Representatives of nine United Kingdom colleges and universities visited the British International School of Boston this week to visit with students and parents interested in learning more about attending college abroad.
Students and parents were able to talk with representatives one-on-one, to learn more about the institutions and the programs they offer. There was a great turn out of BISB high school students and their families!
The highlight of the event, however, was a short presentation from the University of Sheffield, whose representative talked with attendees about applying to colleges in the United Kingdom in general, and the kinds of mistakes that international students frequently make on their applications.
Among the top tips:
1. Select the colleges you apply to carefully and responsibly.
The UCAS (the United Kingdom's common application system for undergraduate admissions) only allows students to apply to five schools. It's important that students choose only schools they are definitely interested in, and that they include a "reach" school and an "insurance" school in their five applications.
2. Review application deadlines carefully.
They differ significantly from college application deadlines in the United States, and can also vary significantly depending on the program a student is interested in. Applications to medical programs, for example, are typically due in October.
3. Do not think of the United Kingdom's "personal statement" like you would the standard U.S. college essay.
The two writing samples, college representatives said this week, vary greatly. Personal statements can be no more than 4,000 characters, so students must be concise, but thorough in their writing about their backgrounds, ambitions, interests and experiences that help them stand out of the crowd. Be sure to be honest in your statement, as well- they are often referenced during college interviews!
Interested in learning more about applying to UK colleges? Check out these resources from The British Council and watch the full presentation from the BISB college fair (click here for the video).