Committees in their home countries, and in the case of Canada, by Provincial and Territorial Selection Committees (there is one in each province and territory).  

What do the Canadian Provincial and Territorial Selection Committees look for in applicants?

While there is no specific checklist, successful applicants tend to be academically strong students who have shown leadership in activities and community service. They have expressed a true interest in internationalism and promoting global understanding. Many have talents in such areas as art and music and a keen interest in exploring the outdoors. Most of all, they have the desire and drive to become fearless international agents of change.

Check out what the ideal Pearson candidate looks like.

Where do the students live at the College?

All students live on campus in one of five low-slung cedar buildings linked by paths through a towering old-growth forest.

  • Calgary House
  • Victoria House
  • McLaughlin House
  • Japan House
  • East House

Residential living is a key component of the curriculum, as students live four to a room, often speak four mother tongues and must learn to get along with each other.

The campus buildings—including the student houses—are scattered over 75 acres

What are Host Families?

Host Families are volunteers, most of whom reside in the area around Pearson College, who generously open their homes to students for brief periods when students are not able to be on campus—such as when travel arrangements require that they arrive or depart outside the time when the campus is open.

Some students also stay with Host Families over the winter holidays, during Project Weeks or the occasional weekend when they may need a break from their rigorous schedules.

If you are interested in being a Host Family, please click here.

What type of academic program does the College offer?

Pearson College offers the International Baccalaureate, the most recognized and respected high-school diploma in the world. We were one of the first schools in North America with the IB program, and we still developing innovative international curriculum for it, such as the IB Marine Sciences and Sustainable Systems courses. 

Click here for more information on the Pearson IB Program.

Do universities recognize the International Baccalaureate?

Yes. As mentioned in the previous answer, the IB is the most recognized and respected high-school diploma in the world. In the past five years, Pearson Scholars have earned 925 degrees at 322 universities and colleges in 50 countries.

What’s more, not only do our students arrive on scholarship, they leave that way, too: the 2008-2010 graduating classes were awarded $28.2 million in scholarship money, each class over four years.