The champions of SEK El Castillo IB Boarding School
and Universidad Camilo José Cela - SPAIN

Sports and Academics: the champions of SEK El Castillo IB Boarding School and Universidad Camilo José Cela

Our UStudy adviser for Spain visited the combined SEK/UCJC campus. She heard about the unique integrated concept of international education starting at the age of 6 at SEK graduating at the age of 18 or 19, continuing with university bachelor- and master programs at UCJC after graduation. Also unique is the strong orientation on sports combined with academics as one of the pedagogical pillars which made the UCJC won two of the most important Spanish national prizes in the sports field.

Both SEK and UCJC offer short summer- or semester programs of between 3 months and one year, for students who study in other countries and like to be part of this unique campus community in Spain.


The educational concept of SEK/UCJC is innovative, interactive and entrepreneurial. SEK started in 1977 with the IB program, as one of the first 50 schools in the world, combined with the liberal arts and sciences concept. UCJC was founded only 20 years ago. UCJC offers more than bachelor- and master programs, in small and modern learning spaces with interactive and interdisciplinary education, tutorials and individual guidance throughout all programs with their unique methodology “The Hive”.

Nowadays 1300 students from more than 20 nationalities learn at SEK el Castillo and more than 3000 students study at Universidad Camilo José Cela campus. Sports are extremely important for the whole community, and the skills associated with it like team work, management and responsibility, commitment are an important part of the curriculum. For instance, at primary school, one of the mandatory courses is chess playing. At secondary level (age 12-16), e-sports academy was launched on 2017, the first one of its class. At bachillerato level (age 16-18) a mandatory class is robotics.

Through the International Sports Academy of SEK/UCJC the school and the university adapts the curriculum for more than 200 high-performing athletes who are studying at this campus. For instance, the “cantera” department, talent school  of football- and basketball club Real Madrid, the young players (age 10-18) study at SEK since the year 2000. One great example of a champion is football player Juan Mata. Nowadays he is player of Manchester United. He was scouted and recruited by Real Madrid when he was 15 years old. Then he started at SEK, finished his high school, while training and living on the SEK campus. Afterwards, he studied at UCJC.

Apart from two football/soccer fields, the campus also has 10 tennis and 4 paddle courts; a riding school  for horse riding and dressage; indoor swimming pool; gym; golf field and much more. UCJC organized the university tennis championships two years ago and the university football championship last year and won a couple of the titles. Handball tournaments, horse riding competitions, preparing Olympic athletes, everything regarding sports events, also for the local community, are arranged by SEK/UCJC on this campus.

I made a list of pros and cons. That’s when I knew I had to go to California.

Would you like to know more about the possibilities of studying at SEK IB Boarding School or UCJC?
Please contact our study adviser for Spain: