Fragrant black tea, sweet cookies and an interesting talker. And you think it's a tea time with a friend? Well, actually, it's Lily's application interview with the admission officer.
“For most of the application interviews in the UK, you'll meet the head of the school, who are warm and kind enough to prepare candies and cookies for you, asking if you would like some sugar or milk into your drink.” Lily smiled when she recalled her trip to England for interview. “Every five minutes, I had one of them. I just couldn't stop because it's really tasty.”
By now, Lily has received the offer from Clifton College, Cheltenham College, Leighton Park School and Leweston School. She chose to go to Clifton eventually, partly because she was deeply impressed by the school during the interview.
Offer Letter from Clifton College
*at the request of schools and to respect the privacy of our clients, we do not publish acceptance letters. Copies can be found at all of our offices if of interest.
Leweston School: an old friend
Lily first met the Headmaster of Leweston School at the base of BE. At that time, Mrs. Kate Reynolds came to Shanghai to talk about partnership with BE and Lily was interviewed as one of the interested students. They left a good impression on each other. One week later, Lily went to the UK and met Mrs. Kate again as an applicant.
“It's not our first meeting, so it's like meeting an old friend, getting more relaxed.” Lily has an endearing appearance. She sees a beautiful world full of love. “They all laugh a lot, the headmasters. And tell truth about the schools, what are their strengths and weakness. No exaggerating. They even recommend schools that match you more.”
I think it's because they attach more importance to the development of its pupils in a suitable environment, they respect our own choice.
Cheltenham College: “Mini Cambridge”
Cheltenham College is strongly of Victorian style. When Lily first arrived at Cheltenham, the school impressed her as a “Mini Cambridge”.
The school has a main building that looks much like that in Cambridge, except in smaller size. Surrounded in an aristocratic atmosphere, students there are well-mannered and comforting.
Lily's personal visit to Cheltenham was guided by the school's pupil. During the visit, Lily and her family were greeted by pupils and staff members they encountered; when passing the door, pupils would be a gentleman to help them with the door.
During the visit, the pupil who was supposed to guide the visit had to leave halfway due to some personal matters. Lily was introduced to some other pupil guide. To the family's surprise, the new guide had a good knowledge of the school just as much.
“The pupil guides here are just like senior students in Harry Potter, so elegant.”
Leighton Park School: meeting with the Chinese pupil guide
Leighton Park School is set in a large space. When Lily went to visit, she was given a map of the school, in which it has labeled locations, as well as a prospectus. “Reading these materials might be less exciting, but you know they treat this very seriously.”
Generally, Leighton Park School assigns a pupil that speaks the same first language with the prospective applicant to act as the guide. So Lily was able to communicate with the guide in Chinese, which created a sense of friendliness between them. She learned a lot about the school life in Leighton Park. What impressed her the most was the Artist Sketch that the pupil guide shared in WeChat moments.
“If you are an art student in that school, you'll have an Artist Sketch, in which you can draw and write anything you like. My pupil guide told me it kind of bothered her because she didn't know what to write at the beginning. But her teacher encouraged her, telling her that it's okay to write any idea, regardless right or wrong.”
Students in this school gain confidence and develop interests through these supportive and encouraging methods. And the Art Sketch was really brilliant.
Clifton College: attentive and considerate experience
The Clifton College also encompasses a large campus. Lily was astonished by its grand library, full of academic culture.
Lily felt the school's academic aspiration once again when she sat the entry exam of Clifton. She took the exam and interview for entry in the UK under the accompaniment of Tristan, her BE tutor. As she was the only participant that day, she had a complete experience of the British gentleman culture.
“Before the exam began, they would serve you water. They also reminded you of the notes in the exam paper, such as in the case of an optional question.” Lily said in a tone of joy, “After you finish a subject, they also prepare scratch paper and pens for you to do the next. When it's all over, they even have called a taxi for you.”
Throughout the visit, Lily was guided by a teacher, who totally changed her impression of a teacher as she had before. Instead of being stern, the guide was extremely nice and friendly, making Lily feel much more at ease.
Even though the visit is full of fun, don't think of it as a mere pleasant trip. The followings are advices from our senior overseas study consultant at BE as well as from Lily's true experience:
Focus on your strengths
Make sure to focus your self-introduction on your strengths. For example, if you're an extrovert, tell them you like making friends, which is highly valued by overseas schools. Meanwhile, you need to tell the admission officer not only what you are already good at, but also what you want to progress in.
A firm handshake
A firm handshake when meeting with the admission officer shows your sincerity and willingness to talk.
Ask all the questions you can think of
When the admission officer asks “do you have any question”, you need to ask all the questions that you want to know, unless you want the school to think that you're not interested in them.
Put on formal wear for the interview
White shirt and dark dress are preferred. A lovely appearance is okay, but just make sure you avoid bright colors.
Pay attention to eye expression
Look around the surrounding environment with curiosity when the admission office introduces the environment to you. Be sure to answer the question with enthusiasm and smile.