In an era in which studying abroad is no longer a rarity, high school students are faced with a bewildering array of higher education choices. Obtaining a widely recognised school-leaving qualification such as the International Baccalaureate Diploma opens doors to universities in most English-speaking countries, as well as an increasing number of programmes elsewhere.
Each country has a unique education system, which may differ from others in terms of course length, degree types and so on. When applying for universities in some countries such as the UK, students need to decide first on the subject of study, which in turn has implications for subject selection at high school level. Most young students are likely to find the decision-making and application process challenging.
Schools are best placed to support students through the provision of professional career counselling. Typically, a counsellor would meet with individual students regularly to discuss a range of factors including the latter’s academic interests, career goals and budget constraints. Students are also given information about university open days, taster lectures and similar events in which they are encouraged to take part. External resources and techniques like psychometric tests are sometimes drawn upon too. It is only through an individualised approach, which seeks to understand the situation and needs of each student, that the most suitable options can be found.