Many international schools in Singapore offer career guidance and help with university applications for students. From organising university fairs and work experience opportunities and internships, to choosing university courses and submitting applications. Here, we learn how teens can benefit from the offerings at three Singapore international schools – plus, we get some tips from career guidance experts.
Tanglin Trust School
Offering A levels and the IB Diploma in Sixth Form, Tanglin students can choose the pathway that suits their learning style and subject preferences. Each Sixth Form student has a dedicated Careers and University Counsellor to guide them as they decide on the best fit higher education establishment and course. Tanglin’s team of counsellors work with a worldwide network of university admission officers to guide families through admissions processes across different countries and institutions. From as early as Year 7, students can explore the world of work through visiting professionals from different industries. In Year 10, they undertake one week of work experience and can also take psychometric and aptitude tests to identify skill sets and interests.
Tips for parents
Careers and University Guidance Team at Tanglin Trust School
- “Ensure that your child thinks carefully about their university start date, especially if they intend to request a deferral due to the pandemic. While most universities are willing to defer for a year, not all courses allow it.”
- “If your child can’t decide between two countries, they could look for a course that incorporates overseas study or work placements as part of the degree. It’s a great way to experience a different education system and can be a cost-effective way of budgeting for a fourth year.”
Hear from a student
“My university guidance counsellor offered personalised and robust support during every step of my applications to both US and UK universities, from providing feedback while I used Common App to staying after hours to see me through interviews. I’m sure that her keen attention and help was key to my attainment of an offer to study at Oxford.” – Gauri Kumar, Year 13
Canadian International School
At CIS, university advisors organise career exploration activities for students in Grades 7 to 9. They also work closely with the IB Diploma Programme Coordinator to help students in Grade 10 select courses based on requirements for their future university studies. When students reach Grade 11, advisors have individual meetings with them and their parents for university planning; they also hold workshops about the university application process when they begin Grade 12. Advisors work closely with Grade 12 students on all aspects of their university application, ensuring that they meet deadlines and choose universities that fit their personal and long-term career goals.
Tips for parents
Career Guidance Team at Canadian International School
- “Parents who understand the university application process can help alleviate students’ stress and increase their effectiveness in submitting good applications. We encourage you to attend our general information session and individual university planning meetings.”
- “Avoid imposing your opinions about the university your child should go to or what they should study. Understanding the reasons behind their choice is important. Factors such as location, cost, safety, weather, university size, clubs and employability outcomes are some factors that you can discuss with them.”
Hear from a student
“The myriad of opportunities I experienced at CIS exposed me to loads of career possibilities and helped me choose my career path. The personal and exhaustive guidance from my university advisor was also very helpful. I could drop into his office any time. From drafting my first essay to deciding which university offer to accept, he was always there to guide and advise.” – Shashway Amar Parikh, Class of 2020 (currently studying engineering at University of Toronto St George campus)
Tanjong Katong Campus: 371 Tanjong Katong Road
Lakeside Campus: 7 Jurong West Street 41
Dover Court International School
Dover Court has been working hard to embed the Gatsby benchmarks of good career guidance. From Year 8 onwards, students use the Morrisby careers platform that has a range of career assessments to help them in their subject choices. Careers workshops form part of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) programme for all students and include sessions to increase their knowledge of the world of work, personality profiling, career development planning, subject options, university options and applications. Year 12 and 13 students use the BridgeU platform to research and apply to colleges and universities all over the world. The school’s careers programme also includes career fairs, university fairs and regular talks from university admissions tutors for Year 12 and 13 students.
Tips for parents
Dr Samantha Cathro, Careers and Higher Education Counsellor, Dover Court International School
- “Start conversations about your child’s next step as early as possible and spend time exploring their ideas.”
- “Things have changed since you left school! College and university admissions are changing rapidly so make sure that your knowledge is up to date. University open days and open house events are great for speaking directly with admissions tutors and university staff.”
Hear from a parent
“Excitement and apprehension were running parallel in our minds as Arnav stood at the crossroads of selecting his career path. We are thankful to DCIS for providing him the right environment and nurturing his individuality by giving him customised guidance to help him make a well-informed decision.” – Shailank Chandra, mother of Arnav, Year 13
Read more about international schools and things to do in Singapore in our living in Singapore section.