International Boundaries: A Teacher’s Perspective on the Application Process

August 28, 2015

Photo by angela n. via Flickr
Kate Nicholls is a biologist, writer, and educator, who spent 12 years researching lions in the heart of the Okavango Delta, Botswana before her return to the UK. Kate now runs a homeschooling program in London for international students between the ages of 7 and 18 looking to attend the top schools and universities in the UK and US. She has guided students to Yale, Stanford, Cornell, Oxford, and many more. AdmitSee is now a driving force in her application routine!

I have been home-schooling overseas students for over 20 years, during which I have helped students to get into Stanford, Duke, UCSB, University of Texas, Dublin, Oxford, and other excellent and diverse universities in both America and Great Britain.  There are significant differences in the application process, and it is certainly true that the US system can be daunting: the variety and scope is both inspirational and scary!  AdmitSee is a breath of fresh air because it is clear and empowering. 

One of the founding principles in my school is to encourage independent learning. Using AdmitSee, my students can explore their choices, communicate with mentors independently, and discover options that they may not have previously considered. I can guide them, of course, but AdmitSee offers students a vital step towards academic autonomy.  

Foreigners tend to orient themselves towards the ‘famous’ colleges and so often miss the less well-known gems that might be a better fit.  AdmitSee has helped me to get this concept across during discussion with parents.  Currently, I am teaching Russian students who come from an education system that is exam driven.  For these families, it has been a revelation to learn that colleges care as much about a student’s life experience as they do about grades and SAT scores.  The excellent breakdown of the wide of topics covered in successful applications has been of inestimable value in getting this notion across. 

My students are all working in a second language. This takes courage and tenacity - they are embracing new cultural moirés and integrating into a new society often separated from their families.  I have encouraged them to understand that their personal journeys are as valuable as exam results, indeed in some cases more so. AdmitSee has inspired confidence in many of my students and opened out a new perspective. 

For me, the outstanding feature of the site is independence. Expensive consultations and college prep classes are no longer required. I encourage students to use the site to their advantage and then come to me for support with specifics.

It means that students for all backgrounds can play on a more level playing field.

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Browse Successful Application Files

vicamit
Vanderbilt ‘20


Accepted to Florida, Vanderbilt, Duke, Emory, UPenn, Miami, Northeastern, UVA, UNC, Georgetown, Rice

Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholar at Vanderbilt and art enthusiast
VivienneEve23
UC Berkeley ‘20


Accepted to UC Berkeley, Brown, Claremont (CMC), Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Northwestern, Pomona, Stanford, San Diego, Vanderbilt, UCSC, UCSB, UCSD, UCLA, Cal Poly, Cal Poly Pomona, Washington

Los Angeles kid attending UC Berkeley, Class of 2020! Planning on studying business or economics. Go Bears!
Serena2020
Harvard ‘19


Accepted to Harvard, UChicago, Northwestern, Swarthmore, Emory, Oklahoma U, UKentucky, K College , OU, Alma

Premed on track to graduate a year early. But I love my school! National merit scholar, into surgery, arts & community…
FeartheLee
Stanford ‘19


Accepted to Stanford, Williams, Brown, Pomona, Duke, Bard, Kenyon

Stanford 2019, creative writing and education. Full essays! "Lopsided," less-than-stellar numbers.

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