When it comes to securing entry at a choice international education school or university overseas, you need a guiding hand that understands the intricacies of the process. From selecting the right institution and program, to making a strong and competitive application the whole process can be quite complex.
Many families fall to the one-size-fits-all misconception trap in the pursuit of overseas education. In today’s globalised world, where educational opportunities abound, parents and students find themselves ill-advised due to inadequate guidance. Once these students enroll at their “dream school,” the really struggle begins. Many of the students report underperforming due to underdeveloped language proficiency, and, in extreme cases, even expulsion from institutions leading to financial ruin and well-being issues for students.
BeGo Education’s mission is to address the situation and make the study abroad experience for the child and family an enjoyable ride.
Speaking at a private event held at the CPA Australia headquarters in Beijing, BeGo’s senior partner, Grace Ngau, shared her invaluable insights with a group of young parents exploring study abroad options for their children, with emphasis on those applying to the US. The event was co-organised by CAP Australia and DBS Bank and attending the talk were families in search of the finest schools and universities for their children, shedding light on the ever-evolving landscape of international education.
Grace studied at International School of Beijing (ISB) before she travelled to the US to study at Boston University in Chicago.
During the talk, Grace emphasised that while study abroad remains a highly viable choice for many chinese parents, there are still numerous common misconceptions surrounding the process. She highlighted that parents need not go through unnecessary trouble or confusion when considering this option.
The Myth of the “perfect” school
One idea that many parents trip on with study abroad is finding the idea od the “perfect” school. While the idea of finding that one perfect institution is appealing, the reality is far more complex.
The global educational landscape offers a diverse array of institutions and programs, each with its unique strengths and offerings. This can create undue stress and unrealistic expectations. “While numerous options of study abroad exist for parents to consider, many parents are not sure which school would be a viable and safe choice for their child, with many relying on third party recommendations which is not always ideal, “ Grace said.
“Without a well-thoughtout plan, many parents are heading for a rude awakening,” she said and advises that rather than obsessing over the elusive concept of a singular “perfect” school, a more pragmatic approach involving assessing a range of factors, including academic offerings, location, cultural fit, and personal goals, is needed to determine the most suitable educational path for each student.
Private Family Education Office (PFEO) Services: A Comprehensive Education Solution
In response, Grace unveiled BeGo Education’s Private Family Education Office (PFEO), a boutique but comprehensive academic service for parents looking to send their chidlren to study abroad.
The PFEO takes an all-encompassing approach, not only focusing on academic development of every child but also providing invaluable support beyond the classroom. From assisting with school search and placement and university applications to visa processes and settling in, the Private Family Education Office (PFEO) Service is BeGo Education’s answer to many parents plea for a seamless transition. College applicants also receive guidance on post-graduation career opportunities, and there’s even support for their family businesses or their start-ups through the support team at LC Venture, the investment firm that has the wholly-owns BeGo Education.
LC Venture is a UK-based, venture-backed consultancy firm that provides support services primariy to UHNW chinese families and their children.
Speaking to the Marina Times and the Enterprenuer recently, the Managing partner of LC Venture, Gaston Chee said, “Approximately 80% of the families who signup for our PFEO, have family businesses. We assist them with their global business strategy and help their family business operations navigate the complex web of regulations that constraining their capacity to establish new ventures and fulfill their role as global representatives, not only for their own enterprises but also for their respective countries.”
While applications from Chinese families have traditionally concentrated on few schools and universities, the in-depth knowledge of US land scape ensure that we are also able to recommend hidden jewels of school that most parents will have no chance of knowing.
“Regardless of the reasons you’ve chosen to pursue study abroad for your child”, Grace told attendees, “you need to understand that the process is highly nuanced, requiring meticulously crafted plan based on strategically placed timeline, with a special focus in English qualification preparation, emphasizing early engagement with the admission officers at the target schools and uiversities.”
To demonstarte, Grace shared a compelling timeline with audience. For a student aspiring to enroll in a U.S. schools or undergraduate program in 2025, the journey should commence atleast in 2019. This meticulous process entails regularly evaluating the student’s capabilities, exploring suitable extra-curricular programs, visiting schools, and navigating the crucial application phase. She also shared a detailed checklist that parents need to complete before embarking on this journey.
“Despite all these preparations, success still remains elusive. A recent article by the World University News reveals that, as application rates concentrate on a select few schools, it is not uncommon for students to apply to up to 20 schools without securing admission. The PFEO aims to increase success by initiating the process early in the child’s learning journey. “One unique benefit of the PFEO services is that parents are actively involved in the process, significantly increasing the likelihood of a successful long-term outcome,” Grace explained.
The challenging aspects of study abroad applications is the intense competition due to concentration of applicants on few schools that have garnered reputation as the best school or college and universities many Chinese applicants.
One way to increase the chances for students to be competitive is to build a strong students profile for the applicants. To help parents curate a well-rounded student profile for their child, instead of simply accumulating unrelated extra-curricular activities, BeGo Education advocates for a strategic combination of activities that complements each other without overwhelming the student. This requires thoughtful decision-making, an area where many parents often report they struggle.
The future of study abroad
Despite the numerous ominous predictions of US-China relations and the proliferation of alternative options for study abroad, studying abroad will remain the primary aspiration for many Chinese families in the near foreseeable future. These families view it as an antidote to China’s rigorous examination systems like Zhongkao and Gaokao.
“Studying abroad will continue to be the preferred educational path for thousands of Chinese families. To adapt to the evolving changes and trends in the industry, BeGo Education is dedicated to streamlining and simplifying the process for parents, ” Grace said.
With a history dating back to 2012, BeGo Education has been facilitating school searches and placement applications. Their bilingual and multilingual team, all of whom have experienced studying abroad in the UK and the US, creates Individualised Development Plans (IDPs) for students. These plans range from essential information like school rankings and locations to personalized elements such as alumni networks, ensuring the perfect fit for each student. BeGo Education also prioritises age-appropriate English proficiency and admission assessments, recognising their pivotal role in students’ success.