Post-secondary educational options are many and varied, much like the profile of our UWC Thailand student body. Many students are clear they wish to attend university, and are determined to pursue a specific course of study. Others want to attend university though have no idea what to study, or where. Each year we also have a few students who decide to pursue different goals, be that obtaining a certification in network engineering, joining the military, working or traveling during a gap year, or vocational training. We are keen to support each student’s aims and do our utmost to facilitate their transition from UWC Thailand to the next part of their educational journey.
For those who do want to attend a university or college, UWC Thailand provides a meaningful university counselling programme to assist in this sometimes challenging and complicated process. The programme begins in grade 8 and follows students through to grade 12 and their final decisions.
- External Summer Programmes
- Grades 8 & 9
- Grade 10
- Grade 11
- Grade 12
- Davis United World College Scholars Programme
- Studying in Australia and New Zealand
- Applying to Canadian Universities
- Universities in Europe with Instruction in English
- Applying to Universities in Singapore
- Applying to Universities in Thailand
- Applying to Universities in the U.K
- Applying to U.S. Colleges and Universities
The programmes listed below are those UWC Thailand has had experience with or have been in contact with. UWC Thailand does not endorse any of the following programmes.
Searchable Databases for Summer Programmes:
Individual Programmes Around the World:
Students participate in Career Fairs organised by PACE (the Parent Alumni Career Exploration), consisting of the school’s university counsellor and parents and friends of the school.
Students learn about career choices in the wellness curriculum through units on “Living in the Wider World”.
The school administers the PSAT (preparation for the SAT), a standardised assessment used by many colleges and universities around the world.
Meet with the university counsellor to discuss IB Diploma course choices to support future educational goals.
Students take personal assessments on CIALFO (the school’s college and career application software) to learn about their individual learning style, possible career paths based on strengths and interests, and can begin to research information about colleges and universities.
Students have classes several times a year with the university counsellor to learn about the college application process.
Students participate in Career Fairs organised by PACE (the Parent Alumni Career Exploration), consisting of the school’s university counsellor and parents and friends of the school.
Students use CIALFO to research universities and build a list of potential applications.
CCA’s are offered each season to provide more individual learning opportunities about the application process.
A CCA is offered twice per year to support students who wish to take the SAT.
Students meet individually with the counsellor to plan their post-secondary options.
Students are invited to meet with visiting university admission representatives.
Students have classes during home room periods to support applications to university or to plan other post-secondary options.
Students are able to meet with a wide variety of university admission representatives who visit UWC Thailand, and attend college admission fairs both here and at other international schools in Phuket.
Students have individual meetings with the school counsellor for general application questions, and with teachers who help guide the personal statement process.
Students finalise university application choices and keep track of the process through CIALFO.
A Co-Curricular Activity is offered twice per year to support students who wish to take the SAT.
Shelby M.C. Davis funds the Davis United World College Scholars Program. It is a commitment involving tens of millions of dollars per year. All graduates of UWC schools who gain admission on their own merits to selected U.S. colleges or universities–96 at present–qualify for need-based scholarship support through the programme.
The strategic objective is to advance international understanding through education. The programme is built on two assumptions:
1) that promising future leaders from a broad range of cultures should be afforded greater educational opportunities and serve to accelerate global networking;
2) that these educational opportunities take place at leading U.S. colleges and universities, in the belief that these American schools will become more effective learning communities for all their students by becoming more internationally diverse and globally engaged.
Universities in Australia and New Zealand offer undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes. There are hundreds of programmes available covering a vast array of subjects–from Antarctic studies to accounting, mathematics to marine biology, sport coaching to speech therapy, environmental science to economics.
Your application will be assessed on your International Baccalaureate Diploma results. Students applying for degrees in medicine or dentistry may have to sit extra tests as part of the application process. Each university sets its own entry requirements, so they vary considerably. Entry requirements for each degree are clearly set out by the institutions.
The academic year in Australia and New Zealand starts in February (rather than September). The first term runs from February to June, the second from July to November. The long university holiday falls over the southern hemisphere’s summer–November through to February. Almost all programmes can be started in the first semester (February) and some can also be started in the second (July).
Students apply between five and 18 months before your course is due to start. If you have already finished school or university, it is up to you when you apply within that time frame. If you are currently studying, you can apply for a conditional offer in your final year. This works in the same way as it would in the United Kingdom or Ireland–your place will be dependent on your getting certain grades in your final exams. Alternatively, you can wait until you have completed your studies, and go for an unconditional offer. Please make sure you apply at least five months before the course is due to start (applications for February 2020, for example, should be submitted by the end of September 2019). Some specialist courses, such as medicine and dentistry, and performance-based courses such as drama, music and art, have earlier deadlines. Most universities take between three and six weeks to assess an undergraduate application.
For more information on studying in Australia and New Zealand in general, and Australian universities, in specific, please visit the following links:
Links to Applying to Universities in Australia
- Apply to many Australian universities through UAC International.
- A great resource for courses, study costs, and living information for Australian and New Zealand universities: Study in Australia
- The Australian Education Network University and College Guide
- University Australia, an education organization representing 39 Australian Universities and promoting studies in Australia.
- The Australian Universities’ Review: Australia’s oldest and most widely read journal dedicated exclusively to higher education issues.
In Canada, there is a distinction between a university and a college. Universities grant undergraduate bachelors and advanced degrees while colleges focus on vocational and technical training. The academic approach is similar to the US curriculum and organisation. Universities are organised within faculties (schools), such as the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences or the Faculty of Applied Sciences.
Canadian universities actively seek International Baccalaureate diploma students and widely recognise the value of the diploma. At some schools, students with the IB begin their university programme in the second year; therefore, an undergraduate degree may be completed in three years. Generally, the SAT is required for students not completing an IB diploma. A TOEFL or IELTS is often requested for international students if they have not been in an English speaking school for at least three years. This requirement can be waived if the student meets the English language proficiency requirements, which usually includes a letter from the counselor.
For students with the International Baccalaureate diploma, the application process is very streamlined and simple. Students apply online directly to the university, except for universities in Ontario. Universities in Ontario use a centralised application process called Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC). Students submit a single application to OUAC, which is then forwarded to students’ chosen universities. Students are encouraged to file the OUAC by early December, in time to process and reach the universities. Other Canadian universities may have later deadlines; however, it is recommended if students are applying to McGill to complete the online application no later than December.
The universities’ online applications request basic background information of the student as well as an online fee payment of approximately CAD$60 to $100. Letters of recommendation and personal statements are not required. Canadian students seeking financial aid may be required to provide additional materials. After applying, each university will send an email or letter acknowledging receipt of your application and requesting transcripts and IB predicted grades. The letter will also contain your personal student number which is important to include on all documents, so please provide this to the counselor. Transcripts, predicted IB grades, and a school profile are sent to Canadian universities after the first term grades are reported (usually the third week in January). Students need to provide the counselor with the list of names and addresses of the universities where they are applying along with their student candidate number from the university. Final transcripts will be sent at the end of term two and students should inform the International Baccalaureate Coordinator which university should have access to the final IB diploma exams.
Canadian universities notify students of acceptance as they make their decisions, any time from three weeks after receiving transcripts and predicted grades to several months, if they are waiting for additional results on which to base their decision.
Links for Applying to Universities in Canada
- The Study in Canada site is a useful guide for higher education in Canada.
- A Directory of all Canadian Universities is available from the Universities Canada. They provide information for Canadian and international students, along with a search engine to identify universities with particular programmes of study.
- A list of all Canadian universities and information about each of them.
- Macleans magazine conducts an annual ranking and review of Canadians universities.
- The Ontario Universities Application Center is the standard online application site for Ontario universities.
- ScholarshipsCanada.com is Canada’s most comprehensive scholarship portal. This extensive database can help find scholarships, student awards, bursaries and grants, in addition to information about student loans, applications and budget planning.
- Additional sources for financial aid for international and Canadian students can be found on the eduPASS site, FinAid, and the Canlearn interactive site
American College Dublin
- Programmes focus on liberal arts core programmes.
- Degrees: BA Behavioral Science-Psychology; BA International Business-Management; BA International Business-Marketing; BS Hospitality Management.
- The American College Dublin is a senior college accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools to award diplomas and bachelor’s degrees.
- All applicants under 23 as of 1 January, who are Irish or EU nationals, should apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO), Tower House, Eglington Street, Galway (Tel: 091 509800), www.cao.ie. The closing date for applications is 1 February. Late applications may be accepted up to 1 May. All non-EU students should download the application form from the website. There is an application fee of €60.
American University in Bulgaria
- Located in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.
- AUBG offers an American-style liberal arts education with English as the language of instruction.
- There are nine major and 10 minor programmes taught at AUBG.
American University of Rome
- The American University of Rome is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) to award associates and bachelor’s degrees.
- The American University of Rome is a private, independent American institution of higher education in Rome committed to offering liberal studies and professional courses in an international environment that promotes cross-cultural understanding. The university offers American degree programmes primarily to undergraduate students.
The American University of Paris
- Located in Paris, France.
- You can graduate from AUP with one of two degrees, depending on your area of focus: either the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) if you major in the Humanities, Economics, or Business Administration; or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) if you major in Computer Science or Applied Economics.
- Has American accreditation.
BI Norwegian School of Management
- Located in Oslo, Norway.
- One of the largest business schools in Europe with over 22,000 students.
- Degrees offered in business administration taught in English.
- Three-year, full time programme.
- Topics include: International Business, Intercultural Communication, Marketing and Finance.
Delft University of Technology
- TU Delft offers three-year bachelor (BSc) programmes, focusing on mathematics, mechanics and physics.
- The bachelor programmes are taught in Dutch, except for Aerospace Engineering which is taught in both Dutch and English.
- Public, urban, independent, coeducational.
- Approximately 1200 students, 20% international.
- Requires IB diploma with Math HL and Physics HL. American HS Diploma with SATII Math 2C and Physics.
Erasmus University Rotterdam
- The university concentrates its expertise on issues of management, organisation and policy in the public and private sectors on the one hand, as well as on the field of sickness and health care.
- Education and research in three domains in which the university has a national and international reputation: Economics and Management; Medicine and Health Science; Law, Culture and Society.
- Public, suburban, independent, coeducational.
- Approximately 1,100 students, 50% international; International admit rate: 57%.
- Three-year Bachelor of Science degree: BS in International Business Administration.
- Requires an IB diploma, proficiency in Math (Math SL/HL), proficiency in English and a letter of motivation.
- EAA Nationals: Tuition fee reimbursements of approximately 50% of tuition.
- Emphasis on learning additional languages.
European Business School
- Offers programmes in Bachelors of General Management and Bachelor of European Management.
- Private university located in Germany.
- Modular programme of studies.
European University: Centre for Management Studies
- Located in Barcelona, Spain
- EU offers the traditional programmes of Bachelor and Master of Business Administration (BBA & MBA), and also the possibility to specialise in 10 different fields of management education, for example: Communication and Public Relations, Information Systems Management, Wealth Management, Sports Management and Finance-Banking & Corporate Finance.
- The first goal of EU is to bring the American education model to Europe by relating classroom theory to professional skills. The second goal of EU is to internationalise its programmes by providing a unique environment. An international perspective is guaranteed by the composition of the faculty and student body.
- The courses are taught in English using the case study method to prevent business theory from remaining abstract and incomprehensible.
Franklin University Switzerland
The Franklin Core Curriculum merges academic skills with a strong focus on international and intercultural competencies. These courses give you the tools you need to study, research, communicate and live responsibly, while crossing borders and traveling far from home. The university core represents the heart of the Franklin experience.
Academic Travel is Franklin’s signature program, and it is probably a factor in every Franklin student’s choice to attend. Three-credit Academic Travel courses are regular semester courses with a 10-14 day travel period designed to add an experiential learning piece to what is studied in the classroom. Many strong relationships are built between students on Travel, and those experiences are a fundamental part of what defines a Franklin graduate.
Undergraduate students at Franklin can choose one of the following different major fields of study, spanning a wide range of disciplines including History, International Relations, Economics, Politics, Environmental Studies, International Management, Languages, Literature and the Arts.
Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations-University Institute
Located in Geneva, Switzerland
GSD is a private university, currently with a campus in the domaine de Penthes. The student body is comprised of more than 30 nationalities.
GSD offers internationally recognised Bachelor of Arts in International Relations (BA), Master of International Relations (MIR), Executive Master of International Relations (EMIR), and Doctor of International Relations (DIR) degrees.
Among the many advantages of studying at GSD are the following:
the university, being at the heart of the most diplomatic neighbourhood, makes GSD the perfect location for students studying international relations or seeking to build a career in diplomacy and related fields;
GSD teaching and instruction are in English;
classes are small and interactive;
the academic year is divided into four, 10-week terms with flexible entry dates;
professors, mostly active professionals, are highly qualified academically (Former Presidents, Ambassadors, UN Officials etc.);
GSD is located in the heart of a beautiful and safe Swiss environment that blends intellectual and cultural stimulation; and
GSD recognises and accepts the transfer of credits from other qualified institutions and universities.
Aalto University, Helsinki Finland
Aalto University is a multidisciplinary community of bold thinkers, where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future.
Aalto University is a state-recognised university (Universities Act 558/2009) which started operating on 1 January 2010 when three state-recognised universities (Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and University of Art and Design Helsinki) merged.
Aarhus University is a young, modern university established in 1928. It has grown to become a leading public research university with international reach covering the entire research spectrum.
Aarhus University is a nationwide university. In addition to the main campus in Aarhus, Aarhus University has campuses in Herning and Emdrup, as well as research activities in 18 different locations in Denmark, Greenland and Tenerife.
AU is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top universities. It was ranked number 65 in the 2018 Shanghai ranking and among the world’s 100 best universities in 17 out of 42 subjects in the latest 2018 QS World University Rankings by Subject.
IE University, Madrid Spain
New campus being built for completion in 2020.
Comprises Schools of Business, Law, Human Sciences and Technology, Architecture and Design, Global and Public Affairs and numerous undergraduate programmes.
Technological immersion and a culture of innovation.
Humanities to understand the world.
Diverse nationalities, cultures and ideas.
Admission is competitive, with an average IB score of 35. The full IB Diploma must be presented. Admission is on a rolling basis–no specific deadline.
Either an admission test or the SAT is required (minimum 1200 for the SAT).
International University of Geneva
Accredited undergraduate and graduate programmes in Business Administration (BBA, MBA), International Relations (BA), and in Media and Communication (BA, MA).
The International University in Geneva seeks a diverse student body and encourages applications from around the world.
Admission to the University is competitive and emphasises the applicants previous academic performance and intellectual capacity. Applications are considered on a rolling admission basis.
International University of Monaco
An English language university offering degrees in business.
The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration programme at IUM is specifically designed to encompass all areas of business studies. It includes a series of interdisciplinary courses in Management, Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Strategy, Economics, and Quantitative Analysis.
The Bachelor of Arts in Business and e-Commerce has been tailored to provide a comprehensive education in business adapted to modern trends in technology.
The International University of Monaco is accredited in the United States of America by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) to award bachelor and master degrees.
250 undergraduates, 85% international.
A private, English-speaking campus university in Germany with the highest standards in research and teaching following an interdisciplinary concept.
1,400 students from 100 different countries.
Jacobs University Bremen is a campus university. Undergraduate students live in apartments with two single rooms in residential colleges.
Jacobs University offers a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary study programmes ranging from the Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering to the Social Sciences and Economics.
Jacobs university offers scholarships and financial aid for international students.
Jonkoping University; Jonkoping International Business School, Sweden
Three-year bachelor programmes in English: International Management, Business and IT Management, International Economics and Policy.
Academic education on the bachelor level in Sweden is subsidised by the government and therefore tuition is free for all students. Students pay for housing, literature and other living expenses.
Students from outside the EU must obtain a student visa, where they must show that they can afford their expenses during their studies in Sweden.
Offers international bachelor’s degree programmes focusing on business skills combined with a rigorous academic programme with practical application.
Specialisations: Bachelor’s of Business Administration, Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology, Bachelor’s of Business in International Relations, and Bachelor’s of Business in Sports Management.
All programmes taught in English.
Marist College-Florence, Italy Campus
Marist College is a four-year liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Four bachelor’s degree programmes are currently offered in English on the Italian campus: Professional Studies in Fashion Design, Fine Art/Art History, Fine Arts/Studio Art and English/Theatre Concentration.
Regent’s College London
Includes: British American College London, European Business School London, Regent’s Business School London.
Two systems, six colleges.
On campus facilities: library, IT, language labs, bookshop, dorms (only 250 slots, can not guarantee housing).
European Business College: Six majors, all three-and-a-half years, includes extensive work service (36 weeks), must take one or two languages with business major, 100% employment rate within six months, 800+ students.
Regent’s Business School: International business with four degrees, no language or work service required; 400 undergrad; 90% international; Main subjects: International Marketing, International Finance/Accounting, International Business, International Business with Design Management, International Management, Law; three-year, full time degree programmes
British American College: 400+ students, four-year bachelor’s degree from Webster University St. Louis, seven majors, apply directly not through UCAS, five study abroad locations.
Richmond, the American International University in London
1,100 students; 70% international; two campus locations.
Private, urban, independent, coeducational.
US and British accreditation.
Credit for IB.
International internship programmes; study abroad center (Italy).
Bachelor of Arts and Science Degrees offered: Art Design & Media, Art History, Business Administration, Communication, Computing, Economics, History, International Relations, Literature, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Systems Engineering & Management, and Theatre Arts.
Schiller International University
Founded in 1964, Schiller International University (SIU), is an independent American university with campuses in the United States, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland.
Study programmes are offered in International Business, Resort/Club Management, International Hotel and Tourism Management, Management of Information Technology, International Relations and Diplomacy and study abroad programmes in Europe.
The language of instruction is English at all SIU campuses
State University of New York, Empire State College-Prague
Over 500 students working towards an American bachelor’s degree.
IB credit of up to 30 semester credits.
Bachelor degree programmes are dual-degree: American degree from SUNY Empire State College and an accredited Czech bachelor’s degree from UNYP.
Public, urban, independent, coeducational.
11,000 undergrads, 8% international.
Ranked #1 in Economics by the European Economic Association.
Three programmes taught in English: International Business, International Economics and Finance, and Business Studies.
Three-year Bachelor’s programmes.
IB diploma required. American HS diploma considered based on individual records.
EEA nationals, Dutch government reimburses 800 Euro per year on tuition.
Study abroad offered.
Université IFM—Institute de Finance et Management
Located in Geneva, Switzerland.
Private, urban, independent, coeducational.
100 undergrads; 45% International.
English and French undergraduate programmes.
Degrees in: Business Administration, Business Finance, Communications and Marketing, International Relations.
University of Bocconi
Bocconi is a business and economics university. Its undergraduate courses are structured around nine three-year degree programmes.
Classes are generally held in Italian, with the major exception of Degree in International Economics and Management and Business Administration, where courses are wholly taught in English.
University of Business and International Studies, Geneva (UBIS)
Offers three undergraduate programmes: Business Administration, International Relations and Media and Communications.
Vesalius College – Vrije Universiteit Brussels
Programmes: (Certificate and/or diploma): Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Engineering Science divided among 15 majors and 14 minors.
Vesalius College combines the advantages of an American-style liberal arts college with the extensive facilities of a major European university.
American curriculum in six international settings: Austria, Bermuda, China, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Thailand, UK.
Geneva: 450 undergrads; 90% international; credit for IB; campus housing available; limited scholarships based on academic merit and demonstrated need.
Singapore does not have a ‘common application’ system for all universities, but as the online acceptance platform is common across the three local universities, namely NUS, NTU and SMU, you may be offered a course of study in each of the three local universities if you have met the admission requirements and selection criteria of each university. The online common acceptance platform will reflect the place(s) that have been offered to you. For example, if you are offered a place each in NUS and NTU, the online acceptance platform will reflect the two courses. However you are only allowed to accept one offer from one of the three universities if you have been offered by more than one university.
- Each university has its own application process and timeline. Within each university there may be additional department/faculty admission requirements.
- Some universities require SAT and SAT subject tests for certain programs and/or for early admission consideration.
- All Singaporean universities have extensive web pages and all application information is available on their websites.
- Most universities in Singapore have application deadlines in spring (February) and usually their turn-around time for admissions results is fairly quick, about six to eight weeks.
- Application process depends upon your course of study in high school, but most universities also like to see SAT score results from international school students. Students with an IB diploma will submit predicted grades.
- Cost of living in Singapore can be high.
- Private universities can be expensive, whereas public universities are less so.
- Singaporeans will find public school options much less expensive. At present, undergraduate education at NUS is highly subsidised by the Government of Singapore, which pays for the bulk of the operating costs besides the infrastructural costs. The substantial tuition subsidy from the Government of Singapore comes in the form of a tuition grant which is administered by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and offered to all admitted students. Students who apply for and are approved for the tuition grants need only pay subsidised fees (also referred to as the “Direct Payment” portion of fees).
- It is best to visit Singaporean Universities in the summer between Grades 11 and 12.
- The academic calendar for Singaporean Universities is August to June.
- James Cook University
- Nanyang Technological University
- Singapore University of Social Sciences
- Singapore-MIT Alliance
- Singapore Management University
Partnership with Yale University and NUS
Featuring the timeless ideas of human existence, the Common Curriculum is the cornerstone of the Yale-NUS education. The Common Curriculum not only lays the foundation for your major, it strengthens ideation by grounding you in the principles of academic inquiry and problem solving.
International undergraduate programmes are offered at 26 universities.
- Admissions requirements vary depending on the nature of the programme and university specific admission policies.
- Applicants to undergraduate programmes must complete Grade 12 (or equivalent) to apply for a bachelor’s degree programme.
- Some universities require an entrance examination, an interview, a physical exam, or an aptitude test – this varies among universities.
- Application forms may be obtained directly from the universities.
- Students applying to the Thai language sections of mainstream Thai universities should be aware that there have been changes in the admissions process, qualifications, and document submission. Please see your counselor as early as possible so that we can produce the required documents in time.
- The Thai academic calendar runs from June to May.
Tuition and Fees:
- Tuition and fees vary from university to university.
- At public universities fees range from THB1,000-2,000 per credit hour. Other fees include student activities, health services, registration, ID card and graduation fee. These costs range from THB 5,000-16,000 total.
- Private university fees range from THB 1,000-3,000 per credit hour with other fees approximately THB 10,000.
- Some universities have residence halls within the campus vicinity in the form of privately-owned studio, or single/double bedroom at approximately THB 3,500-5,000 per month.
Links to Applying to Universities in Thailand:
- Chulalongkorn University
- King Mongkut’s University of Technology
- Mahidol University
- Prince of Songkla University
- Silpakorn University
- Srinakharinwirot University
- Suranee University of Technology
- Thammasat University
- Kasetsart University
- Asia-Pacific International University
- Assumption University
- Asian University
- Bangkok School of Management
- Bangkok University
- Dusit Thani College
- Eastern Asia University
- Kasem Bundit University
- Krirk University
- Raffles LaSalle
- Payap University
- Rangsit University
- Regent’s International College
- Saint John’s University
- Saint Theresa’s
- Siam University
- Sripatum University
- Stamford International College
- University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce
- Webster University
The United Kingdom (UK) is comprised of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Universities in all four of these lands are subject to the same government regulations and processes, but the system of education in Scotland is different from that in the other parts of the UK. Thus the application process is consistent throughout Great Britain, but what you experience as a student would be different, depending on whether you enroll in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK. Most degrees in the UK can be completed in three years, whereas in Scotland, the usual length is four years.
What to Study?
If you are applying in the UK, you are required to indicate your course of study at the time you apply. Unlike the US, where students can apply without having decided about their major, there is no such thing as “undecided” at UK universities. If you like the idea of studying in the UK, you must be prepared to launch into a quite specific course of study, and to stay with it for three years until you complete your degree. The word “course” is used to describe the subject of study, including all the specific classes that a student will take over the three or four years of enrollment. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the course of study is usually quite specific – for example, “Psychology” at the University of Durham, or a joint course such as “Business Management with French” at Queen Mary University. Once your studies begin, all courses relate to that subject area, or two subject areas in a joint degree. If you change your mind about your course, you have to reapply to a different course, and unless it’s a closely related field, you would have to begin your degree over from the beginning. For this reason, students who are not certain of their interests may not a good match for studying in the UK, unless the course is very broad and more multi-disciplinary (such as European Studies).
Researching Courses and Universities
The UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website is the best place to begin the research process. Go to the UCAS website at www.ucas.ac.uk and click on “Course Search.” You can then search by course or by university. As you find courses of interest, you will notice the letters “EP” listed after many course titles. These initials indicate the university has registered an entry profile on the website, and by clicking on the course title, you will be able to view the profile. Entry profiles contain information about why one would study a course, what are the key skills and qualities sought in applicants (which is important as you write your personal statement!), where to obtain more information, what academic qualifications are needed, and a great deal of information about the course itself. The most important information in the Entry Profile includes the “Entry Qualification” required for the course. This will indicate the predicted points needed in the IB diploma to be given an offer for this course. In addition, the EP will indicate exactly what classes you will be required to take during each year of the course, which will help you decide if this subject is realistic for you. Entry profiles are a great place to start the research process.
Once you’ve decided on a course, you should consult Unistats, www.unistats.com, a website that allows you to compare a particular course, Advertising for example, at all universities in the UK that offer it. You also have access to student satisfaction data, based on a survey of students in their final year of the course. Finally, Unistats also report the percentage of graduates who are employed or enrolled in post-graduate degree courses within six months of graduation.
There are numerous other resources available for investigating courses. Many students have found the Higher Education League Tables, published by the major British newspapers such as The Guardian and Times to be very helpful. You can find these and other useful links here.
UCAS serves as the central clearinghouse for university applications in the UK. Applicants fill out a single online form, a reference is added, and once the form is submitted, UCAS forwards the application to the universities that the student has indicated. Each university then makes a decision about the application, forwards that information to UCAS, and it is then posted in the student’s UCAS account. The UCAS application limits you to a maximum of five courses, or four choices in clinical areas such as medicine or dentistry. These course choices could be at five different universities, or two courses could be chosen at the same university (e.g., one course called Psychology and another called Social Psychology at University College of London would make up two course choices).
Starting the Application
Students apply on the application page of the UCAS website, www.ucas.com/students/apply. The UWC Thailand buzzword needed to link the UCAS application to UWC Thailand can be obtained from the school counselor.
Once you have set up an account, you can begin completing the UCAS form. It requests demographic information, a list of courses to which you are applying, a list of IB courses you are taking, and a one page personal statement which is described below. You pay the application fee online by credit card when you submit your form. After submission the referee (counselor) checks and approves the data you entered and completes the reference, which will be written by the counselor with input from your teachers in your intended field of study. The counselor then submits the form to UCAS, which forwards it to your chosen universities. An admissions tutor determines whether your background, ability, and examination scores suggest success in your intended course of study.
Since the UCAS application deadline for most applications is January 15th, your completed application must be submitted online no later than December 1st, so the reference can be added and the form submitted before school closes for the December holiday.
There are earlier deadlines for specific universities and courses. Students applying to Oxford or Cambridge must submit the UCAS form by October 15th to UCAS. If you plan to apply to Oxford or Cambridge, discuss this with the counselor at the end of Grade 11 in order to begin planning for submission of the work samples and tests which are often required by these two institutions. Students applying for OxBridge as well as for Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, and Veterinary Medicine courses must complete their applications by October 1st in order for the reference to be completed and the application to be sent to UCAS by the October 15th deadline. Interviews are almost always required for clinical courses.
Your personal statement is your chance to make a convincing case for your admission. The personal statement can be no longer than 47 lines or 4000 characters, including spaces, and should focus on why you have chosen to study the courses you have listed, and what interests you about your subject. Details about what you have studied, read, or experienced in relation to your course will help the admissions tutors assess your suitability for admission. Tutors are looking for intellectual ability, potential, commitment and determination as it relates to your selected course. The UCAS website has a section on writing the personal statement. University websites also offer advice on what they are looking for in candidates for specific courses.
UCAS is very serious about detecting plagiarism in personal statements. Each incoming personal statement is checked against a library of personal statements from previously submitted applications and sample statements on websites and in paper publications. After your application is processed, your personal statement will also become part of the library of statements. Any statements showing a potential level of similarity of 10% or greater will be reviewed closely.
Since you apply for a particular course of study at UK universities, the UCAS reference should specifically concentrate on your suitability for the proposed course of study, and will include predicted IB exam results as reported by your teachers. The counselor will write your UCAS reference and will include content or quotations from relevant teachers to emphasise how you are suited to study the course for which you are applying. In order to do that well, the counselor and teachers will need information from you about this.
After your application has been reviewed, you will be informed of your admission decisions through a section of the UCAS website at https://www.ucas.com/students
Instead of an outright acceptance, UK universities give “offers” of admission which are usually contingent upon meeting specific conditions. An offer requires certain IB diploma exam results. The more popular the course of study, the higher examination scores needed. Some universities will make an offer contingent upon IB exam scores in particular subjects. For example, if you apply for a chemistry course, you would need to be taking Chemistry HL and Math HL or SL and earn particular scores on both exams.
Each time a UK university makes a decision on one of your applications, UCAS will post the offer in your Track account, including all the details. You will also eventually receive a formal offer in the mail. You cannot respond to any offers until you receive all of them. When the last decision is posted, speak with the counselor and then use your Track account to reply to your offers. You will be asked to code all of your offers (you could have as many as five) as “Firm,” “Insurance” or “Decline.” Choose one firm and one insurance offer; all others must be declined. Since most offers are conditional upon examination scores and you will not have received the exam results, this can be a difficult decision, so speak with your counselor. Once you have made a commitment to particular courses, you cannot change your mind.
If you did not receive any offers, you can participate in a process called “Extra” in which you can apply one at a time to additional courses until you receive an offer. See the counselor for help with this process. Students who receive offers, but do not make the scores required by their firm or insurance offer can enter a process called “Clearing” in which they can compete for available places based on their actual IB scores. Clearing begins in mid-August, when the British A Level results are received.
College Search Engines
The following college related web sites provide information on colleges and universities in the United States, about academics, admission requirements, and the application process as well as other useful information and advice. You need not try all of the sites since the information is somewhat similar, but you may find some sites are more accessible and manageable than others.
- A complete resource for U.S. college and university courses online: https://www.onlineschools.org/guides/
- The College Board supervises the SAT exams and provides online registration for the SAT. Their website offers a great deal of information about colleges. You can do a refined search, for example, for the colleges that match your interests and abilities. You can also do online SAT practice and request information be sent to you.
- MyRoad is part of the College Board’s college and career planning site. It has information about careers, colleges, and majors.
- The Common Application Website gives you a complete list of all the colleges which accept the Common Application. In addition, you may download the application and the supporting documents you need. Remember that many of the colleges require that you submit a special supplement to the Common Application (usually just one or two pages).
- The Educational Testing Service a helpful website about college applications.
- Google’s University Search
- Google enables you to narrow your search to a specific school website. Try it for things like admissions information, course schedules, or alumni news. It provides a listing of schools by state.
- U.S. News Edu provides rankings, guides, and other information related to college admission.
- The National Association for College Admission Counseling is a great source for information. This site has many important documents for students and their parents.
- The Princeton Review website can help you research colleges and prepare for the SAT.
- College Confidential has many application tips, discussion forums, and information about what college life is like.
- Erudera offers a guide for the process of preparing for college with college listings, programmes, and resources.
- CollegeData is an online college advisor, the site has facts, advice and tools to help you choose, prepare, apply and pay for college.
- The CIS website (Council of International Schools) has a lot of good information for students and parents.
- My Footpath provides information on the college selection and application process. A number of articles containing helpful advice are included.
- Liberal Arts Colleges that Change Lives can help you expand your lists of college possibilities beyond the traditional Ivy League and name-brand schools. The percentage of students admitted to graduate school from these 40 schools is far greater than from the most selective colleges.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education offers timely and well-researched articles on issues related to higher education.
- https://www.unigo.com: U.S. college reviews, videos, photos, searches and other information for students by college students.
- Complete list of online college degree programmes
Scholarship and Career Links
The following sites provide additional information on financial aid, scholarships, and careers:
- A free and comprehensive resource for online courses is available at https://www.onlinecourses.com/. This resource is a collection of open college courses in over 24 subjects that spans videos, audio lectures, and notes given by professors from schools including the University of Michigan, Tufts University, Harvard, the Open University, and MIT. This is a great resource for students (and parents) looking to explore additional educational topics.
- A USA university cost project, https://www.affordableschoolsonline.com/cheap-colleges/, is a comprehensive and informative resource that allows you to search for colleges and their respective tuition.
- Davis United World College Scholars Program, offers need-based scholarships to students who graduate from a UWC and enrol in one of the 96 participating universities and colleges in the USA.
- CollegeQuest is sponsored by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. This site has everything from college search to financial aid information.
- EduPASS offers financial aid information for international students studying in the USA.
- College Data is a super website that can help you find your personal “college match,” and also provides good information on scholarships.
- Fast Web is the place to go for the best scholarship information.
- More International scholarship information can be found on https://www.internationalscholarships.com/, https://www.nafsa.org/ and www.finaid.org/otheraid/international.phtml
- The Scholarship Resource Network Express (https://www.srnexpress.com/) provides a database for private scholarships, mostly for USA citizens.
- The College Board’s CSS/Financial Aid Profile: the College Board’s CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE page.
- FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, (https://www.fafsa.ed.gov/) is the U.S. government site for student aid for USA citizens.
- The USA Department of Education grant section (https://www2.ed.gov/fund/grants-apply.html?src=pn) is another government site.
- The New Jersey School Counselor Association has an excellent site for college, career, and financial aid information (https://www.njsca.org/).
During the summer, there are several activities and programs for Secondary School students who want to explore their interests. If you would like to pursue an organised academic, cultural immersion, or community and service-based programme, there are many resources available online.