Principal's Blog

Choosing your university pathway

23 February 2024

Navigating University Choices for Grade 12 Students

With our Grade 12s sitting with a range of competitive university offers in the UK, US, Switzerland, France and elsewhere, some of them now face a difficult decision in selecting their firm and insurance offers before the various deadlines of the different institutions. Students may be agonizing over their choices, weighing up the nature of the course, location, campus life, university ranking, concerned to choose the best course which will stand them in good stead in future whilst choosing somewhere they are set to enjoy life for the next few years.
For 17-18 year old students, this can be a daunting prospect and in many ways the first really big decision that has been largely in their hands, albeit with the guidance of their parents and teachers. Although tricky, weighing up between desirable university destinations and courses is a nice conundrum to be in. To ensure the best chance of arriving at this point with a suitable range of options to choose from, we advise starting the process of building to university applications early on.


Building Future Success: Early Steps in University Applications

The world is their oyster, but the wealth of options open to young people in the next steps beyond school is potentially overwhelming. Even more so for international students whose horizons have already been opened to studying overseas and whose aspirations leap between continents and countries, adding to the complexity of their planning.
Teenagers often struggle to be clear about what they want to be doing in the coming year, let alone several years down the line, and whatever thoughts they might have may well change track several times between the start of the process and their final destination.  At all stages we emphasise the importance of keeping options open so that doors are not closed to them in their future pathways.
Completing a thorough introductory phase of research, exploration and discovery early on will build the foundations to ensure the best chance of students ending up with a range of offers well suited to them as individuals. 


Unleashing Potential: Profile Building from Grades 8 to 11

At Surval Montreux, thoughts of future interests are sparked as early as Grades 8/9 as part of our Surval Core programme when all students work on the Surval Award, an online portfolio in which students capture their learning and reflections on experiences and start to think about their strengths and passions. When asked about future pathways early on, students will often focus on options they are familiar with through their parents and family friends. Helping them focus on their personal strengths and interests will help open their eyes to other possibilities and ensure they end up in a pathway which will enable them to flourish and achieve success.
This profile building is the start of a process which continues more formally in Careers Guidance sessions in Grade 10, where students participate in a series of masterclasses and webinars intended to open their eyes to a variety of different career and university pathways. This starts to focus their mind more specifically on the kind of profile they are building for themselves and how they are setting themselves up to be most competitive for opportunities – linked with subject option choices for Grades 11 and 12, engagement in enrichment activities and summer opportunities which will help strengthen their profile further.
Having started with a wide funnel of experiences and exploration in younger years, the focused work starts in Grade 11, with a programme of 1:1 sessions with an experienced international university counsellor, leading to a roadmap for university applications and in-depth support from Surval staff to prepare for university applications including academic essay writing clinics, SAT and IELTS preparation, interview preparation where relevant and so on.


Beyond Borders: International University Counseling with Surval Montreux and the Millie Group

At Surval Montreux we are delighted to work in partnership with the Millie Group to bring expert international university counselling to our High School students, as we work through the exploration, planning and delivery phases of our University and Careers guidance programme.
This summer we are very excited to be launching a bespoke version of our High School University and Careers Guidance programme to a wider audience. We are delighted to be working with Millie counsellors to bring an intensive University Explorer camp to girls around the world. Over a week’s residential camp in our stunning Surval setting, girls aged 14-16 can be challenged through a series of masterclasses, university visits and 1:1 guidance, and will end the week with a detailed personal profile and roadmap to help them on their way with university applications. To find out more visit our dedicated Summer Camp website.