From September 15th to September 16th, 2018, the East Meets West 6th Conference was held in Kaiwen, the most beautiful campus in Beijing. The theme of this conference is "Collaboration is the New Competition", which aims to better promote the university admission counseling in the field of international education by building bridges between overseas universities and domestic high schools.
During the two-day conference, the content is rich and wonderful, including the breakfast meeting of top overseas universities, college fair, and more than a dozen meaningful parallel sessions. Compared with the scale of last year's event, the participants in the conference has doubled this year, attracting more than 30 overseas famous admission officers from Princeton University, Columbia University, Duke University, Northwest University, and leaders of more than 80 well-known international high schools including Tsinghua University High School, Beijing No. 4 High School, Beijing National Day School, Keystone Academy, Shanghai High School and Vanke Mesa College. Everyone exchanged and discussed the admission guidance for further studies and the future direction of international education.
At the opening ceremony of the conference, Wang Dianjun, the principal of Tsinghua University High School, gave a keynote speech. He introduced the current development of international education in China and the challenges that future international schools may face.
Principal Wang said: "In the process of developing international education, we must deal with the relationship between it and local education. To fully understand and focus on domestic education, we must integrate international and domestic education. Which is the Qinghua University High School and Kaiwen Academy has always adhered to. It is the common responsibility of educators to insist on the development of high-quality education, attaches importance to mother-tongue language education, and through the introduction of advantages of international education, continuously upgrade and improve the inadequacies in local education, and finally promote the sound development of Chinese education."
In order to make participants participate in the topic discussion, the conference not only set up 12 parallel sessions in high schools and universities but also set up comprehensive topics seminars and roundtables. On the morning of the 15th, the overseas college fair attracted more than 600 people. Everyone exchanged ideas with the admission officers from famous universities.
Top University Breakfast Meeting – Attended by Admission Officer And University Counselor
At the breakfast meeting, Princeton University, Columbia University, Duke University, Northwestern University, Georgetown University, and Vanderbilt University were invited to participate in the information sharing meeting, and more than 30 international high school leaders and students attended the meeting. College counselors exchanged information regarding the development of the guidance for further studies and the precautions in applying for overseas universities.
Mr. Wang Shi, Executive Vice Principal of Kaiwen Academy, expressed warm welcome at the breakfast meeting. He said: "There are many new schools with strength around the country as Kaiwen. How to show the advantages of our students to the admission officers is our common concern. Which is also the original intention of our conference - Providing a professional platform for domestic college counselors to have more direct opportunities to establish close ties with overseas universities and to communicate and learn from each other, thus creating better opportunities for Chinese students to enter college"
College Fair – Over 30 Overseas Top Universities
In order to provide a larger information exchange platform for more students studying abroad, the overseas college fair was held on the first day of the conference. More than 30 top universities from North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia were invited to give one-on-one counseling with more than 300 families under the guidance of Kaiwen student volunteers.
Many parents and students expressed their gratitude to Kaiwen for giving them the information exchanging opportunity and offering them effective university enrollment information. Some students from other schools said: "We are all very interested in the University of Cincinnati. Through today's event, we learned that SAT scores are not a requirement for application, and different majors have different requirements for TOEFL scores. 70% of admitted students receive a scholarship of at least $9,000, which is not easily searchable on the internet."
MCPHS University's Admission Officer said: "MCPHS is the second oldest pharmaceutical university in the United States. All majors in the school are related to medicine, and the university offers a number of BS-MS programs and Ph.D. programs, but the international students, especially Chinese students know little about MCPHS, and today's college fair has allowed more Chinese families to learn more about us."
Kevin student volunteers also said they gained a lot by participating in the event. Sun Shuoyu and Tan Shijia shared their experiences, Sun said: "As the first student council president of Kaiwen, I am very proud to lead the student team to provide volunteer services for the conference. The event not only enhanced our communication skills and self-confidence but also stimulated more students to participate in volunteer services.” Tan said: “The admission officers are very kind. During accompanying them, we talked a lot. I am very interested in Japanese universities, through the admission officer at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, I learned a lot about the school.
Brainstorming-dozens of Sessions for Theme Lectures
The high school and university parallel sessions were held at the same time. The speakers and participants exchanged ideas, information and shared their experiences.
The high school session focused on the following topics: "Catch the eyes of the admission officers - how to stand out from many applications", "The characteristics of the applicants that the top overseas universities pay attention to ", "The latest information on universities in the UC (University of California) system", "how to improve the professional competence of domestic high school university guidance.”
On the topic of "The characteristics of applicants that the top overseas universities pay attention to", Isthier Chaudhury, the admission officer of the University of Rochester, said: "Essay is a very important part of the application materials. It not only fully demonstrates the students' English language ability, but also help us deeply understand the students' growth process, characteristics, reasons for applying for schools and specific majors, which is the comprehensive quality of students beyond the standardization results. Secondly, most American universities still adopt the Committee-Based Evaluation for admissions screening, college counselors may regularly browse the university website for detailed information and the latest policies.” Duke University Admission Officer Solomon Enos said as the number of international student applications increases, the performance of the interview becomes more and more important. The characteristics of students, excellent quality, and a clearer career plan are the focus of the evaluation. The admitted students must have a highly comprehensive index.
All universities in the UC system have always been the favorite ones of international students. On the topic of "The Latest Information on universities in the UC system", San Lee, UC Davis's admission officer, shared valuable information. She pointed out that the universities in the UC system have many cooperative projects and also share teaching and research resources, but each has its own advantages. For example, UC Davis has an undergraduate service center to support student research projects, such as the UCDC project allows students to have the opportunity to participate in practice and research projects at Washington DC. She stressed: "Each university in the UC system can guarantee that every applicant's materials will be carefully reviewed, and we are more concerned about the individual quality of the students."
Amy Zou, from International Department of Tsinghua University High School, shared her experience on how became a college counselor, and proposed suggestions based on her own experience on the topic of “how to improve the professional ability of university guidance for domestic high school”. Percy Jiang from Keystone Academy also gave a detailed introduction to the China ICAC.
Wang Shi, Executive Vice Principal, points out that promoting the university guidance ability of the High Schools in China requires not only the professional knowledge but also the practice and application. It is also necessary to actively participate in various professional university guidance groups and benefit from the community service mechanism. He stressed the views of learning by doing, doing by sharing.
The University session discussed topics such as “The Latest Trends in Studying Abroad”, “The Latest Information on Studying Abroad for Chinese Students”, and “Transparency in the University Guidance”. Li Tianhong, director of university admission guidance of Kaiwen, presided over the discussion on how to make the university fully understand the university guidance in high school in China and shared her views. She pointed out that the clear and reasonable materials is the prerequisite for the application. Nowadays, the guidance for the higher education in the domestic high school has become mature and perfect, in addition to the specific application in the last year, it is necessary to pay more attention to the student's career planning in the early stage.
At the last roundtable session, the Principal of Houde Academy, admission officers from Rice University and the College of Wooster and other participants exchanged views on the theme of the conference: “Collaboration is a new competition”. Reon Sines-Sheaff, the admission officer of College of Wooster said: "Our college intends to train students from different regions, with different educational backgrounds and different qualities to work together to complete research projects and contribute to the development of all mankind.” He Daoming, the Principal of Houde Academy, shared the management experience of Houde Academy "We found that the ability of students to collaborate needs to be cultivated and trained. We organize class meetings, group discussions, and other forms to teach them the importance of collaboration ". This also coincides with the education concept of Tribes of Kaiwen.
Music Festival-The Stage of Youth
In addition to the wonderful sessions, the International School Outdoor Music Festival was held on the evening of the 15th, which added an artistic highlight to the serious academic atmosphere of the conference. The teachers and students from Tsinghua University High School, Beijing National Day School, Beijing No. 4 High School, Beijing No.80 High School, The Second High School attached to Beijing Normal University and Kaiwen Academy brought fantastic shows. The special guest of the event, "The First Chinese Blues Singer" - Zhang Ling’s performance pushed the whole concert to a climax. Everyone was indulged in the beautiful music and the beautiful moonlight.
The success of the conference is inseparable from the contribution of each participant. One and a half days of brainstorming has enabled everyone to gain a wealth of information and establish closer contact and cooperation. As the organizer of the event, we thank all for your coming and thank you for your efforts in China's international education. Let us look forward to next year's East Meets West conference and look forward to gathering here again on the beautiful campus of Kaiwen Academy.