Tsinghua International School’s College Counseling Office supports students to find their best-fit colleges or universities across the globe. THIS College Counselors work as a team to guide students in their applications and maximize their chances for success. They are committed to the Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (2019) put forth by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).
THIS College Counselors engage in local and global networks to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the world of college admissions. Their professional memberships include: International Association for College Admission Counseling (InternationalACAC), International School Counselor Association (ISCA), China Institute of College Admissions Counseling (ChinaACAC), Beijing International School Counselor Network (BISCN), and the Beijing Western Consortium.
The College Counseling Office conducts a variety of programs to help and support students. A comprehensive workshop program for students and parents begins in 9th grade and continues throughout all four years of high school.
4 Year Roadmap
Freshmen learn about the importance of GPA, how to make the most out of various summer options, different types of university options, and how to navigate the course selection process in the context of their university applications.
Sophomores begin utilizing the college application platform, Cialfo. Sophomores are also prepared to engage in virtual and on-site visits from admissions officers, explore careers and majors of interest, understand the path ahead for standardized testing, and begin conducting university research to discover which universities fit them the best.
Juniors and their parents work closely with college counselors to refine a college list and assess admissions chances to universities around the world. College counselors work individually with families to discuss college options as well as financial aid and scholarships. Juniors engage in workshops to build their resume, create accounts in college application platforms, and tackle the writing process for application essays with the support of college counselors as well as English teachers.
Seniors are well-prepared to complete and submit university applications from the fall semester onwards. The College Counseling Office submits a number of documents in support of each application, such as a counselor letter of recommendation, teacher recommendations, the student’s academic transcripts, and a school profile describing THIS’s academic program and community. Seniors and their parents are also supported in the process of accepting offers and navigating the transition to their chosen college or university.
THIS is a Cialfo school since 2020. The THIS College Counseling Office utilizes Cialfo to manage all student applications, assign tasks to students throughout high school, as well as send electronic application documents to universities. From 10th grade, students gain access to Cialfo in order to begin researching universities and creating a longlist of schools. In 11th grade, students use Cialfo to build their resume, narrow down their list of universities, and upload early drafts of their personal statement. 12th graders will use Cialfo extensively to track their applications and results.
Students, please click here to log into your Cialfo account.
College Application Platform
Universities use different application systems to receive student applications. For US schools, 800+ use the Common Application, 135 use the Coalition Application, and many use their own application system instead. All Canadian universities have their own application system except for schools in Ontario, which uses the centralized OUAC application. Students applying to schools in the UK use the UCAS application portal. Most other universities in Asia and Europe use their own individual application system.
We encourage students to consider the following factors when they are researching colleges: student-to-faculty ratio, geographic location, size, academic profile, campus culture, cost, etc. Cialfo’s database includes 7,785 universities across 71 different regions worldwide. Search engines like this can help students narrow down their list for American universities. Students should also consult individual university websites, speak with their college counselor, and engage with the university admissions office. If given the chance, always visit your prospective universities. Learn how to make the most out of your onsite campus visit here.
Financial Aid and Scholarship 101
Different types of financial aid and scholarship are available for both domestic and international student. Each university will have their own policy and students should be proactive in researching and reaching out to universities that they are interested in applying. American students applying to US universities should learn more about FAFSA, which is financial aid from the federal and state government. Other schools might also require the CSS Profile for non-federal aid. Students can also use search engines on College Board and Fastweb to identify suitable scholarships.
Requirements and recommendations for standardized tests vary widely across universities around the globe. When a university requires these scores, they are significant to their admissions review process.
SAT or ACT. THIS is an official testing center for both tests, and our test center codes are: SAT – 74344 and ACT – 865170. Students should choose to take either the SAT or ACT to fulfill standardized testing requirements. In addition to the SAT or ACT, students may need to take additional exams such as SAT Subject Tests depending on the requirement or recommendation set by the schools on their applying list. Each year, there is a growing number of US colleges and universities that do not require either test. (For the complete list, visit www.fairtest.org).
Language Proficiency. Students should also register to take the TOEFL or IELTS if they have transferred to THIS in high school or have taken language support classes. Students interested in Chinese universities will need to sit for the HSK exam for Chinese proficiency. Some THIS students may qualify for waivers for these exams. Please speak with a college counselor about eligibility and next steps.
Advanced Placement (AP). Students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses at THIS will automatically take the AP exams in May of each year at our school.
The summers before 11th grade and 12th grade are especially important and students should use them as opportunities to explore different interest areas. Students can do a variety of meaningful activities ranging from doing community service, learning a new skill, doing an internship, or taking different university courses. Many universities also offer summer programs for high school students, which is a great way to experience college life on a specific campus. Please see below for a list of universities where our students have recently participated in summer courses, research, and other summer programs.
Every year, THIS hosts university representatives from around the world; since the outbreak of COVID-19, these visits have continued in the virtual setting. From 10th grade, students are encouraged to attend these university presentations to learn about individual colleges and universities through one-on-one interaction with these admissions representatives.
In addition, Tsinghua International School is a founding and hosting member of the Beijing Western Consortium, a group that consists of Affiliated High School to Peking University, Beijing 101 Middle School, and Beijing Bayi School. Every semester, each school takes a turn hosting a large university fair that is open to the public. In March of 2018, THIS hosted the second Beijing Western Consortium University Fair. We welcomed over 75 universities from the US, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, and China at THIS to speak with students and parents about their universities and lead workshops on various topics pertaining to the admissions process.