Our College Counseling Approach
At Taipei American School, the college counseling office helps our families navigate the college search, application, and admissions process.
Through a dynamic, proactive, collaborative, strategic, and comprehensive process, our students feel supported as they transform their passions into their purpose.
Charting the Path to Your Purpose
Working in concert with students, parents, academic and personal counselors, and Upper School educators, our college counselors create a profound network of advocacy around our students during this key moment of transition. Our college counselors guide our students as they navigate the process of self-reflection, confident self-assertion, and ownership of their educational purpose, with the ultimate goal of helping them achieve personal excellence in the ever-evolving college admissions process.
Director of College counseling
Our students benefit from our college counselors’ years of experience on both sides of the university admissions process. Our counseling team has worked on the university-side of admissions and have a deep understanding of the full spectrum of college admissions. By maintaining continuous conversations with colleagues at peer schools and top institutions around the world, TAS provides the most up-to-date, relevant, and personal support to assist students with their school placement. Each year, TAS is pleased to partner with hundreds of colleges and universities to engage either virtually or in person with admissions representatives to learn more about post-secondary options around the world.
By Brooke Burns, Communications Manager
When it comes to choosing the right path for higher education, the journey can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. Finding the best-fit college or university is a crucial step in one's academic journey, and the decision often hinges on gathering comprehensive information and making personal connections. For students living in Taiwan, their best-fit school is just as likely to be down the street, as it is to be several thousands of miles away. To help close the distance between Taipei and the dreams of students across the country, Taipei American School is pleased to host the Counseling Association of Taiwan (CAT) Fair, an event that shines as a beacon of opportunity for students across Taiwan. After a three-year hiatus, the CAT Fair returned to TAS in September 2023, reaffirming its position as the largest and most influential university fair in Taiwan.
A Gathering of Educational Opportunities
With representatives from more than 100 universities spanning 12 countries, the CAT Fair transformed TAS into a bustling hub of higher education prospects. This event welcomed over 1500 attendees from more than 20 schools across Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Taoyuan, and Hsinchu. The Upper School gymnasium at TAS was abuzz with aspirations and possibilities alike, with booths and tables staffed by school representatives eager to showcase their unique educational opportunities from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.
These face-to-face interactions between students and university representatives are extremely valuable. Opportunities like the CAT fair help students bring their college search from the digital realm into the real world. For many students, especially those considering institutions located far from Taiwan, this event is often the first, and sometimes the only, chance they have to gain a firsthand understanding of their potential academic homes.
A Testament to Collaboration
The CAT Fair stands as a testament to the power of collaboration within the educational community in Taiwan. By serving as the host institution, TAS shares its resources, space, and relationships to bolster the fair's impact. In return, TAS benefits from the support of fellow schools and their enthusiastic students, especially when reaching out to universities who wish to visit with students from more than one school if they agree to make the long trip to Taiwan. The participation of diverse schools and backgrounds enriches the CAT Fair, making it a significant event for both students and universities. It's a platform where the global educational community converges in the spirit of mutual growth and discovery.
Looking ahead, the 2024 CAT Fair promises to be another milestone in the journey of students seeking higher education. TAS is committed to continuing its mission of facilitating student access to reliable, personable information about universities worldwide.
Empowering Student Aspirations
The hundreds of representatives on campus were treated to a world-class experience, thanks to the hard work of our College Counselors, their fellow TAS employees who made ready the space and the materials for the fair, and the dedicated student volunteers who provided event support and entertainment. After the fair closed, the representatives were invited to further deepen their relationships with TAS at a private buffet luncheon hosted on campus by our College Counselors.
An admissions representative aptly described the significance of the CAT Fair at TAS, stating, "This fair is needed in Taiwan, and TAS is an exemplary community leader for opening its doors to host the fair. This gesture sends a strong message to admissions officers by showing how TAS is working to bring together Taiwan counselors and schools.” The representative continued, saying that, “TAS has an excellent reputation and college counseling staff to facilitate such a large-scale event and cares about student access to reliable information about universities around the world."
The CAT Fair offered a unique opportunity for university representatives to delve deeper into the TAS community, and our students showed them a true Tiger welcome. The representatives got to explore the scientific research posters that adorn many of our Upper School hallways, showcasing the academic excellence of TAS students. Our Art Honor Society students created a "Welcome to Taiwan" mural, celebrating the rich culture of the island and warmly greeting our visitors. During the private lunch, student musicians provided a musical backdrop during the, showcasing one side of our incredible performing arts programs. Student volunteers from Calligraphy Club students led representatives in a captivating calligraphy activity, sharing another slice of Taiwanese culture. Finally, the cafeteria was decorated in some of the beautiful art pieces created by our students in the visual arts classes, adding to the atmosphere and showing our students’ talents in yet another light.
Thank you to all who made the 2023 Counseling Association in Taiwan (CAT) Fair at Taipei American School a resounding success. We are proud to bring together students, universities, and the community in a celebration of higher education and the hopes and dreams of our young people. TAS's commitment to facilitating educational opportunities and fostering connections demonstrates our school’s dedication to student success, the pursuit of academic excellence, and doing one’s own research to understand the best-fit path for one’s own future. We’re already looking forward to next year!
Our students in Grades 9 and 10 are strongly encouraged to use these years to make a successful transition into the rhythm and rigor of the Upper School, and to explore what they love about learning. During these years, the most important thing students can do is take healthy risks as they explore their academic and personal interests with the support of the Personal and Academic Counselors. The goal of these years is for students to begin articulating what is important to them about their educational journey.
By Grade 11 our students have hit their stride, and are working to refine key skills like self-understanding, self-regulation, and focus. Our students are encouraged to achieve the sense of balance and self-awareness that colleges look for in applicants. This is also when college counselors begin mandatory individual meetings with students and families to establish an individual plan for each student. During these meetings, counselors develop life-changing relationships with students as they seek to understand each student's personal and academic interests, their goals, and their dreams.
During Grade 12, college counselors continue to meet regularly with students and parents. Counselors provide guidance throughout the process, from feedback and advice on applications and essays, to helping students with their final college decision.
During the spring semester of Grade 11 and the fall semester of Grade 12, students must attend regular college counseling classes, which provide relevant and timely information about the college search, research, and application processes. They also meet individually with their College Counselor to discuss their unique journeys. Students learn how to find and evaluate colleges that suit their needs and goals, what colleges look for in applications, how to navigate the Common Application, the University of California system application, as well as applications in Canada, the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, and more.
These college counseling classes help our students stay calm, organized, and supported as they work over the spring, summer, and fall to complete their college application materials.
Our college counselors provide regular events and workshops for parents and guardians, with the goal of educating parents on the current college admissions landscape, and providing insights into the process, including where their children should be in the process at any given point.
Our college counselors also collaborate with our Personal and Academic Counseling Office for joint counseling conversations. These give parents and guardians the opportunity to ask questions, hear about different strategies, and talk about different changes and trends in college admissions. While these events don't replace individual sessions, they are a great way to engage in a dialogue with the joint counseling teams!
Celebrating Our Graduates
Each year, we celebrate our graduating class as they continue on to a great diversity of countries, programs, and universities around the world. Learn more about our program below and explore our Upper School profile to learn about where our students enroll after TAS.
Are you a current or former TAS family looking to request a transcript for your child? Please visit the following page for an overview of how to request your child's TAS transcript.