SIS News Archive

'Tis the Season
Posted 10/20/2016 10:42AM

This is the time of year when most of the SIS Seniors complete and submit their applications to university. While the rest of the Bayside students are off on Week Without Walls, the seniors stay back not only to polish their applications, but to put the finishing touches on their Extended Essays, which are due on the first day of November; conduct a Group 4 project where students from the Biology, Chemistry and Physics come together and form teams to conduct a scientific experiment that draws from the different disciplines; spend time on reflecting on their CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service), and putting in a few more hours on their Higher Level Courses.

Mr. Michael Clancy, High School Counselor at SIS, says, "Counselors at other schools are envious that we have a week like this at such an important time of year for Seniors." The university application season kicks off on 15 October with the UCAS (this is the system one uses to apply to UK universities) deadline for Oxford or Cambridge (one cannot apply to both) as well as Medical, Dental and Veterinary programs. All other UK universities and programs have a 15 January deadline. Many U.S. Universities allow for "Early" applications and the deadlines are typically 01 November. Many universities in Hong Kong also have "early" application deadlines in November. Canada has "rolling" admissions, which means students can apply any time within a four to six month range that can open as early as October. Universities in Europe follow a similar pattern, while Australia, Japan, Korea and Singapore operate on a different set deadlines because their education calendars run differently, with their school years starting some time between January and April each as opposed to August or September as is the case in North America and Europe.

Because universities in Europe and North America are busy reading applications from mid-November until the end of February, they are not traveling as much visiting schools. That tends to happen in September/October and March/April. On Friday, SIS will be visited by University of Southern California at 8:15 AM. Why so early? Mr. Clancy says, "When I saw TOK (Theory of Knowledge) was scheduled for as much time as other courses (The IB requirement for a TOK course is half that of a standard level IB course), I asked if I could come in once every eight days and Mr. Jones and Mr. Livingston agreed. I asked for 8:15 AM because it allows us to skype with people in North America. About a month ago, we had a representative visit from Drexel University and then had a SIS alumna, Nikita Franz, skype in to give her perspective on life at Drexel. We also had someone from the University of Pennsylvania skype in."

It also turns out that there is not much competition for the 8:15 slot as a time high schools want universities to visit. According to Clancy, "It is rare for a university to visit Shenzhen for more than a day or two. They either pop over from Hong Kong or they pass through on the way from Hong Kong Guangzhou or vice-versa. Most counselors want university representatives to visit at lunch time when all students are available. We're a small school and most reps will prioritize the larger schools, so 8:15 has been quite popular."

So far this school year, SIS has been visited by Yonsei University of Korea, IE from Spain, EHL from Switzerland; six universities from Scotland: St. Andrews, Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Strathclyde, and Glasgow School of the Arts; and nine from the USA: Boston University, University of Notre Dame, Drexel University, Full Sail University, College of Wooster, Parsons School of Design, Willamette University, Lynchburg College and University of the Puget Sound. The last three conducted a workshop where they read students' university essay drafts and gave them feedback. Every member of high school English department joined so they could hear what the three university admissions officers said in order to better SIS students as they are called upon to have a look at these essays and personal statements.

A WeChat Group was created this year to remind students and parents about upcoming visits. In addition to USC on Friday, 21 October, The University of British Columbia, Canada is scheduled visit SIS on 02 November during lunchtime and advisory.




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Shekou International School

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