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anyone attending andover/exeter or similar schools help me out please?

westendgirlwestendgirl 0 replies1 threads New Member
I currently attend a british school and I’m in year 11 which would be sophmore year. Next year I will need to go to sixth form college and pick my a level subjects. a levels are the exams you use to apply to university.
now a couple of problems that i have here is that a. i have no idea what i want to do at university, so i dont really know what a levels to choose.
b. the a levels that i am interested in are not offered by my school (social sciences, politics, music but i also really like chemistry and maths)

my question is that since these institutions are not only highly rigorous academically but offer alot of variety in terms of subject options/courses- do you feel more equiped to go to university? do these schools give you an avenue to explore/develop your interests? if i am looking for a place where for two years i can explore what i want to do and take. avariety of classes/ clubs to figure things out- would you recommend these schools?
last year i reallly wanted to go to andover but never ended up submitting my application because i didnt feel ready+ i didnt think i knew why i wanted to go. i just looked at how fancy the campus is and thought to my self- hmm this is way better than my current school.

but this year i feel like i would really benefit from going to one of these schools but im not sure... can any current/former students please help me out? and/or recommend institutions that have what im looking for?
thank you all
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Replies to: anyone attending andover/exeter or similar schools help me out please?

  • skieuropeskieurope 39568 replies7174 threads Super Moderator
    edited September 29
    So let be begin by dispelling some myths. The most critical one being that junior year (11th grade in American parlance) is notoriously difficult academically. It is also notoriously difficult to get admitted. For these 2 reasons, many apply as repeat 10th graders.

    The next thing is that a new student at one of these schools, particularly an international student, does not have the ability to take "a variety of classes." Yes, they will be of a broader base than the typical Y12 in a British school, but you will have little flexibility in choice. Using Andover as an example, a new international 11th grader, you will take the English course that all new 11th graders take, the US history course that every 11th grader takes, and the math and foreign language courses that you placement test warrants. This leaves you a grand total of one slot (which could be a year-long course or 3 term courses) that you will have a say in, keeping in mind that you will need to do a term of art or music to fulfill graduation requirements. And depending on your background, there may be additional graduation requirements you will need to complete. Other boarding schools will be similar.

    Then you also need to consider if you want to do uni in the US or UK. If US, you will also be preparing for standardized testing.

    To the question of did I feel ready for college and have an avenue to explore my interests? Yes. But a good sixth form college will allow that as well.

    edited September 29
    Post edited by skieurope on
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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1120 replies20 threads Senior Member
    We recently met a few students from the UK (two native to the UK and one from another country who is student in school there) who will be applying to US boarding schools this year. We met them during a summer program in Europe. They mentioned similar reasons (mentioned above) and myths (consistent with those stated above) about seeking their last 2 years at a US boarding school. The students stated that they wish to attend university in the USA for 2 key reasons: They hope to attend a US university and they think the academics are easier in the US boarding schools.

    They are hoping that the experience in the US at school will get them “acclimated” to this country and culture. They also said that there was a general perception of greater economic opportunity for young people post-university. They had been told by faculty and other students that it is easier to gain acceptance to a US university if they have already attended school here. * I am just reporting what they told us.

    Here is another myth: The students shared their impressions that attending a “status” school in the NE would be “easier” than finishing up at their UK BS. 😱🙄Hmmm.....well, perhaps someone smarter than I am can address that impression? Based on our conversations, they had been misinformed about the level of rigor, as well as the amount of choice they would have for classes. They had not been informed about graduation requirements at boarding schools. They also had limited knowledge of universities/colleges outside of HYPS.

    The students from the UK attend top schools (one all boys and two co-ed). They described a typical daily/weekly schedule at their schools that are much more regimented and supervised than our US boarding school experience. They seem to not have as much freedom during the week.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39568 replies7174 threads Super Moderator
    edited September 30
    They are hoping that the experience in the US at school will get them “acclimated” to this country and culture.
    I will agree with that. The other points I chalk up to "grass is greener."

    Again, the OP did not outline her post-BS plans. Indeed,if she hopes to return to the UK for university, then 2-3 years in the US might actually make the transition back more difficult.
    They also had limited knowledge of universities/colleges outside of HYPS.
    Given that the OP is asking about PA/PEA only, I think she's in that group. Which is not to be critical, since few Americans know of UK unis outside Oxford and Cambridge (and maybe St Andrews because of Prince William).
    The students shared their impressions that attending a “status” school in the NE would be “easier” than finishing up at their UK BS. Hmmm.....well, perhaps someone smarter than I am can address that impression?
    Smarts has nothing to do with it. :) The OP also did not mention what her target sixth-form colleges are, or for that matter her GCSE results. But my impression is that most boarding schools talked about on this forum will not be any easier than their UK counterparts.
    edited September 30
    Post edited by skieurope on
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