University Counselor Interview: Dr. Grant
“Be yourself, reflect, don’t be afraid to change location/courses if you’re stuck.” - Dr Grant
Our University and College Counselor Dr Grant had given us an opportunity to ask some questions regarding the process students may take from MYP to IB, up until university, and after!
1. What should a student do if they are unsure about which location/university they want to apply to?
Draw pros and cons about the university and its environment, test yourself (i.e see if you are more motivated to work with specific subjects more so than others), and do NOT be influenced by where your friends are going.
2. How can you receive a scholarship?
It depends on your nationality, grades, and the subjects you have taken. Each university is different, therefore you will have to go to the university’s website and see what are the requirements. A scholarship will provide financial aid to students and can vary from cutting the length of the degree (thus, reduces tuition fee paid), giving you cash, etc.
3. If a university requires a subject in HL however you do not like the subject or you do not do well in the subject, should you take it? Why or why not?
Universities are flexible, therefore even though you do not take a subject that is required for your university, there is still a possibility that you could be accepted. Universities have a range of possibilities you can do foundation courses if you want to change directions. So just thinking of the UK; going to the University of Suffolk, Orgil University, Queen Mary University of London and do a one year foundation course in a different area to the one you focused on in the IB is an option as well.
Although, you should always listen to your teachers’ recommendations for SL/HL choices in Year 11 beforehand to understand which subjects in which level are more suited for you.
4. How is CAS important for getting into universities?
CAS is critically important for you to get in universities as well as receive a diploma. You must pass CAS or else despite obtaining high academic grades, you will not receive a diploma. In addition, Dr Grant looks at all your CAS to write recommendation letters that will be vital for your university admissions and scholarship eligibility.
5. Which subjects do you recommend students to take if they are interested in studying medicine, engineering, or law?
Biology and Chemistry at higher level are the two key ones if you are going to think about medicine in any respect at this stage.
Engineering depends on where you want to go to. Maths and physics at HL are going to be the key in Europe and if you want to go to Canada, then Maths and Physics; I would ideally do it at HL and Chemistry at HL. Mainly two science subjects but these subjects could be at SL level as well, however, doing it at HL would give you an edge over other people at SL. For Europe it would be Maths and Physics. But if you can fit in chemistry that’s great. Maths and Physics will get you into universities but, some places will allow you to just do either Maths or Physics. Places like Lyon for example, will allow you to do either Maths or Physics. KIT Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany require quite a few SATs and quite a few Mathematical and Physical backgrounds.
For Law, you can take any subject. To study law, universities require you to be an expert in a range of different fields.
6. What websites do you recommend students to look into?
The school guidance bulletin (will be published on UNICOL and is also sent to parents); national websites; UCAS; https://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/; https://www.petersons.com/; https://www.univcan.ca/; league tables (ratings) however you must also look at the place, language spoken, and size of institution to be sure that you will feel comfortable there; Google Maps so that students can look around a chosen university to see the environment and accessibility to transport, centers, etc.; school television monitors to look for university visits; and check with alumnis of Campus des Nations to see which universities suited them the best.