Learn more about the process

Supporting Your Teen’s University Journey: Tips for Parents

Being a parent is not an easy job. Each developmental stage presents new challenges, and supporting your child in their transition from high school to university is no exception.  In my years of experience working with students and parents, I’m often surprised to...

Navigating June: Your Guide to University Application Deadlines

June is suddenly upon us, bringing with it the end of the academic year and some important milestones for students at various stages of their university application journey. Here’s what to focus on this month: End of the Year and Final Exams: As the school year wraps...

Strategies for Managing Exam Stress

As a high school student, you will inevitably come up against the stress that comes hand-in-hand with international exams like the IB, A levels, or APs. These assessments often feel like make-or-break moments, determining your chances of getting into the...

Navigating May: Your Guide to University Application Deadlines 

May brings us closer to the culmination of the university application journey, with several final milestones approaching. Here's what you need to keep in mind: 1. May 1st Decision Deadlines: For students who have received offers from universities in the United States...

Navigating April: Your Guide to University Application Deadlines

As we enter April, the journey toward university applications reaches its next stage with several important milestones on the horizon. Here's what you should be mindful of: 1. European and Dutch Deadlines: For those considering universities in Europe, particularly the...


What is a "best fit" university?

Choosing the right university is a complex decision, which needs to be personalized. There is no “one size fits all.” The best fit university will be different for each student, based on their academic history, personal preferences and hierarchy of values. These need to be matched to the university identity and profile to create the best fit. There are a number of factors that determine a good fit, including the academic program, location, school size, type of teaching and learning, extracurricular opportunities and of course cost. Matching these factors well, ensures a higher probability of student success and satisfaction from their university experience.

How long does the university application process take?

Depending on where you are applying to and how many universities you decide on, the process may take anywhere from a few weeks to a whole year. If a student knows exactly where they are applying to and what the admission requirements are, the process may be substantially shorter. Often, students start the journey long before their final year of high school, by researching where they want to apply, creating plans for extracurricular activities, taking external tests, or starting to draft application essays.

How many universities should I apply to?

When applying to universities, striking a balance between having a reasonable selection of schools with potential backup plans to overdoing it by applying everywhere, is important. Some countries have centralized application systems or numerus fixus programs that allow you to only apply to a certain number of schools. Other students may be limited in application numbers by their school’s internal guidelines. Despite the fact that there is no golden number, I recommend anywhere from 5 to 10 universities as an application standard. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but keeping within these limits, allows students to have a balanced mix of aspirational, target, and safety schools. For very high-performing students, who are applying to the most selective institutions, this number may be higher.

How can you help me get into a top university?

As a university counselor, I can support the journey by helping students create balanced shortlists, meaning they will have aspiration, target, and safety schools, therefore maximizing their chances of acceptance. I will help them brainstorm their essays and then provide detailed feedback and help with necessary revisions. I can also help with all application documents and communicate with reference writers, to support them in providing the best referrals. If a student is invited to an interview, I help them prepare for these, including organizing mock interviews. I am also here to support any time management and stress issues, which are often intertwined in the process.

It is important to remember that I will do everything in my power, and within the legal and ethical bounds of the profession, to assist you in gaining admission to whichever colleges and universities you choose. That includes advising on best fit schools, supporting your essay writing process, and preparing for potential interviews. However, admission to any college or university is not and cannot be guaranteed by either your counselor or anyone else. Especially the most selective schools have high competition rates, so it is essential to create a balanced shortlist of schools to apply to.

What are the steps of university planning and application?

There are three basic steps in the university planning and application process. The first is research and exploration. You need to get a sense of what’s out there, compare your options and also have insight into what your personal negotiables and non – negotiables are. There are a number of tools we can use for this part of the process, including psychometric assessments, career inventories and university databases. Through this process, we are able to create a list of potential universities for you to apply to. The second step is narrowing down the university choices to create a balanced shortlist and preparing the necessary application documents, writing essays, gathering evidence, taking external tests and requesting references. The final step is applying and preparing for potential interviews, as well as making the ultimate decision about which university to choose.