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Making decisions about university and future careers: when is the right time at Northbridge?

Every step on your child’s learning journey at Northbridge International School Cambodia helps to shape their aspirations for what they might do in future. Each subject they explore, MIT professor they meet through Global Campus, expedition they go on to visit new cultures and communities - it all feeds into their ever expanding view of the world and their place in it.

Northbridge International School Cambodia - Student

We are often asked when the ‘right time’ is for conversations at-home or in school to be had around making decisions for the future. Rather than recommend a specific time in which these decisions need to be made, we suggest instead that all of our parents keep in mind how ongoing dialogue helps to open up potential future pathways and opportunities.

 

Grade 10, identifying students interests leading to the future of their choice

Grade 10 is when students make some of their most significant subject decisions as they look ahead to the IBDP which they will begin in grade 11. This decision process takes place in March and is also when students receive their most substantial university guidance from our school’s University Counsellor, Ms Gill Presland.

The IBDP is designed to equip students with a broad range of skills so that their potential future pathways are widened rather than narrowed through specialism at too early a stage. One method we use to help students approach this is to think about their education not as a specific destination, but as a journey.

In practice this means that instead of encouraging a student to say that they would like to study at UCL in London, for example, we instead encourage them to think about what values and interests underpin their subject interests.

Instead, they might identify that they are passionate about making a contribution to healthcare and securing an internationally recognised degree which helps them to do this around the world. We then help them to identify what skill sets and subjects they would need to pursue that direction and achieve their ultimate goal.

When discussing your child's DP subjects selections with them, encourage them to take the time to gather knowledge and advice. As a parent you can explore Unifrog, university websites, and other career related sites with them. Look out for the Managebac messages that I share with parents.

Last but not least encourage your child to talk to their Teachers, Mr Adam (Grade Level Leader), Mr Chris (DP Coordinator) or myself as the Counselor. When students take an active role on "owning" their exploration, putting into action their conversation and good questioning skills, it prepares them as our future leaders for their lives post-Northbridge. Ms Gill Presland, Deputy Head of Secondary, MYP Coordinator and University & Careers Counsellor

Many 15-16 year olds have a limited idea of what careers exist because they simply haven’t been exposed to them yet, so it is important that we help them to explore their options, particularly for those who may not have an idea yet of where their interests lie. Unifrog is a great place for students to explore, and all students current in grades 9 to 12 have acess to this platform.

We hold sessions to help students think about different career pathways and possibilities, understand university systems, and gain a better understanding of which careers different university courses can lead to. Our University Counsellor also provides an enormous amount of resources in which students can explore jobs through the experiences of people who work in the field.

Importantly, when choosing subjects we guide all of our grade 10s to think about and understand the importance of gaining a transferable, interdisciplinary skill set. The world of work is forever changing and traditional pathways to a career which may exist now, may not exist in the future. It is our job to prepare them for this and to help them build a robust, competitive skill set which will prepare them for success in a diverse and changing jobs market.

 

Find out more

We hope we have helped you to better understand how we guide our students at Northbridge towards a pathway which equips them for the world of work and pursuing their career ambitions. 

To find out more about a secondary school education with us and the curricula we teach at DP visit our curriculum page.