University Preview Night

By: Timothy Gartz, University Guidance

March 14, saw our Century Park Campus hold its first annual University Preview Night for all Year 12 students and parents. This event provided an overview of the university search and selection process and steps students and parents can take now to ensure success.

There were three components that made the evening truly special: an overview by our University Counselor, a Year 13 student panel discussion and university break-out sessions in adjacent classrooms. Mr. Timothy Gartz, MSW LCSW emphasized the value of a YCIS education that is unique in its individual attention and the quality of teaching and learning in our international curriculum. He shared the importance of finding university cultures that match student interests and to go beyond name recognition in finding university programs that align with career goals and personal aspirations. Students can then craft their applications in a way that demonstrate their knowledge, interests, and preparation to the world’s best university programs and faculties.

Yet, the highlight of the evening in many ways was the Year 13 panel discussion. As Yolanda Wang and Mary Lu point out: “The best part of the night was receiving direct feedback from our fellow classmates about application strategies and what we can do to avoid mistakes:” The panel consisted of: Annie Ieong, Anna Xie, Elizabeth Robinson, Florencia Darino, Kenneth TNG, Lorenzo Cavalleri and Sharon Chen. Each offered their choices in university programs and their university acceptances (eg. University College London, New York University, McGill University and The University of Hong Kong) before answering questions from students and parents. The discussion became lively as Year 13 students shared their successes as well as some of the pitfalls to avoid in their applications such as how to create a university list, meet application and financial aid deadlines, and write quality essays and personal statements.

Following the panel, we enjoyed a short intermission before participating in classroom presentations by The University of Calgary, NYU Shanghai, The University of Hong Kong and The University of Nottingham and Birmingham in the UK. Students came away understanding how to apply and the unique programs and student life opportunities on these campuses. They now turn their attention to creating university lists while focusing on their college essays, recommendation letters, meeting college testing requirements and performing their best in their IB courses.