UWC Changshu and the IB curriculum prepare students for entry into a wide range of colleges and universities around the world. Our experienced counseling team guides students through a highly individualized approach to finding the school options that best fit their interests. While the vast majority of UWC Changshu students continue directly to higher education after graduation, we also support students and provide resources for anyone interested in a gap year experience.
The University Counseling office provides comprehensive services to UWC Changshu students and their families throughout their time at the school. One-on-one counseling begins the spring of students’ first year in the Diploma Program (DP1). During the Foundation Program (FP) and the fall semester of DP1 we believe that students’ primary emphasis should be to focus on the transition to the IB style of education and to become thoroughly involved in the UWC Changshu community.
In the FP and fall semester of DP1 there is specific programming for these two cohorts of students. FP students attend an introductory session on university counseling during their first semester, and every November FP and DP1 students receive guidance on summer programming options to further develop their interests.
DP1 students receive advice on IB course selection at the start of the year, an introductory session on university counseling in the fall, and individual meetings with their university counselor that begin after the Spring Festival holiday. In the spring of DP1, students meet frequently with their university counselor. The goals for this semester are for the student to research schools that best fit their interests, request letters of recommendation from teachers, and develop ideas for application essay topics.
In the fall of the DP2 year, students work with their counselors to create a balanced list of schools, write and refine essays and activities lists, conduct mock interviews, and complete financial aid and scholarship materials prior to their application deadlines. Students continue to work closely with their counselor throughout the spring of DP2 to submit applications as needed and to receive guidance on choosing which offer to accept or how to navigate the process if put on a waitlist. When the final IB examination results come out in July, students receive support submitting their scores to universities and guidance on what to do if the final results are significantly different from their predicted grades.
In addition to individual meetings, university counselors organize workshops on topics such as essay writing, applying for financial aid, interviewing with colleges, and applying for student visas prior to departure. DP1s and DP2s have the opportunity to attend dozens of information sessions throughout the year led by university representatives from all over the world specifically for UWC students. The University Counseling office also offers group presentations for parents in both the fall and spring semesters to inform them about policies and practices to help with decisions around university choice.