UNIVERSITY COUNSELLING AT ISM
The International School of Monaco has a comprehensive university counselling programme that begins in our school’s Year 11 (US sophomore year/French Seconde). At the beginning of the academic year, students attend several group meetings with the university counsellor to discuss the differences among the many university choices available within the Anglophone world: England/Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, the United States, and to a lesser extent, Australia and New Zealand.
The increasing prominence of Anglophone courses in continental Europe, notably in state universities in The Netherlands, also is highlighted. Information is available on Francophone programmes, though most of our students prefer to continue their studies in English-language institutions. Beginning in January of Year 11, students (usually accompanied by one of their parents) meet with the university counsellor to discuss their individual plans.
Those interested in the United States are strongly encouraged to have already begun a realistic preparation timetable for the SAT or ACT exams, which are important for American university entrance. (Students normally begin to take the actual SAT or ACT exams at the beginning of ISM Year 12.) The key goal for Year 11 is to be certain that students understand the differences among the major national university systems, notably the selection criteria, educational philosophies, and costs.
In Year 12 (the penultimate year), students begin to refine their country options, and further general and individual meetings are held, which focus primarily on requirements for the United States and the United Kingdom. Students interested in the latter are encouraged and helped to find appropriate internships to strengthen their applications. (For example, those interested in economics and business are given help to do extra reading, as well as undertake internships in companies.)
Students with the academic profile for Oxford/Cambridge will need to begin interview training in the spring, both locally and in the UK. Those concentrating on the UK are required to have a Personal Statement draft ready before the end of the academic year, and those interested in the US should both have visited universities and begun work on their Common Application essay. Given these two years of preparation and planning, the fall of Year 13 (US senior year, French terminale) is the time when students finalize their applications. In many cases, students will apply to more than one country, which is a reasonable option as long as they are aware of the many differences between the British and American systems, for example.
The university counsellor believes that the student is the driving force behind the university application process, which is an educational experience in its own right. While the university counsellor is present and available five days a week, the student must assume ultimate responsibility for the quality of his or her application.
For the United States, in particular, the final year’s application is the fruition of academic work that has been completed during the three previous years—a last-minute rush to convince universities that the student suddenly has attained a high academic level will not work. In order to facilitate a strong student application, the university counselling office opens up the university world to the students and the school to the university world in a variety of ways. Throughout the year, ISM welcomes officials to the school to meet our students, and provide information about their colleges or programmes. In turn, the school helps universities to learn more about the specific characteristics and qualities of our school and students.
The university counsellor travels to university campuses and attends professional conferences in Europe in order to keep abreast of the latest developments in higher education and the admissions process.
As one of the advocates for ISM students, the university counsellor not only knows the school’s academic and extra-curricular life well, but takes the time to get to know each student on an individual basis. This is one of the advantages of ISM’s relatively small size and cooperative learning environment.
For more information about university counselling at ISM, please contact the University Counsellor, Allison MacArthur, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the ISM Classes of 2012 through 2016 were offered admission to the following universities:
Brandeis University, Bentley University, Boston University, Brown University, University of California (Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, San Diego), College of Charleston, Columbia University, University of Connecticut, Duke University, Emory University, Fordham University, Johns Hopkins University, HEC-Montreal (Canada), University of Miami, McGill University (Canada), New York University, Northeastern University, University of Pennsylvania, Parson's School of Designe, New York, Pitzer College, University of Rhode Island, University of San Diego, Southern Methodist University, University of Southern California, Sarah Lawrence College, University of Tampa, Tufts University, Wesleyan University.
Institut des Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) Menton, Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne, IESEG-Paris, IFM-Geneva, University of Zurich, University of Utrecht, Technical University of Copenhagen (Denmark), International University of Monaco.
Cambridge University, City University, Regents College-London, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts-London, University of Bath, University of Brighton, University of Bristol, University of Durham, University of East Anglia, University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University of London (King’s College, University College, Royal Holloway, Queen Mary), University of Kingston, University of Nottingham, University of Reading, University of Saint Andrews, University of Sussex, University of Warwick, University of Westminster, University of York.
Curtin University (Australia).