Preparing Boys for Life.

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Setting foot in Abu Dhabi
Heather Stinson, Associate Director of College Counseling

The three full-time college counselors at Haverford visit upward of 20 colleges campuses annually in order to more effectively advise students. We try to bring to light the unique personalities of a range of institutions. One of the most fulfilling parts of our job is emailing a Haverford student to say: "I'm visiting University X this weekend. This school is a great match for you - let's talk when I'm back!"

Spending a few days on a campus, talking extensively with current students and faculty, experiencing the academic program, and even eating in the dining hall, gives college counselors a connection to a school that we can't attain through a website. There's a magic that comes from setting foot on a college campus, and our students can't visit them all. That's where we come in.

Recently, The Haverford School's admissions representative at New York University invited me to join 30 other college counselors from high schools around the U.S. at a February program at NYU's campus in Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). We were invited to spend several days touring campus, attending classes, speaking with current students, and getting acquainted with the city of Abu Dhabi.


There's a magic that comes from setting foot on a college campus, and our students can't visit them all. That's where we come in. Visiting NYUAD was one step toward making our students here at Haverford aware of the myriad global and educational opportunities that await.

We had the opportunity to meet 120 early decision candidates, who represented 54 countries and spoke 48 different languages. These interactions allowed us to meet the students who are most likely to thrive in this unique educational setting. NYUAD is a brand-new campus, home to about 1,500 students. It offers students a liberal arts education woven throughout disciplines including some of the strongest science and engineering programs in the world. Word is spreading quickly about what a powerful collegiate experience NYUAD offers students, and getting college counselors on campus is one way for that message to continue to expand.

During introductions, each student was asked to speak briefly about the significance of an object they'd brought from home. Without exception, these students spoke from the heart about tea pots, journals, stuffed animals, books, photos, clothing, and even a Grecian olive tree. What struck me most were not the factors that made these students so different from one another - language, culture, religion, politics - but those that united them. These were all young men and women with optimism, intelligence, courage, and heart who were a little anxious about going off to college, but who hoped to do so in a like-minded community that honors their heritage and their ambition. In short, they're just like our students.

Looking back on my trip to Abu Dhabi, I am struck by the potential of young people today and grateful for the chance to visit a place that could expand the horizons of Haverford students. There is so much to explore in the world, so many people to meet and experiences to be had. Visiting NYUAD was one step toward making our students here at Haverford aware of the myriad global and educational opportunities that await.


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