Navigating university applications in future
Recently, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai hosted its second livestream discussion as part of the new “YCTalks Series.”
During the talk, John Liu, YCIS Shanghai and Yew Chung Foundation regional coordinator of university and career guidance, and Luciene Hang, YCIS Shanghai senior admissions officer and alumni relations officer, spoke about the university guidance program and alumni network at YCIS Shanghai respectively, as well as discussed the challenges and changes that have resulted from the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Working with UGO
YCIS Shanghai’s University Guidance Office prepares students for their academic and professional future, supporting them in the university selection and application process, as well as internship placements and career guidance.
According to Liu, this learning isn’t restricted to Upper Secondary.
“University guidance at YCIS doesn’t start in Year 12 or 13 — it starts as early as Year 6. During Years 6, 7 and 8, we are helping students learn about themselves and really look at what the 21st-century careers are, moving forward, and what they might be interested in. We want students to know that their future is broad and their opportunities are great,” said Liu.
During the livestream, Liu also addressed the question of whether the International Baccalaureate or the Advanced Placement program is best suited for an American university application.
“Universities understand the intense academic rigor that students must engage in in the IB program.
“In fact, during the program, they develop crucial critical-thinking skills, research skills and writing skills, which are all fundamental and important to being successful at university.”
The extremely impressive year-on-year university acceptances in the US, UK and other countries are a testament that YCIS Shanghai’s IB program provides students with a solid foundation to achieve great success at school and beyond.
Staying connected for life
Being a member of the YCIS Shanghai community doesn’t end when students graduate or leave school.
“Usually, to be considered ‘alumni,’ students needs to have graduated from a school, but at YCIS we consider everyone an alum,” said Hang. All students who have had the opportunity to study for at least one year at YCIS Shanghai are considered “YCIS Alumni for Life.”
The school offers alumni a growing number of benefits, ranging from networking opportunities to social gatherings, and more.
“Part of alumni engagement is that we have groups of former students come back to school to speak to our current students. We normally invite them for a panel discussion — we call it ‘Homecoming’ — where they will share their IB experience, university life and work experience,” said Hang.
A great example of this was when YCIS Shanghai, Puxi Class of 2017 student Frances, who is currently studying law at the University of Oxford, came back to the school to give a talk on her university application experience and met many Class of 2020 students.
Among these students was Jessica, whom Frances subsequently helped advise on her successful University of Oxford application. Jessica will study economics and management at the university later this year.
Adapting to future changes
In 2020, the university application process has had to be adapted, taking into account the changes arising from the COVID-19 situation.
Since schools were closed and universities could no longer be visited, the YCIS Shanghai UGO team reached out to the universities and asked them if they could create webinars and have one-to-one online meetings with students to make sure they could still connect with those universities.
“YCIS students always benefit from universities visiting our campuses to meet with them, answer their questions and share important information and training. We were extremely thankful that 213 universities from across the world responded to our requests to take this online,” said Liu.
The UGO team then collated these materials online, which were then used by multiple international schools across China and abroad, becoming an invaluable resource and earning Liu the “May 2020 Going the Extra Mile Award” from the International Association for College Admission Counseling.
This award recognizes the exemplary work of International ACAC members for their dedication to the profession, colleagues and students and demonstrating best practices, acts of goodwill, creativity and ethics.
The continued support of the UGO team and participation by YCIS Shanghai alumni shows how being a member of the YCIS community benefits during and after a student’s time at the school, leading to successful university applications and careers beyond.