Dear Students and Parents,

The new year has got off to a busy start and it’s hard to believe that Chinese New Year is just round the corner.


The offers are continuing to roll in and we are proud of each and every achievement. We are excited that one of our students has been offered a place at Cambridge next year to read Music and Education. Other exciting offers include scholarships at UBC and Western with further offers from the University of Toronto and Waterloo. Universities in Hong Kong are beginning to release their decisions and we have had our first offer from HKUST.

Interview Practice

As many of Year 13 students are being asked for an interview - whether in person, or by Skype or even through a rehearsed video - it is important they have practice and feel prepared. The HEO gives individual mock interviews and organizes workshops to help students through this process and Year 13 students had their first workshop last week. More workshops will follow after CNY.

Please click HERE for the presentation of the ‘Interview Session’.

Where Are Our Students Going Next Year?

It is interesting to see that our students’ destinations are following a similar pattern to last year, with the UK still being a firm favourite and Canada and the US in almost joint second place.
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HEO Parent Information Evening

For a copy of Tuesday’s HEO presentation which provides valuable information on time-lines, dates and different admissions systems, please click HERE.

Alum Sharing

Although the prospect of moving into Year 13 and going to university may seem a long way off for Year 12, it is in reality, very close. To encourage students to grasp this reality, we invited a couple of our alum to share their experiences of the whole university application process, and moving onto the next stage. One of the students is in his first year at HKUST, one is on a gap year before enrolling in a university in Hong Kong. Other alum were enrolled in UK and US universities. It was very enlightening sessions for everyone involved.

ESF University Fair

Over 140 institutions participated in the ESF University Fair at Island School this year. All of Year 12 attended this event and the feedback from our students has been very positive.

'I went to the university fair with only a handful of questions however I left with pages full of information I never thought I needed to know and information that i had not even thought about yet.' Samantha Kristensen

‘The ESF university fair made me want to go to universities located in countries I thought I'd never even consider. Personally, after discussing the unique courses the numerous university representatives offered, I felt even more confused about what I wanted to study in Uni. It made me more conscious to different career fields as well.’ Kagiso Motiki

Mini Canadian University Fair

We were excited to have UBC, McGill and Western visit us on 4 February. Both parents and students listened to presentations on the features and strengths of Canadian higher education, student life and work experience, as well as the application process. The mini fair afterwards provided a great opportunity to meet and talk to the admission officers.

‘Not only did I learn more about their university and application system, I've also learned a lot about Canada as a country. This had been a great and helpful experience which helped me to guide my future decision when choosing university.’ Zena Chan

‘The ESF University Fair and the DC Canadian fair were incredible opportunities for us to speak to schools from all over the world, ranging from smaller colleges to Ivy League universities. Speaking to representatives from the university face to face definitely gave me a huge insight into aspects of the schools that I wouldn't have been able to get from their website, and I found myself intrigued in places that I previously never saw myself at. ‘ Ariel Galor

University Visits

We have had a busy schedule of university visits this term, including:

University of Nottingham, The Big Four (UCL, King’s, Imperial, SOAS), Edge Hill University, University for Creative Arts, Loughborough University, St. Andrews, University of Toronto, Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences.

Academic ‘Taster’ Lectures

In addition to the university visits, Year 12 students have been experiencing real university lectures at DC. We have been fortunate to have university professors from a diverse range of institutions deliver lectures in various fields.

Aberystwyth University, Prof Holt - Psychology

Southampton University, Dr Redhead - Psychology in law

Royal Holloway, Dr Tan - Music

Keele University, Dr Chapman - Medical Science

CUHK, Professor Tony Gin - Medicine

University of Bath, Dr Walton - International Development and Political Science

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For some students and families, getting into an Ivy League or top tier university is of paramount importance. However what many of them don’t realise is that a small group of less well known liberal arts colleges all outdo the Ivies and research universities in producing performers, not only among grade A students but also among those who get B's and C's.

We are excited that 19 colleges from this group will be visiting DC on 5 March 2015 at 11:40am in the Diploma Centre, 4/F. All Year 12 students will be attending this event and parents are warmly welcome.

Make sure you look at the following links for further information that will change the way you think about about colleges in the US.

The New York Times Article


Students have been very proactive in attending university visits and are getting ready for their work experience in June.

Resume Workshop

Last week students had a workshop on developing resumes. For a copy of the presentation and attachments, please click below.

Power Point Presentation

Resume Sample

Resume Template

HEO Ambassadors

We are excited to have 30 enthusiastic Year 11 students as our HEO Ambassadors! They have been busy in promoting HEO events to their year group and giving school tours to university reps. We have received very positive feedback from our visitors and hopefully students are benefiting and growing from the whole experience.

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Subject selection

The importance of the subjects students choose for the IB Diploma can never be under-estimated. The selection of Higher Level subjects in particular, can play a crucial role in achieving university offers. The HEO is planning to meet with every Year 11 student individually to review their subject selection and to address any concerns.

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We are continuing to promote summer programmes as an excellent way to make students’ summer productive. Students can have a taste of college life, preview their dream schools, and give a boost to their university applications.

Please find below details on the organizations that have recently visited DC and ones that the HEO can highly recommend:

Rustic Pathways

Rustic Pathways offers over 90 incredible programmes in 19 countries, ranging from summer programmes to gap year experience, with a strong focus on Asia and community service.

Cambridge Programmes

This is a 2-week academic programme taught by highly qualified professional senior school teachers at Churchill College in Cambridge. Students are looked after by specially selected Mentors from Oxford and Cambridge.

Science North, Canada

Canadian Experiential Program for ages 15-17

Summer Discovery

Pre-college academic programmes and internships in some of the most prestigious universities in the the USA.

There are of course, many other excellent programmes and opportunities. Please take a look at the following links for more information:


UK Summer School Competition 2015

Six lucky students will win the experience of a lifetime – return flights from Hong Kong to the UK, student accommodation and the opportunity to take part in an exciting summer course at one of six participating UK institutions.

Oxford Summer College

This is a 2-week academic preparation course for students applying to top universities.

University of St Andrews Summer Programmes

King’s College, London Pre-University Summer School

Gordonstoun International Summer School


Trinity College Dublin Summer School


IB Summer School at Stanford University

University of Miami Summer Scholars Program


University of Waterloo IDEAS Summer Experience

Hong Kong

Young Leaders of Tomorrow

HKU Summer Programme for Secondary School Students

HKUST Summer Institute

CUHK Summer Institute 2015 (11-24 July)

Cambridge programme at Canadian International School

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Wishing you all a very Happy Chinese New Year and good fortune and happiness in the Year of the Goat.

Happy Chinese New Year! 恭喜發財!

Kind regards,

Ms Susie Blomfield & Ms Amanda Yan

Useful Resources


US – College Board –

Petersons College Search -

Common Application -

US News –

Canada –

Australia –

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