Transitioning from ICSE to IBDP, a journey of adjustment, exploration and discoveries!

– Devesh, University of Southern California

Devesh was among the top students at his ICSE school – strong in academics, he consistently ranked first among his peers. Transitioning to the IBDP in the 11th grade was an eye-opening experience for him.

Devesh had moved out of his comfort zone, but he learned to adapt quickly. He got used to a new style of learning – very different from the rote method at his old school. He learned to appreciate the friendly, informal relationship with his teachers, sharing ideas and contributing to classroom discussions. He challenged himself by choosing Spanish and signed up for the Round Square International Conference in Singapore, where he sang in public for the first time. Devesh describes his performance in Singapore as “…the beginning of change”. He started singing more regularly and music soon became an important part of his identity.

He was also passionate about physics and used this time to test various hypotheses and conduct experiments. Devesh created a soil moisture and temperature sensor using an Arduino board and corresponding sensors to help government authorities identify inefficient farming areas and find solutions to increase average yields. He researched how the curvature of an arch affects the stability and structure of the arch.

The Red Pen helped Devesh select colleges that would allow him to pursue what he loves most – physics, music and singing while enjoying new experiences. We helped him identify his stories and provided advice on how to make them impactful for his US college applications.

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?