Andrea Peisker is the College Placement Counselor for Colegio Bolivar High School and has the support of an assistant, Isabel Sanint. These two professionals coordinate the Advanced Placement program and provide the College Board AP final exams. Their role is to guide High School students and their parents through the college admissions process. This includes completing university applications; preparing and registering for the SAT, ACT, ICFES and TOEFL exams; and finding scholarships and other financial assistance opportunities.
Students receive individualized attention and utilize both written and electronic tools for university and career planning. The college placement office is a valuable resource to help students narrow down their options both here in Colombia, as well as abroad. Parents are also encouraged to schedule personalized appointments as this collaboration usually results in a more successful experience for the student. The counselor and school staff support and advise students throughout this process, but the student and their family are responsible for the final decision.
College planning begins in the ninth grade at Colegio Bolivar and then accelerates each year. Activities include workshops, conferences, taking the PSAT, college fairs, university presentations, career chats with alumni, College Night, Career Week, and visiting university campuses.
In the last five years, between 25% and 40% of our graduates carry out their undergraduate studies outside of Colombia, mostly in the United States. Of those who remain in Colombia to study, between 50% and 65% do so in Bogotá. Additionally, each year there is a group of about 15% who do a foreign exchange, volunteer work, and/or study a third language abroad before starting their undergraduate studies.
Colegio Bolivar, in conjunction with the College Placement Office, continuously emphasizes the importance of student involvement in other activities in addition to academics. Some examples are: voluntary social service in the community, sports, arts, leadership activities, clubs, entrepreneurship, and optimizing their summer vacation; thus utilizing their personal time to build a solid resume and a successful future.
Every month we have university visits taking place on campus. It is important to attend these visits not only to have a benchmark to compare options, but also to learn more about the offers, i.e. exchanges, scholarships, dual careers, sports, clubs, etc. These institutions come a long way because they are genuinely interested in our students, so take advantage of their visit to your city. Parents are welcome to attend as well.