University Bound believes that higher education should provide students the opportunity to explore, grow, and thrive. It was founded by people who have contended with a university admissions system that is complex, and even overwhelming, and who decided to combine their experience and expertise to help others navigate the process -- in the UK, the US, and elsewhere. Choosing the right school is a lifetime opportunity and investment. And the process should be positive, not painful! Let us help your student apply with knowledge and confidence to have good choices and admissions success.
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NETHERLANDS INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENTS SURGE
The Netherlands is reporting a record number of international students enrolled at its universities for the 2021- 2022 academic year. Enrollments have increased 12% over the previous cycle, with the result that international students currently make up one in four of all first-year students at Dutch universities. According to the national statistics office, the number coming from Europe, in particular, has “surged,” with 72% of the international cohort coming from countries in the European Economic Area (which does not include the UK). A consortium of Dutch universities has expressed concern that such rapid growth could affect the quality of education for students and produce unmanageable workloads for faculty and staff. The increase also puts additional pressure on the country's already strained student housing market.
OXFORD TO LAUNCH FUNDED FOUNDATION YEAR
The UK's University of Oxford is set to offer students from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to study a foundation year, thanks to a program by an anonymous donor who will cover all costs for 50 places. The University of Cambridge will implement a similar scheme this September. Students entering Oxford's foundation year will study one of four courses: humanities; chemistry, engineering and materials science; philosophy, politics and economics; or law. Those who achieve the requisite level of performance by year's end will be able to progress to a full undergraduate degree without needing to reapply. Otherwise, they will achieve a Certificate in Higher Education with support from the university to apply elsewhere.
UK CHASES INTERNATIONAL STUDENT TALENT
The UK government will launch a “highly selective” visa scheme on May 30 for graduates of the world’s top ranked universities in a bid to boost the country's growth and drive international competitiveness. The High Potential Individual Visa route will be open to bachelors, masters or PhD graduates from institutions on a list of 50 global universities. The visa will last for two years for bachelors and masters grads, and three years for PhD holders. Participants in the scheme will be able to work in any job in the UK without the need for sponsorship. It will complement an existing program that provides a period of post-study work to international students graduating from UK universities.
CANADA EXTENDS INTERNATIONAL STUDENT VISAS
Canada will allow international graduates of its universities to stay in the country and work longer as part of a plan to tackle labor shortages and support continued economic growth. A new policy announced in April will qualify recent international graduates with expiring temporary status to extend their work permit for an additional 18 months. Set to start in summer 2022, it will enable former students to gain work experience and have a better chance at qualifying for permanent residency.
Our services are available by the hour or in customized packages to address the needs of every family. An initial consultation is free.
THE APPLICATION PACKAGE
Does the application process seem unwieldy and confusing? Beginning in junior year, this package provides tailored advising to help the student navigate the elements and apply competitively to a list of “right fit” schools. Individualized consultations, typically 12-15, will guide the student in defining educational and personal goals, aligning extra-curricular activities and recommendations, researching schools, building an effective university list, developing an application strategy, applying, and assessing admissions outcomes. It includes development and review of a personal statement and supplementary essays for a student’s first-choice school, and regular check-ins and communication.
SENIOR YEAR CHECKLIST
Starting in August of senior year, organization is everything. This package provides essential support and oversight to help the student stay on track and ahead of deadline throughout the application process. It starts with a checklist and assessment, and is followed by 4-6 consultations to produce a to-do list and timeline and provide guidance in the areas the student needs help most. These may include finalizing the university list and application strategy, preparing supporting materials, reviewing essays, and proof-reading applications.
JUNIOR YEAR PREP
By using junior year wisely, students can get a jump on the application process and reduce the stress ahead. There are priorities to set, extra-curricular interests and recommendations to pursue, schools to research and visit, tests to consider, a summer to plan, and essays to think about before senior year sets in. This package includes 4-6 consultations, planning tools, and research to help the student put junior year to optimal use.
THE UNIVERSITY LIST
University admissions are both competitive and unpredictable, and so having a smart university list is essential to ensuring good outcomes. There is so much more to choosing the right school than the name! Building the list usually starts in the spring of junior year in a process that involves self-appraisal, research, and also strategy, since application requirements change and student priorities shift. An effective list is a hedge against risk, and an important reminder that there are multiple pathways to achieve personal and educational goals.
ESSAY DEVELOPMENT AND REVIEW
Whether it's 4,000 characters, 650 words or 50, the essay that is part of every university application challenges the student to write for distinction and impact. Choosing a topic, finding one's voice, and writing effectively are key. And every writer needs an editor.
WHAT WE DO
University Bound, with a focus on the U.S., offers advising and support to help students execute an effective admissions strategy that maximizes choices and results in a “right fit” school. In a university landscape that is competitive and constantly shifting, we are alert to the latest developments and equipped with insight and expertise on best practices. Our approach is individualized and student-centered, and our aim is to increase knowledge, manage risk, and reduce stress - for parents, too!
WHO WE ARE
Joanna Levison is an American expat living in Prague and the founder of University Bound. She launched the consultancy to help address the knowledge gap facing students applying to U.S. universities from abroad. The UCAS application has its own challenges, as does applying to courses in the Netherlands. So many lessons learned! She has over 20 years of experience in international media and strategic communications, including as Communications Director for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. She has managed mentoring programs for journalists in coordination with the Czech Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Embassy, and worked in Washington, D.C. in the human rights bureau at the U.S. State Department. She has a B.A. from Swarthmore College and an M.A. from the University of Michigan, and will receive her certificate in Independent Educational Consulting from the University of California, Irvine, in 2022.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
”We had no idea how to research or apply to universities in so many countries. Thank you for helping us rationalise the process and clarify our choices and priorities. It saved us much stress and provided much reassurance." - Mikhaela
“The individual sessions took some of the fear out of applying. I felt like I had a lot of information and knew what to do, and that helped me and my parents a lot.” -Tomas
“Thank you for so much help with my personal statement. The meetings helped me focus my ideas and organise it and gave me a lot of great feedback. It really helped me feel confident about my application.” - Sung
“It takes a village. Thank you.” - Cynthia