On January 10th, Old Turians Lisa Achoki (former Head Girl) and Vanessa Turyatunga visited the School to meet with our current Year 11 and 12 students. This was organised by the Head of College and Careers Adviser (Mr and Mrs Andwati), to educate and encourage students who will start applying for universities around the world in the near future. Many of our students will be applying to join Ivy League Universities in America as well as Oxbridge and Russell Group Universities in the UK.
Lisa said she was very pleased to be back at Turi and recalled many fond memories. Her main reason for coming through was to share information and her recent experience of applying to university with Turi students. During her application to Yale, Lisa found that a lot of emphasis was placed on her course work and not just on her final grades. She also found that the entry examinations focused on getting to know her as a person, as well as her academic merits. She encouraged students to ensure they make the most of every moment during this busy time of their lives. She advised them to start researching options early and submitting applications well in advance. “I found the American university application process is significantly more time consuming (than the UK process) and required a lot preparation”, said Lisa. She recommended websites like www.niche.com as useful tools and advised the students to find universities that they feel they would fit into easily, as the transition can be very challenging.
Vanessa Turyatunga has recently graduated from Bristol University, with a BA in Philosophy and Theology. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, in Canada. Vanessa explained some differences between the UK and American Universities. UK institutions focus more on the academic achievement and want to see the passion applicants have, for their chosen subject. US universities are more strongly influenced by co-curricular achievements and allow students to choose which subjects to focus on, as they progress through the degree course.
The talk was great start to the year for the eager audience. It was a great opportunity to see Old Turians succeeding in the world and ask them lots of important questions.