Posted - March 2016


Dates: 10 - 19 July 2015
 California, United States

By Michelle Duschang, 2015 CIS University Counsellor Tour Leader

Twenty-nine counselors from eleven countries soaked up the California sunshine in July to visit twenty-two colleges and universities. The Tour started in San Francisco and we traveled south to end outside of Los Angeles in Orange County. The countries represented by counselors were: Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Ecuador, Ghana, Hong Kong, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Philippines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and United States.

Our goal was to travel along the Pacific Ocean visiting as many universities and colleges along the nearly 900 miles of coastline as possible. We learned about the intricacies and variety of the renowned University of California System as well as the great diversities of the private institutions of The Golden State.

The colleges and universities we visited are (in order of visits): University of San Francisco, California College of the Arts, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Foothill and DeAnza College, Santa Clara U, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Pomona, Scripps, Loyola Marymount, UC Los Angeles, U of Southern CA, U of Redlands, UC Riverside, Chapman, and CA State U Long Beach.

Each campus visit and each discussion with our admissions colleagues resulted in us learning about the unique programs and qualities of the institutions. We sat in demonstration workshops about color mixing, comics and animation. We biked (or walked) through parks and arboretums searching for wildlife and redwoods. We acted as admissions committees, participating in case studies and learning how to consider applicants in context. We relaxed like college students on Malibu beach and ate gourmet meals on green lawns and ocean bluffs. We sat in on faculty lectures and learned about hot majors like computational biology. We talked with students about their own academic and student life experiences. We even sampled famous Diddy Riese cookies!

The early morning wake-ups, long hours on the bus, late night gatherings and even the stop to do a little tasting along the way, led to lots of valuable informal idea exchanges amongst a group who arrived as colleagues and departed as friends.

Thank you to all of the universities who went above and beyond in ensuring our accommodations were comfortable and our stomachs always full. The level of attention we received is reflective of their dedication to the enrollment of a diverse student population and commitment to our profession.

Next year, Ryan Jordan, University Guidance Counsellor at Yew Chung International School of Beijing and Member of the CIS Higher Education and Guidance Committees, will lead the 2016 CIS University Counsellor Tour. It will begin on July 4th in the US capital city of Washington DC and end in New Brunswick, New Jersey at Rutgers University just in time for the International ACAC Conference. Please check the CIS website for more details.

Upcoming Counsellor Tours

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CIS is a membership community working collaboratively to shape international education through professional services to schools,
higher education institutions, and individuals. Global citizenship is the centre of everything we do at CIS to support our members.
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