25 May, 2018
10 : 00
The IBDP exams have come to a close and the Year 13s are off campus enjoying some hard-earned rest. In Summer Term, we prepare to say farewell to our final year group who are about to embark on an exciting new chapter at university.
This year, they have received a suite of outstanding offers from some of the world’s best ranked universities. This is in recognition of their academic strength, interests, character, and hard work, but it is also with thanks to the dedication of Dr Susan Wiltshire, our University Guidance Counsellor, and Ms Prachi Gupta, Y12-13 Learning Community Leader.
Finding the Best Fit
From the beginning of Year 12, Dr Wiltshire has a weekly class dedicated to exploring university options. Initially, students brainstorm where they would like to go, and are introduced to the principle of “Best Fit” Finding a Best Fit university is about identifying academic, social, and cultural fit. This involves such factors as researching the country and location, and considering culture and quality of life there. They also research universities in greater depth, exploring curriculums and student surveys. This results in a shortlist of applications for the beginning of Year 13.
Navigating the IBDP
Whilst Dr Wiltshire assists students’ decision-making, Ms Gupta ensures their IBDP subjects align with their intended university courses. “Sometimes our students need help navigating the options of IBDP and making changes to their Higher and Standard Levels during the two years” explains Ms Gupta. “I help them do this, always making sure that they are on the pathway to the right university.”
One of our students, Li Yong Wong, will be studying Graphic Design at The New School: Parsons School of Design in New York, which is ranked 2nd in the world by QS. Dr Wiltshire explains “Li Yong decided he wanted to apply for Graphic Design despite not having studied Visual Arts for IBDP. To improve his chances, Ms Gupta and I encouraged him to do his Extended Essay in Visual Arts and he independently put together an outstanding portfolio of artworks”. He was also successful in receiving a substantial merit scholarship.
Supporting Each Student
The students are offered practical guidance and support for their applications, applying all over the world with procedures varying by country and college. Dr Wiltshire detailed the complicated process for Japanese applications, highlighting the success of Nao Yoshinaga who received offers from Waseda and Sophia in Tokyo.
There are also times where other circumstances come into play. “One of our Year 13s is from Singapore and must do two years’ military service next year”, explains Dr Wiltshire. “We advised him to apply for university now and request a two year deferment. Deferments of this length are not easy to come by but likewise, applying for university two years after leaving school has its own disadvantages. We are very pleased that Theo Cui has received two university offers with a deferred start date in the US.”
Building Close Relationships
When helping students make their choices and when writing Letters of Recommendation, it’s important that Dr Wiltshire knows each student personally. This is made possible by the small year groups, but also the Year 12 Experiencing China trips. Last year they went to Yangshuo, and this year she joined them on their excursion to Yunnan.
A Class to Remember
As always, teachers and staff will be sad to say goodbye to our Year 13s. They’ve been a brilliant cohort brimming with diverse interests and talents that are reflected in the strength of their university offers. Among them is Vani Gupta, who has been offered an $80K scholarship to the University of British Columbia to read Behavioural Neuroscience. Vani has been at YCIS Beijing since Year 6 – heavily involved with the Student Council, with charities, as well as staying focused on her studies.
A brief glance over the list of destinations this year paints a global picture – with offers coming from China, Japan, Korea, UK, Germany, USA, Australia and Canada. With many students living in these countries for the first time, our Year 13s truly embody the mission of YCIS Beijing to raise Global Citizens. We wish them much success and happiness at university – and of course for their lives and careers and beyond.
YEAR 13 UNIVERSITY OFFERS, May 2018
China and Hong Kong
• Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)