A changing landscape

The 2019-20 school year has started with eagerness and trepidation. Here in the UK, Parliament has been prorogued (surely word of the year!), while in the USA, NACAC will be voting on a measure to modify its Code of Ethics and Professional Practices in line with trade laws. It’s complicated… I feel rather as if I’m part of ‘The Hunger Games’ where the island is spun to disorientate… For most students and parents, these are big issues outside of the normal cycle of get up, go to school, think about next steps.

In thinking of possibilities, change is always unsettling. But there are always new opportunities. I pointed this out this summer at the British Universities’ International Liaison Association in Belfast this summer. https://www.iscresearch.com/ provided the data showing the growth in students at English medium schools across the world.


There is a huge market of students looking for further study in English at university. Universities have

And what about the student?

I’ve always encouraged a plan B. If plan A doesn’t work out, what else would you consider? That does NOT mean if Harvard doesn’t take me, I suppose I could apply to another Ivy… Imagining the worst-case scenario means there is at least some mental framework of what next…
In a changing landscape what is important is to keep taking your bearings. Where am I? Where have I been? What worked for me? What did I like? What did I not enjoy? And always, what can I afford?

The university / college search and application process is very much a matter of figuring out where you are now, what you have, and where you want to get to. As you move along, the landscape is constantly changing. That may mean the destination, where you want to get to, changes to. Imagine a longer journey. You need to keep re-evaluating. If you find you’re in your classes and you absolutely hate physics but absolutely love chemistry, are you sure the idea of studying physics was right? It might be. But always doggedly carrying on when circumstances change may not be the best strategy.

Learning to adapt and change to new circumstances might mean letting go of long-held dreams. Absolutely dream big, but keep remembering that your boots are on the ground. And that might mean to get from a to b, you might have to stop off somewhere else first.

Keep an open mind and be honest with yourself.