OWIS Parent Partnership Series: Future-focussed Education – Planning for University After the IB Diploma Programme

A group of OWIS parents recently had an opportunity to listen to a presentation by our University Guidance Counsellor, Mr Simon Walker. Simon’s talk was a part of the Parent Partnership Series (PPS). The subject of the talk was how OWIS helps our IB Programme students plan for university and life beyond.

OWIS offers support to students throughout their time at OWIS, particularly in Grades 11 and 12. It’s our duty to ensure that students who are about to embark on a journey beyond OWIS are prepared for the experience that awaits them. Below, we’ve recorded some highlights of Simon’s presentation on how OWIS helps students plan for university and life beyond.

How OWIS Supports Pre-University Students through the Application Process

Each university has a unique application process with different deadlines, and schools may request other documents on varying timelines as well.

Some universities share applications and an online portal for students to log in, while other universities have a centralised application and portal. In addition, some universities require tests like the SAT for American universities.

These multiple conflicting demands, from university applications to tests and more, can make this time in a student’s life very stressful.

Fortunately, OWIS supplies students with the tools they need to manage stress and stay on top:

  • CIALFO – OWIS uses CIALFO, a university guidance learning platform that helps students in a variety of ways. Through CIALFO, students have access to a range of services that can be useful when applying to universities. CIALFO allows students to explore best-fit universities, get information about scholarships and more.
  • Guidance and Career Counselling – OWIS offers university counselling for IB DP students and support with the application process. We also offer career counselling to help students select a career that they will enjoy and find rewarding. Students meet with their guidance counsellor one-on-one and sometimes in group settings to discuss possibilities for the future.

    Our guidance counsellor has the experience to read the cues from students regarding their mental and emotional state to ensure that students get the help they need when they need it. Since this can be a critical time in a student’s life, it’s important to ensure they’re made aware that they have support at school. One-on-one counselling is done in a safe and confidential manner to ensure students can share concerns.
  • Drop-in sessions – Drop-in sessions with our guidance counsellor gives students a chance to get advice on applications, CV writing, personal statements and more.
  • Career and university fairs – Students at OWIS are provided information about career and university fairs in Singapore that provide opportunities to learn more about potential career paths and school choices.
  • Alumni connections – OWIS alumni are all over the world, studying in top universities. We help our current students to connect with alumni so they can learn more about the potential pathways they are considering.
  • Parent connections – Students come to OWIS from all over the world, and so do their parents. OWIS parents have connections to industries of all kinds and can provide valuable insight to students who would like to know more about what it’s like to work in those industries. OWIS facilitates those connections.
  • Teacher connections – Sometimes students don’t know what career they want, but they do know which subjects they find the most interesting. OWIS teachers are available as a resource to discuss possible careers based on students’ interest in various subjects. OWIS teachers have an open-door policy to help students in this way, so any student can talk to any teacher as needed. OWIS can also facilitate these relationships more formally as well.
  • Work experience – Internships and work experience help students get into the industry of their choice later. These experiences also help students decide if their path is right for them. OWIS helps students make connections so they can find internships that will benefit them.
  • Basic support, regardless of the intended path – The staff at OWIS understands that not all students take a direct path to university or even go to university at all. Some students have a gap year, go into National Service or go directly into employment or internships. OWIS staff won’t discourage or encourage any specific path. Each OWIS faculty member knows that their role is to help students find their way, whatever that way is.
  • Encourage students to begin preparing early. Applications to universities are time-consuming, and many must be completed early. OWIS encourages students to start thinking about which universities they would like to apply to and begins helping them with these applications early in the application process. 
  • Assistance with the personal statement. OWIS assists students with their personal statement, which is required by many universities, while also helping students develop the history and background that will make up their personal statement.

OWIS provides a supportive environment for IB Diploma students

OWIS offers the IB Diploma Programme to international students in Singapore. OWIS students are provided with support throughout their years in school and are encouraged to take the path that’s right for them, whatever that path may be. OWIS provides a caring environment to students while teaching them what they need to know to succeed at university.