How does the University Guidance Counsellor at BIS Abu Dhabi help your child to apply and secure a place at their preferred university?

For all of our students at The British International School Abu Dhabi, our University Guidance Counsellor plays a key part in helping them to understand and successfully navigate the pathway to their university of choice. Taking the step from the IB Diploma Programme in Years 12 and 13 to university is an exciting challenge for our students, but there are many big decisions which sit between these two milestones. It is the role of our University Guidance Counsellor to provide support and guidance to our students so that their decisions are informed, manageable, and ultimately lead our students to securing a place at a university which will enhance their ambitions for the future.

Making decisions about future pathways

There is a lot to consider at the beginning of a student’s journey to university. The process requires a lot of considered research and decision making, and our University Guidance Counsellor plays an important role in guiding our students and their families through this process. This might include, for example, whether the student has a firm understanding of how their degree of choice is taught at their chosen university destination, what they will learn and how the style of teaching differs from other universities or colleges they are considering.

At the British International School Abu Dhabi, the University Guidance Counsellor uses the Unifrog platform which allows students to undertake independent research and for the University Guidance Counsellor to monitor their progress with different applications and give feedback at different stages of the statement/essay writing process.

University rankings can often play a leading role in the decision-making process for students and their families. In reality however, there will be numerous criteria which shape the university selection and ultimate experience for our students. To reflect these decisions, our University Guidance Counsellor encourages our students to be aware of the diversity of choice available to them, helping them to understand the location of their shortlisted universities, cultural challenges and perspectives, and what it might be like to live and study there.

Our University Guidance Counsellor provides support and information based on significant experience and a sound knowledge of the benefits and potential challenges these choices may pose. To aid this process, the University Guidance Counsellor is responsible for inviting representatives from various universities into school, either as part of a University and College Fair or to address smaller groups of students and parents interested in finding out more about particular application processes or specific establishments.

Understanding the application system

At The British International School Abu Dhabi, it is common for our students to apply to a number of universities around the world. Popular destinations include the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, South Korea and the Netherlands. This ideally gives our students a number of options when it comes to choosing their university destination, but it also requires them to navigate a variety of application systems for which the requirements and structure may vary significantly between countries. 

As well as providing a new challenge to our students, the application process is often unfamiliar to families too. Our University Guidance Counsellor plays a key part in guiding our students and parents through the application process. They have experience and knowledge of international application processes and are equipped to steer our students through the various systems, ensuring that 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 our student’s choice of university. At this stage and beyond, our University Guidance Counsellor is an ally for all of our students and ensures they are prepared for each stage of the process. From writing references and recommendation letters, providing feedback on applications, and holding practice interviews relevant to the university and country in question, our University Guidance Counsellor helps every student to advocate for themselves and to have a clear understanding of what is required of them to submit a successful application. 

Student wellbeing

We recognise that our students are incredibly ambitious, and as such are often faced with numerous challenges to focus on simultaneously. In Year 13 particularly, our students will juggle a variety of demands. In term 1, students have various Internal Assessment deadlines, the completion of their Extended Essay and ongoing Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) commitments. This is also the time when the majority of university applications are due, many of which are very time consuming – a typical application for an American university can take 15-20 hours to complete. 

The combination of a heavy workload in addition to preparing university applications is likely to be the most demanding task our students will have faced in their academic journey to date. Paying close attention to our students’ wellbeing and their handling of these commitments is essential during this often stressful time. Our University Guidance Counsellor takes a holistic view of the individual needs of each of our students throughout this time, supporting them and teaching them how to plan and effectively manage their time. 

Our University Guidance Counsellor is a key point of contact for our students, overseeing and guiding the entire process from research and decision making, to applying and securing a place at university. 

For more information into the future academic pathways of students at The British International School Abu Dhabi and how we can prepare your child, contact our Admissions Team today: +971 2 510 0100 or [email protected]

Written by

Find a school