Congratulations! You have reached the end of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP5) or another middle school qualification. Now come the next big steps.
First, obtaining your end-of-school qualification (Haut-Lac offers the International Baccalaureate academic (IBDP) and career-related (IBCP) diplomas or its High School Diploma), and then figuring out the answer to the ultimate question – where to after graduation?
If a potential answer to that question is higher education, then it’s time to schedule a meeting with the Higher Education Guidance (HE) Counsellor. Don’t be nervous – this is exciting! Here are some of the things the HE counsellor can do for you?
Be a comfort and cheerleader
They accompany you on your journey through university applications, from investigating your options all the way to receiving your acceptances! Having someone on your side who fully understands what you’re going through, knows the process inside-out and will do everything in their power to help you reach your goal is great reassurance for students navigating this new process.
Lay everything out on the table
Have you always known what you wanted to be from a very young age? Some students do, many don’t. When we're younger, however, we don’t realise just how many careers exist, and limit ourselves instead to considering classic jobs like medicine, engineering, teaching and history!
This is where HE counselling comes in. It lays out all your options, even those you had never before considered or heard of. The counselor will study your interests to help you uncover all possible avenues, so that you can make fully informed decisions.
Provide bonus insight drawn from experience
Students also appreciate higher education guidance meetings because they reveal a treasure trove of valuable information. Applying to university may be a new process to you, but the HE counsellor has seen it all before!
Thanks to them, you will learn to avoid the common pitfalls when compiling your applications and what to add to them to make you stand out. The counselor will also warn you of the workload certain applications entail, which is particularly relevant to students considering studies in the US.
Be ready for all eventualities
In these unpredictable times, you will most likely be too busy earning your end-of-school qualification to keep track of changing university requirements. Luckily for you though, it is the HE counsellor's role to keep you informed any eventual changes brought on by big events (i.e. Brexit). Should the need arise, they will also be the voice of authority on your side when personally contacting universities.
All in all, having access to a HE counsellor is a real boon for secondary school students as they embark on the road towards graduation. It is a valuable asset that ensures students make the best possible choices and applications. So don’t hesitate to reach out to Nick Pournaras, the higher education guidance counsellor at Haut-Lac International Bilingual School, and start preparing for the next stage in your life.
*Read our interview with Nick here to get a better feel of the university applications process today.