ISD - The International School of Dakar

College Information - Information for Parents

A major area of growth for parents at overseas schools is, often, getting over the focus on the handful of brand-name schools parents may have heard of. Schools such as Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford are highly selective, very demanding and most kids simply aren’t going to get in to such schools. There are schools in many countries that can provide outstanding academic opportunities for young scholars, and our Counseling staff, teachers, and administrators can help guide your son/daughter in their quest to locate the best fit college.

Consider taking a ‘college tour’ with your son or daughter during the summer before 11th or 12th grades. This is a great chance to see schools, get a feel for campuses, and to have a good amount of time to talk to your child about his/her choices and interests. There are college tours arranged (for pay) in the US and Canada each summer, or you can arrange your own tour around schools in your ‘home’ region and drop into to admissions offices. Be sure to call ahead to find out when campus tours are taking place.

The process of applying to universities in different countries can be varied (and confusing). Please be understanding that our Counselor cannot know the ins and outs of applying to universities in all 50 nations represented by the ISD student body. Most ISD students attend university in the US, Canada, or the UK. Our Counselor will be happy to work with you to unravel the mysteries of the college application process in your country, but you may find that you can learn a lot about applying to Italian or Egyptian universities by contacting your embassy or consulate, or someone back home at your previous school.

An important message for parents is to start early in thinking about colleges. There are limitations, regulations, and realities at every college and university, and it is helpful to be as aware of these as possible leading up to the application process so as to avoid wasted effort or disappointment. Some schools don’t have financial assistance for foreign students; some students require specific scores on certain AP tests for admissions. Do as much research with your son or daughter as you can early on so as to be prepared.

Also important for parents, though sometimes hard to put into practice: the choice being made is for your son or daughter’s best college placement. That may be quite different than what was your best college placement, or what you have believed would be your child’s best college placement. Your son’s and daughter’s teachers and counselor know him/her very well, know his capabilities relative to other students, and know what kinds of kids do well at which colleges. Listen with an open mind and open ears when your child’s teacher suggests schools that might be a good fit for your child’s interests.

While ISD will provide guidance, information, and assistance, it is ultimately the parents’ and student’s responsibility to ensure that all application materials, financial documents and fees are submitted on time.