The Counselling team at Dulwich College Suzhou (DCSZ) understands the importance of placing time and energy into building relationships with universities globally. As our community hosts students from over 40 nationalities, each year our students apply to universities in variety of countries around the world.
For example, on average over the past three years DCSZ students have sent applications to 10 countries, and have averaged approximately 5 applications per student. This data demonstrates that our students are well researched about their options, and intentional with their applications. With our student’s internationally focused mindset, what are some ways that DCSZ works with universities around the world to support their future goals and ambitions? How do our staff at the University Counselling Office work to support the students alongside with their journeys?
Our Counsellors work hard to build relationships with universities, because we know the value this brings to our students through direct and immediate connections. Through these relationships, we have frequently been able to run workshop sessions for our students and parents as lead by admissions officers on topics such as: ‘writing effective application essays’, ‘why study at a liberal arts college?’, ‘the importance of finding the right “fit” in a university’, & many more.
To build these relationships, the Counsellors regularly participate in professional networking opportunities, conferences, webinars, and university visits. We are active members in some of the largest organisations for our profession including NACAC, International ACAC, CIS, & ISCA. Additionally, as we are part of the DCI network of schools, universities know and understand the value of a Dulwich education. Admissions officers frequently connect with counsellors across the Dulwich group, and we are able to share the power of these opportunities with our counselling colleagues in the network.
An additional resource in building relationships in the group is Mr Lucien Giordano, our Director of International Outreach and Alumni Engagement. Mr Giordano, who previously directed the University Counselling department at DCSZ, has a rich wealth of experience in international university counselling, and he continues to develop influential relationships with universities around the globe. He knows the needs of our community extremely well, and our collaborative work helps to further support our students in their overall university research and application process.
As a part of the relationship building experience, the DCSZ Counsellors believe it is extremely important to engage with universities globally. An example of this is the Udentity Virtual High School Fair, where Mr Palmer connected with admissions officers from 60 universities. Through this event, Mr Palmer represented the College and shared information about our school profile. Events like these help to create future opportunities for engagement and university visits.
For example, annually we welcome approximately 150 universities for in-person visits with our students. Building upon this, last year we held our first-ever Global Universities Fair where we hosted over 80 universities on campus. As Covid-19 has created natural obstacles to in person visits, we are still finding ways for our students to connect with universities virtually. This year we’ve organised 30 different virtual university visits for our students, and many more are to come. Students and parents can find information about these virtual visits through Maia Learning, and updates will be provided in the school’s weekly newsletter.
Furthermore, recently we had all students in Year 11 & Year 12 engage in the CIS Virtual University Fair, which is one of the largest virtual university fairs ever - including 233 universities from 20 different countries. We plan to continue to offer these important opportunities for our students to engage with universities in any way possible.
Through these relationships and engagement opportunities, our students often benefit by being able to speak directly with university admission officers. These conversations are crucial, because it helps students to learn about about specific programs, and to get a better idea about if the university is the right fit for them. Additionally, sometimes these admission officers will be the individuals reading student applications in the future, and it is always powerful to be able to match a face with a name.
While the Counsellors lead the work with universities in this area, we also value student and parent participation in these efforts. Please reach out to the counselling office if you ever have any questions about universities, or if you know of particular engagement opportunities that you want to share.