19 Dec In Video – NCS Students Discover Studying in America on Our Trip to Boston And New York
Over the October half term The NCS took three students who achieved top scores in their SAT exams to the United States of America in order to learn more about studying abroad and applying to Ivy League universities. The trip formed part of our Ivy League Preparation Programme, which is designed to complement our Oxbridge Preparation Programme.
It starts with a visit from Janet Irons, Senior Admissions Officer at Harvard University, who visits The NCS in the autumn term to discuss the benefits of studying abroad and the opportunities Ivy League schools offer students. In the summer term, students wishing to progress with an application take part in a week long masterclass with an experienced SAT tutor who The NCS flies in from the USA.
On the trip three students visited Harvard and MIT in Boston, whilst in New York they visited Princeton and Columbia. At each university they learned directly from admissions officers what each had to offer them as students; from the programme of study, extra-curricular offer, to the admissions process, every aspect of studying in the United States was covered. Tours with current students around the campus followed, where the view from those studying at each university was sought. Each campus was as unique as they were stunning to the eye, all with state of the art facilities you’d expect from these world class universities.
Some additional academic treats awaited our students in Boston. At Harvard they were honoured to have been invited into a lecture on political philosophy by the world famous thinker Professor Michael Sandel – a world leader on justice, ethics, democracy, and markets. At MIT our students had a tour of the aeronautics department, learning about their work on planes, rockets, and navigation. Many of the high level government and industry studies taken in the labs we visited led to many discoveries we all use in everyday life. Our students were even afforded the chance to stand in the Wright Brothers wind tunnel, used to measure wind flow on items such as aeroplane wings.
Throughout the trip our group were accompanied by Tasfia Shikdar, the first student from Newham to earn a place to study at MIT. Not only did this help normalise the concept of studying abroad with our students, but also provided a great sounding board for questions the academic tours raised. Now in her second year at MIT, Tasfia’s experiences were invaluable and led to some sage advice for our current hopefuls.
Alongside the tours students took part in some tourist activities. Students had the chance to walk the The Boston Freedom Trail, there was an incredible experience at the Boston Science Museum that made you feel as though you were actually on the International Space Station, they toured New York landmarks including Times Square and Wall Street, and enjoyed their first Broadway show.
The final day of the trip began with a visit to the offices of our SAT tutor on the East Side of New York. This masterclass covered personal statements and using the common applications website. It was an insightful lesson enjoyed over a breakfast of freshly baked New York Bagels. Not a second was wasted as the work from the lesson continued on the flight home, marking the end of a fruitful week where the experiences gained helped our students make decisions on where to apply and armed them with knowledge and anecdotes to support their applications.
Everyone at The NCS wishes the best of luck with their applications!
The student view
``We got quite a lot of information and found out what to expect from the admissions process and what to expect from university life here. It’s been really fun and really informative too.``
``Meeting Tafsia in real life really brings down to earth for us that any of us can apply to study in America and any of us can get in. If she can do it, so can I.``
``Before I came, I was applying just to see if I could get in. Maybe the 0.001% that I might get in. But now that I’ve come here, I’ve come to realise that it’s a realistic goal.``
``This trip definitely has improved their confidence. America goes from this far off dream, this fantasy land. To something that’s real tangible, and achievable.`` (Tafsia on our students)