OpenApply Admissions Conference Shanghai: Recap

Hosted at Western International School of Shanghai
English Address
No. 555 Lian Min Road
Xujing Town Shanghai
Qing Pu District PRC 201702

Chinese Address


This year we are honored to provide two pre-conference workshop options:

: The Fundamentals of International School Admissions (Certificate Course) with Catalina Gardescu.

This two-day (Nov. 3-4) pre-conference offers admissions officers / managers (between 1 and 3 years in office) the possibility to touch upon and discuss several basic aspects of work in an international school admissions office.  Starting with the school’s mission statement, the various types of parents and students, tools used in the office and out of the box ideas for the school visit, the course engages participants in thought provoking sessions that will outline useful procedures, solutions and ways of improvement. The course also aims to underline the necessity of a successful blend between personal and professional traits, to create a good platform for present and future networking and is a work in progress – will evolve with the participants.

All participants who complete the assigned tasks will obtain certification.

The course has been elaborated for the Open Apply Admissions Conference by Catalina Gardescu and is based on her experience of 15 years in the admissions office of the American International School of Bucharest, witnessing a change of campus, working with 5 directors during a time of growth from 300 to over 800 students.  At the basis of this course stand also her work with the ECIS Admissions Committee, the International Ideas Group, SSATB and the Common Ground Collaborative Admissions Group. 

On a personal level, the books and courses elaborated by Brene Brown are also a foundation for some of the ideas blended into these two days.  The reflection sessions invite to grounding, to being present in the moment, to being honest about personal involvement in the job and in the course.  A certain degree of honesty and risk taking is required.

The course takes two days and welcomes admissions staff of all levels in their beginning stages in the office.  The course is intensive and will ask participants to complete evening tasks as well as a larger task which will be rewarded with the certification.

Click here for Catalina's programme.

OPTION 2: Transition & Mobility with Drs. Douglas W. Ota. This one-day (Nov. 4) pre-conference is geared towards admissions officers seeking to deepen their understanding of families and students in transition.

The largest study in educational research history demonstrates that moving harms learning.  But this finding is incomplete.  Ota’s pre-conference provides a comprehensive overview of the field of transitions at international schools.  What does mobility do to the human brain?  What impact has working at international schools with a high degree of turnover had on you personally? What frameworks exist for how schools can and should be addressing mobility?  If this is an issue that spans schools, how should networks of schools be working together? 

This pre-conference seeks to arm you with answers to these questions.  When it comes to dealing with transitions, admissions professionals occupy a unique and potentially very influential position.  What you learn in this workshop will give you the language and tools to make substantive inroads in improving how mobility is addressed at your schools.  Ota’s hopeful message is that, by understanding the issues at stake in mobility and how to address them, we can harness the vast potential for growth in a life moving amongst cultures—both for our students and ourselves.

Click here for Doug's programme.

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