This has been an extraordinary term for the Mentoring and Careers Guidance department at The British School of Barcelona. The current circumstances have made it necessary to adapt the usual annual programme of visiting universities, a situation which has, in turn, made it even easier to connect our students with a diverse range of universities across the globe throughout the first term.
All the way from UK, Canada or even Australia, Admissions officers of best-in-class universities and colleges have virtually entered BSB Nexus to present their amazing facilities, academic programmes and the exciting future they can offer our students should they apply for one of their undergraduate courses.
Mrs Catherine Burns, our University and Career Counsellor, explains: “This year we have organised our Pre-University mentoring programme around three areas: introducing the university offers around the world, exploring career options and understanding the application process.”
First term: Virtual university presentations
Our first term has concentrated our “visiting” universities geographically so students and parents could choose the online presentation they wanted to attend during the thematic week:
- Universities in the UK: with Imperial, Kings College, UCL, University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and Political Science and St Andrews University.
- Spanish universities: with UIC (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya), IE University, La Salle and ESADE University
- Other universities around the world: with University of British Columbia (Canada), Trinity College (Dublin), RMIT University (Australia) and Sports Scholarships in the US.
Mrs Burns explains: “There is a growing interest in European universities and overseas which we started to see last year and has been further boosted by Brexit. This term we have been hosting universities for the first time, such as St Andrews and Trinity College, and we are planning upcoming sessions with universities from Denmark, Germany, Central Europe and the US. We want to present our students with a wider picture of the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.” She adds: “Universities are collaborating to create online Virtual University Fairs for schools to access in place of the usual annual events hosted in schools. The recent online Dutch University Fair was well attended by our students in November.”
In December we began 3 University preparation groups for students from Year 12; University of Oxford and Cambridge, Medicine & Veterinary and US Universities. We are delighted this year to have the support of an Oxbridge specialist leading weekly sessions and to be continuing our work with EducationUSA.
Lastly, a huge congratulations to our Y13 students on their work on university applications this term which has required them to adapt rapidly to Brexit fee changes, travel uncertainty, the inability to visit universities making their decision making a big challenge. They have and continue to navigate this season with great resilience.
Second term: Exploring career options
We look forward to a second term full of events, both face-to-face and virtual, where students will be able to look into different career paths. In January our Year 11s will be choosing their options, which will help them focus on the curriculum pathway they will be following at BSB Nexus from September 2021.
Tutorial sessions this term will also concentrate on careers exploration.
Third term: The application process
Our third term will focus on the requirements and the understanding of the application process.
We will end the year with our annual Transition Week (probably virtual again this year) with presentations and workshops on a selection of subjects, university destinations, careers, and soft-skill development activities based on students-related interests.
We look forward to sharing more about this each term.