Nord Anglia Education
St Andrews Bangkok
25 March, 2021

The role of the Careers and Higher Education Counsellor

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The role of the Careers and Higher Education Counsellor Discover how the Careers and Higher Education Counsellor supports students at St Andrews International School Bangkok with their journies to universities and colleges in Thailand and internationally. Careers and higher Education banner01

Find out how the Careers & Higher Education Counsellor supports students at St Andrews with their career decisions,  balancing workloads,  complicated application processes and pathways to their first-choice university. 

For all of our students at St Andrews International School Bangkok, our university counsellor plays a crucial part in helping them to understand and successfully navigate the pathway to their university of choice.

Taking the step from Senior Studies to university is an exciting challenge for students, but many big decisions sit between these two milestones. It is the university counsellor’s role to provide support and guidance to students so that these decisions are informed, manageable, and ultimately lead our students to secure a place at a university that suits their ambitions for the future.

Making decisions about future pathways 

At the very beginning of a student's journey to university, there should be a considered research and decision-making process. Our university counsellor plays a vital role in guiding them through this and signposting the important factors they should consider when making their decision. For example, does the student have a firm understanding of how their degree of choice is taught at their potential university destination, what they will learn and how the style of teaching differs from a university elsewhere?

Often university ranking plays a leading role in the decision making process for students. In reality, there will be several criteria which shape the university experience. Our counsellor encourages students to be aware of the diversity of choice available to them. They also help students to understand the locations of their potential universities and what it would be like to live and study there, helping them to choose a location based on knowledge rather than assumption.

Understanding the application system

It is not uncommon for our students to apply to a selection of universities in numerous countries. Popular destinations include anywhere from the UK, US, Canada and Thailand. This ideally gives students many options for choosing their university destination, but it also requires them to navigate various application systems for which the requirements and structure may vary significantly between countries.

As well as providing a new challenge to students, the application process is often unfamiliar to families as well. The university counsellor plays a key part in guiding students and parents through this. Counsellors have experience and knowledge of international application processes and are equipped to steer students through this system, ensuring they are prepared rather than overwhelmed by the challenge.

Preparing to impress

The written application process is typically only the first step in securing a place at university. At this stage and beyond it, our counsellor is an ally for students and ensures they are prepared for each of the challenges presented by the application process to universities. The counsellor will help write references and recommendation letters, provide feedback on applications, and hold practice interviews. The goal is to help every student put their best foot forward and have a clear understanding of what is required to produce a successful application.

Student wellbeing

We recognise that our students have big ambitions and as a result, are often tasked with numerous challenges to focus on simultaneously. In Term 1, our Year 13 students completing the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme will have multiple deadlines; with coursework for various subjects, the Extended Essay and the Creativity, Action and Service hours. This is also when the majority of university applications take place, many of which are very time consuming - a typical application to a US university takes 15-20 hours. 

The combination of workload and applying to university is the most demanding task students will have faced in the academic journey to date. Paying close attention to student wellbeing and their handling of these commitments is a top priority during this process. Our university counsellor takes a holistic view of everything students are juggling and helps them understand and prepare in advance for the demands of university applications. Tutors also support students with their personal goals and provide detailed feedback on students to support the university counsellor. 

Our university counsellor oversees and guides the entire process from research and decision making, to applying and securing a university place. For more information on the future academic pathways of students at St Andrews International School Bangkok, visit our Senior Studies page.