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College and University Guidance 2019

As the new school year starts, with an influx of Year 12s to the Sixth Form and the Year 13 realisation that it is more than halfway through the IB and they face some big decisions about where they want to move on to next, The College and University Guidance Team begins a familiar cycle. 

University Visits 2019 - BIS HCMC

The gathering pace of Diploma deadlines, the final stages of the EE and CAS commitments make it a hugely busy time for Year 13. And still there’s more, with the decision making and statement writing of the university application season and its looming deadlines.

Although the cycle may be familiar, the CUG Team has a new look to it and we welcome Mr. Paul Rispin to BIS as our new Guidance Counsellor. Paul joins us from Harrow School, Beijing although he is no newcomer to Saigon, having lived here for five years before moving to China. We also welcome Ms. Ngoc Nguyen to the CUG Team in her role as University Guidance Assistant – Ngoc was previously the Education Secretary here at BIS and will gradually be taking on the responsibilities of a full time counsellor.

The expanded team is excited about the year ahead and after just over a couple of weeks back with students, it’s clear it’s going to be a busy and fulfilling period ahead of us. Paul and I have met with many students already to discuss their concrete plans for applications and shifts in focus, many due to campus visits and summer reflection respectively. From the start of Year 12, IBDP students undertake a journey that is a gateway to Higher Education and the summer break before Year 13 often provides respite from the relentless nature of the IBDP and an opportunity to seriously consider the bigger picture and what lies ahead, post-BIS.

University Visits 2019 | BIS HCMC

As application season approaches and Year 13 gains momentum, it is understandable that previous, loose plans will evolve and crystalise into new forms or different shapes. A factor in this is undoubtedly our University Visits Programme, which sees admissions staff and representatives visit BIS to meet students and answer any questions they may have. These visits occur during morning break and lunchtime and are an excellent opportunity for students to gain information relevant to their specific needs or situations. In the first 2 weeks of term we have already had visits from a number of leading global universities, including the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins and the University of British Columbia and there is an exciting schedule to come in September with visits from Monash (Tuesday 10th September), UCLA (Monday 9th September) and New York University (Monday 16th September) to name just a few.

Both Year 12 and Year 13 students have responded very well to the visits and it has been very pleasing to see the engagement and independence they have demonstrated in chatting to visitors and gaining valuable insights and advice in the process. In addition to the in-school visits there are a number of Higher Education events taking place in the city in the next 6 weeks or so which we will make parents aware of via the weekly Sixth Form Bulletin that is sent to parents. We look forward to seeing you and your sons and daughters at these events and supporting the research and decision-making processes of your sons and daughters as they make the journey to Higher Education.

Dr Simon Finnigan, Senior College and University Guidance Counsellor

University and Guidance | BIS HCMC

University and Guidance

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