One of the main reasons parents send their children to international schools in Romania is to increase their offspring’s chances of winning a place at a leading British university. I firmly believe that Bucharest and Cluj now offer expat and Romanian families a growing range of highly-quality secondary schools which are a very viable alternative to overseas boarding options.
By Simon Parker
These are five key factors you should consider when choosing one:
- Academic performance: British universities value this more than their American counterparts. Look at the school’s exam results tables carefully and compare!
- Elite university (Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics and Imperial College London) track record: success tends to breed success. How many former students have progressed to study at these four elite universities within the last three years? How many are studying medicine or dentistry at any British university?
- Trained counsellors. UCAS, the body that runs the UK’s university admissions service, runs free regular training events for international school advisors. Check which members of staff have been on them. Counsellors also need to be aware of preferred A level and IB subject combinations.
- Work experience programmes. For a wide range of degrees, including accounting, architecture, dentistry, engineering, management and medicine, work experience can have a decisive impact on an application.
- Valuable extra curricula activities. Not all after-school activities are created equal: depending on the course applied for, options such as debating contests, public speaking, Junior Achievement, and Model United Nations can be particularly valuable. Participation in maths and science clubs can also make a difference and community action can be vital for medical school applications.
Simon Parker is the director of Albion International Study, a Bucharest-based counselling organisation for UK university applications.