Southbank International School has a well-established Higher Education and Careers Department, with one full-time and one part-time counsellor. The department aims to help our students build upon their positive experiences at Southbank to gain admission into colleges and universities all over the world. Applying to colleges and universities is an exciting and revealing experience, which gives the student a chance to look at who they are, what they value, and what they might want to do with their life. It can also be a complicated, demanding, and time-consuming process. An application process is a team approach with the counsellors acting as facilitators and working closely with Advisors and Heads of Faculties to provide a comprehensive programme of information, advice and guidance to each student.
Useful information and links to websites and articles are available to students on Firefly and via the Higher Education & Careers Handbook. There are also some resources in the Higher Education & Careers Offices, and the School Libraries, which are available to students at any time during the school day. Students can also meet individually with the department staff to discuss ideas and seek advice.
While a significant part of the work of the department is with the Diploma students, our whole careers education and guidance programme guides and supports students throughout the university application process, beginning in the Middle School and continuing throughout the Diploma. Southbank hosts a biannual University Fair with representatives from top universities across the world and an annual Careers Education Week. The programme is structured grade by grade to lead students through the process of career selection and to help them to make successful applications to future institutions:
- Grades 6 – 8: Students take part in a Careers Education week with a wide range of activities ranging from Work-place visits to Take-Your-Child-To-Work-Day.
- Grade 9: Students engage in a one-week work experience placement.
- Grade 10: Students take the PREVIEW Assessment and are offered an initial interview to begin the career planning process. They are encouraged to try internships, volunteering and informational interviewing in fields in which they are interested. A hands-on approach gives students an authentic feel of how a potential career could fit. Internships and volunteer work also start building a student’s CV in a particular career interest.
- Grade 11: Students engage in one-to-one meetings to discuss courses, colleges and universities of interest at the start of term two. There are continued meetings throughout the second and third terms and students are always encouraged to stop by or email with any questions or concerns they may have. Students are also strongly encouraged to make university/college visits. An Application Day is held in term three with workshops on: UCAS Application, Common Application, Writing Personal Statements and Writing Your College Essay to help with the administrative process to both UK and US colleges and universities. Our goal is to make this process as smooth as possible.
- Grade 12: Students meet with the school counsellors as soon as possible after the start of the school year to review their options and process their applications.