This week, I write from the Council of International Schools (CIS) Forum on International Admissions and Guidance. This year it is being hosted in Barcelona. Accompanying me is Nick Lee, Head of Secondary. Together, we have spent valuable time refreshing and extending our knowledge of the university application processes for US, Canadian and UK based universities. In addition, and just as significantly, we have met representatives from many US universities that are based in countries other than the US. These have been particularly interesting for us to meet and chat to. What we have found is that the rigour of US universities is present in those host countries, often at a fraction of the cost and considerably closer to home to allow families to stay more connected during those important transition years at university.
The scope and expertise of the speakers in each of the sessions has been impressive. There have certainly been more lectures and sessions available than we have had time to attend but every session has helped inform and shape our understanding further of the process of application, of funding issues, of the requirements for students applying and the individual institutions themselves. There has been much networking with representatives from higher education institutions that will benefit not only this year’s Year 12 as they approach the time of deciding on the destination for study, on selecting the right courses, and on understanding what universities are looking for; it will benefit future year groups approaching these same issues in the near future.
What is clear to anyone here is the complexity of the issues and how it is important to get the best advice. Agents operating in Hanoi are not the best advocates of what is best as they often operate solely for profit and do not know the students well, as we do. The advice is at best very partial. Additionally, US politics is in a state of flux and there is a wealth of attractive options and locations for parents and students alike. We will continue to invite top flight universities from a wide range of countries to our school to meet with students and parents to help all concerned make the right decisions.
The decision to go abroad, at what time and where, is not to be taken lightly. We are in a very good position knowing both the world-wide institutions for higher education and the students strengths and interests. We will be starting this all important aspect of the students’ development in the new term. There is much information to share with all parties. We would be very happy to have conversations with parents seeking to make the right choices for their children in the context of future successful outcomes. I look forward to having those conversations to enhance the life outcomes for our students.
And in this the week of Teachers’ Day, I would like to thank all parents for the support of our excellent group of teachers, and to the teachers themselves for their unstinting hardwork on behalf of your children.
Have a very happy weekend.
Mr. Mark Sayer - Principal