This month we are excited to begin with your Career Path Investigation presentations! Through this process, many of you have discovered a new career interest, many of you have become even more convinced of the career path you were already pursuing, and some of you still aren't quite sure what career you will prepare for - but you know more about who you are and how you best work. It is our hope that, at the very least, this work you have done has provided you with skills to find out what you need for a potential career fit. We look forward to polishing your new resumes for two big upcoming events: Career Discovery Day and the SFS Work Placement Program!
Last month in Seminar, we discussed soft skills you need to develop to be successful in a career. Some conversations highlighted in class included: timeliness, kindness, creative thinking and being a team player. Remember "Hard skills can get you the job, soft skills can help you keep your job!" As some of you begin preparing for your week long job placement in May, please review these important areas to cultivate to prepare for on the job success and opening more doors of opportunity into your future.
Finally, this is an important time in your sophomore year when you are considering your course options for the IB Diploma programme. Please find below more valuable information to help you as you make your choices. You have received calendar invitations to meet with your counselor for a 30-minute meeting to discuss your personal course options and university considerations. Parents are welcome to join you during your appointment.
We look forward to working closely with you, getting to know you even better and help to prepare you for what lies ahead!
In your meeting with your counselor we will discuss how your DP course choices relate to your passions, your interests and your abilities. We will also discuss your Career Path Investigation and any post-high school university plans you are considering to make sure your DP course choices are in line with any future university course requirements.
1. Priorities for choosing your courses:
Prerequisites or recommended courses for the university program(s)/country(s) destinations under consideration.
Which courses do you love?
Which courses are you good at?
2. University Terminology
The High School Counselors at SFS use the words university and college interchangeably to describe any institution that offers a three or four-year degree that comes directly after high school.
Your first degree at university may be referred to as a Bachelor degree (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, etc.) or an undergraduate degree. These mean the same thing.
Your Bachelor degree will be three to four years in length.
After a person has completed their Bachelor/undergraduate degree, they may go on to pursue graduate studies (also known as post-graduate studies): Masters and/or Doctorate, also known as a PhD. (There are some accelerated programs that offer the combination to pursue the bachelors and masters simultaneously.)
3. What if I have NO idea what I want to study?
Have you completed “Personality” and “The Interest Profiler” on MAIA Learning?
Have you completed your Career Investigation for Grade 10 Seminar?
Have you spoken with your Counselor yet?
4. Clarify any questions you may have regarding "what colleges want to see."
Sometimes, there can be misunderstandings/rumours, and it is best to get first hand information based on evidence rather than anecdotal advice.
SFS counselors are in constant communication with colleges and universities and are the most qualified to find professional answers based on more accurate, primary resources.
5. University Prerequisites: Guidelines for IB subject choice The breadth of the IB curriculum allows you to keep more options open than many other high school programs. At the same time, university systems in different parts of the world may have very specific entry requirements, which can vary from country to country. The following general guidelines are a starting point, but requirements for specific programs can change and therefore it is essential that students conduct their own research to ensure their IB courses meets their needs.
Students thinking of applying to UK universities should use UCAS to find out what the UK university requirements are for the course they are interested in. Most courses will just require a minimum total IB score and sometimes minimum Higher Level scores such as 7, 6, 6 or a total of 18 points. But as explained above there might also be specific requirements for some IB courses. Follow the steps below to find the course specific requirements on UCAS.
Go to www.ucas.com first, and click on “search for courses” as shown below.
Click ”View” as illustrated below.
Scroll down to “Entry requirements” and look for “International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme”.
As you can see, to be given an offer to study Economic at LSE you need to take Mathematics at Higher Level with a predicted grade of 7. In this specific example, you also need 6, 6 in your other two HL subjects AND a total predicted score of at least 38.
A note on searching for courses/universities on UCAS (see illustrations below).
Your search might generate a thousand different options, and it would take you a long time to scroll through.
The “Map view” is easier to use if you know the location of the universities you are interested in.
You can also search for a specific university by typing in the name of the university in the “Where do you want to study” section.
What should I do if I cannot find the SOE (statement of eligibility) on the website of a university that I’m interested in?
You should contact the university yourself. We don’t expect that you know where you are going to apply yet but we know that most students have a few schools in mind. Call a university that is the most selective of those that are on your list.
Here’s an example of what you could say:
Hello. My name is _________________.
I attend Seoul Foreign School in Seoul.
I am currently choosing my six courses for the IB Diploma and would like to know about the requirements for Psychology. Are there specific IB course requirements? Are those at Higher Level? What is the total number of point required for admission to this program? Does that number include points for Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay?
Thanks very much for your help.
Note: We know that you may be nervous when making these calls but this is the beginning of you becoming more and more responsible for yourself and for what comes next in your life. You should be making these calls – not your parents! Please write down what the staff person tells you. Take down their name, email address and the day that you called. This will additionally allow you to write a thank you note...small things matter so always be your best self! Your questions are not silly – they are really important. You want to be able to make an informed decision. Country Specific University Requirements Some countries have very specific general university requirements. If you are not applying to universities in North-America, the UK, or Australia then please spend time finding out what the requirements are in your country. The Goal Your goal is to keep as many doors open as possible. If an IB course is required or highly recommended for the program you really want to study at university, you should take it. Take courses that you love and are good at. These should include, generally speaking, the courses that would be required for the work you are interested in. If this is not the case, students should ask themselves why they are interested in that career. Please don’t hesitate to contact your counselor with any questions about your course choices or university requirements.
If you choose to do a formal summer program, please know that there are many different kinds of summer programs out there. Many summer programs are offered by for-profit companies and can be quite expensive; even some programs that are held at universities, as an example, are run by companies that merely lease the space. While countless summer programs are well run and can be valuable on a personal level, please carefully research the program and company before you sign up. College representatives consistently advise us that, as far as college admissions go, summer programs are only “worth” what they are worth to the individual participant. In other words, only YOU determine the value of these programs. Remember:
Student can request recommendations for two summer school/programs per year.
SFS does not accept credits or grades earned at any summer school program.
Requests for recommendations should not be given directly to the teachers
A minimum of two weeks should be allowed for the counselor to process application.
Please complete this form to begin the summer program application process with your counselor
***SFS Counselors do not endorse specific programs but you can find a growing list of available programs here.
Check out this article: "10 Summer Activities That Will Turn Admissions’ Heads"
Colleges look for students who are dedicated to academics but they want to build an impactful freshman class. Admission counselors look for students who aren't cookie cutter and instead courageously pave their own way towards personal goals, make a difference in their own communities and demonstrate creative thinking skills/problem solving outside of their box. Read more on ways you can differentiate your applications: https://www.teenlife.com/blogs/10-summer-activities-will-turn-admissions-heads