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International Universities are calling!

October and November see me in the throes of assisting students with applications to international universities. It is peak time for applications and students pop in regularly to see me as they fill in the Common App for the USA, Studielink for the Netherlands, or a myriad of other application platforms for different countries.

Richard, our Head, has been in New York recently meeting with Bryanston alumni, including our former Head of School, Ollie S, who left Bryanston in July 2023 and started studying at Columbia - so I find myself reflecting on last year’s cohort. Ollie was one of three pupils who received Ivy League offers, including Aurelia S who had an offer from Harvard and Issy W who had an offer from the University of Pennsylvania. Pupils are settling into universities across the USA, including Vassar, Boston, UC Berkeley, and one of our students, Annika D, follows her father into his alma mater, UC Santa Cruz - Go Slugs! Her father has reported that she has already settled well and is very excited to start this new chapter in her academic career.

There were also two applications to Canada and many to Europe, including several to Spain. Issy W turned down her UPenn offer in favour of IE Madrid, having been awarded a generous scholarship. Three went off to Amsterdam and a number to German and Swiss universities, including Lois S to EHL, the prestigious hospitality and business school. She emailed to say that “EHL is going great, I really love it here.” She is one of three OBs currently at EHL, one on a scholarship. We also have a number of former pupils taking vocational courses abroad. They include a jewellery design course in Italy and (the previous year) we sent budding chef Ben W to École Ducasse in Paris for training in culinary and pastry arts.

Considering our cohorts who will leave us in 2025 and 2026, I’ve already been meeting one-to-one with a number of A3 pupils who are planning to apply internationally.  I also addressed the Bs at an assembly to introduce the idea of studying abroad.  They have the opportunity to explore their options on Wednesday 22November, when we look forward to welcoming The University Guys’ ‘Southern England Roadshow’, for our first higher education event of the year. Representatives from twelve universities in seven countries will be visiting Bryanston and over 130 of our pupils have signed up to find out more. Of the 12 universities visiting, Bryanston pupils are studying at nine of them.

Every year, I get thirty or more students showing an interest in applying abroad, although not all of these will go through with the application. There is nothing wrong with the well-trodden path through UCAS to British universities, but young people - and Bryanston pupils in particular - are more outward looking.

In the spirit of unbounded thinking, they are open to new ideas and willing to explore what the world can offer them. Here at Bryanston, we want to give them every opportunity to look beyond the obvious and see what is out there, and events such as this university fair will do that.  If they make the decision to apply, I meet regularly with them in one-to-one sessions.  They will get the support they need with their application in terms of references and documentation - and support doesn’t stop when A level or IB results come out as documents may need be sent to universities. Some students also decide to post apply and Bryanston has always been very supportive of those students who decide to take that route.

The rewards for me come in seeing pupils head off around the world and hearing back about their experiences, and that they appreciate the work we do for them.

To quote one pupil who needed documentation over the summer, “You’ve been the biggest help to me even when I’ve left. I can’t even be more grateful. The Bryanston experience is truly unmatched.” 

This is why we do what we do!  After all, Bryanston is:

Where they see their endless possibilities. 

And become whatever their dreams lead them to.