Applying for university
If we had to identify one key aim for KE, it would be: to open up opportunities for our students. Making an application for university can look pretty difficult. It’s certainly a big step, and you need to get it right.
Our work in this area is introduced by three presentations:
- Making the right application
First of all, we suggest the processes you should follow in choosing a university and a course. We encourage you to identify what is important to you, and see how that ties in with making good choices. And even if you’re not planning to apply for university in an English-speaking country, the skills you learn here will be really valuable in many different contexts.
In most countries, you make direct applications to your university or universities of choice; this is generally (but not always!) the way things work in the USA and in Canada. We go through the process, and suggest how you should make your application really stand out to admissions staff. If you’re applying for university in the UK, you do so through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission Service). Therefore, in the UK, we explain how UCAS works, and of course give you tips on making your application as attractive as possible to universities; one of our members of staff has been trained in UCAS procedures (KE is a UCAS centre).
- The personal statement/essay
The requirements are slightly different in different countries, but we go through what is expected in the country you’re visiting. You’ll see how admissions staff use this to help assess your suitability.
After going through the theory, you start work on the practice, and we generally timetable about 90 minutes for you to work on your personal statement or essay. This probably won’t be your final version, but we’ll go through it with you and give you tips on what you can add in the future to make it really stand out.
If you’re not planning to go to university in an English-speaking country, you’ll still take part in this exercise, as it’s a really useful first step towards creating a cv and focusing on your own skills and achievements.
- The Interview
Some universities require an interview, some don’t. Never mind! You will be interviewed on many occasions during your career, and the sooner you start practising the techniques, the better. Preparing for an interview is also another way of helping you to assess your strengths and weaknesses.
At KE, we first of all go through the interview process, considering its purpose and how you can use it to your advantage. Of course, we consider the things you should say – and the things you should definitely avoid saying!
And then there is practice. You will have two 1-1 interviews, with different people. At the end of the interview, we give you some feedback. (When interviews are scheduled on the timetable, you only have to attend at the time which you’ve been assigned; otherwise, you’re free for project work or other activities.)
'Expression and impression'
The alternative for those students taking the Discovery focus looks at the film, music, art and popular culture of the country visited. We choose the title because we want to consider both the ‘expression’ – the ideas and feelings that artists try to convey – and the ‘impression’ that you have on experiencing their works.
By ‘artists’ we’re not just thinking about visual arts, still less just fine art: we’re thinking about all those people who are creative in their own fields, whether it’s making films or acting in them; composing songs or performing them; and not forgetting designers, architects and photographers.
The potential scope of ‘Expression and impression’ is pretty broad: your teacher – a creative person, no doubt! – will select what should really engage you and give you a great insight into the popular culture of the country you’re visiting. Don’t worry: you won’t have to perform! But do come prepared to discuss your ideas, your impressions.