How can UK Boarding schools & Guardians help smooth the transition to University for international students? Pat Moores of UK Education Guide has some suggestions:
With remote parents, often the responsibility for helping international students find the right UK University relies on the diligence of Boarding schools and Guardians. Organising campus visits for international students is obviously hard to achieve but many Boarding schools & AEGIS Guardians do go to great lengths to help; including organising trips to University Open days and UCAS fairs.
The reality is however that many international students do rely more on printed and online information than UK based pupils, as their parents are not ‘on hand’ to take them to visit different Universities. Often, in the course of researching information for our site, we found that key information for international students was not easily accessible on University web sites or even in prospectuses. Key information that is hard to find includes; distances from halls of residences to campuses, location of different campuses, and number of international students studying at each institution.
So how can these gaps in information be filled? One excellent initiative is the practice of putting current year 13’s in touch with alumni who are currently at the Universities the student might be considering. BAISIS members Felsted School and Brooke House College create these links which give a unique glimpse into University life from an international student’s perspective. Felsted School also addresses the challenge of organising campus visits for international students by pairing up international students with a UK family on university visits; ‘this can help give a truer, more interesting view of University life for both the domestic and international student,’ says Chris Townsend, Headmaster at Felsted.
Also, Guardians working closely with Boarding school staff, often provide excellent additional, personalised support to prospective students and their families; ‘we produce a University Application Process guide for international parents that we send them towards the end of Year 12 and our mentors, assigned to each pupil according the subject area they are interested in studying at University, then work through the UCAS application process with them,’ says Julia Evans from Cambridge Guardian Angels.