How To Choose The Right University

University counsellors from Tanglin Trust School, Dover Court International School and St Joseph's Institution International offer expert advice on how to plan for university, where to study, and how being an international student in Singapore is a huge advantage.
How To Choose The Right University
By Carli Allan
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What are the advantages of taking a gap year?

As Hani Rahman at Dover Court says, gap years can be wonderful opportunities for students to “take time to either slow down or deepen their experience in specific ways”.

It can give students time to understand what pathway they want to pursue, and they can gain practical and non-academic experience. Ms Rahman highlights how this “can also greatly benefit students who apply to countries where applications look beyond their coursework when determining admission, such as the US, UK or some universities in Canada.”

“Students usually come out of gap years with a level of maturity that they had not even expected!”

Tanglin offers students financial support through the Deidre Lew Service Award for a wide range of gap year projects, from volunteering in refugee camps in Greece, to teaching English in Cambodia, and helping to rehabilitate abused Elephants in Thailand.

Tanglin’s Zoe Williams explains why students may want to delay the start of their degree by a year.

“Planning a gap year can be a great way to take some of the stress out of the final year at school. A key advantage of a gap year is that students can apply to universities with their actual results, so they don’t need to worry about ‘conditional offers’.

"They can apply early and often they are eligible for Merit Scholarships. It gives students a break from studying, which can re-energise them.”

At SJI International, students have a gap of 10 months after finishing their final exams in November and enrolling into university the following September. During this time, students submit applications, work for internships and part-time jobs (and very often undertake their driving test!) Many students also return to service activities that they were involved with during their IB studies.

To sum up, Aidan Crowley at SJI International says:

“Taking a gap year is not so much about gaining an advantage as it is about personal exploration and growth. If a student is unsure about what they want to study or they feel they are not quite ready to leave home for university overseas, a gap year affords time to gain perspective and to make more secure choices about future plans.

"Whatever the student chooses to do, it needs to be meaningful and add value to their future plans.”

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