For us, the E-Conference for International Educators is a lot of things. It is not just our annual flagship event but a pivotal moment where our efforts truly come to light. This remarkable platform serves as a nexus, seamlessly connecting high school counselors and university representatives from all corners of the world.
In our pursuit of organizing the upcoming fifth edition of the E-Conference, we embarked on an introspective journey, contemplating the significance of this event for our ever-growing network of counselors. We wholeheartedly acknowledge that with their invaluable contributions, this conference is possible and also full of purpose. To shed light on this matter, we gathered insights from two distinguished counselors from different regions of Spain: David O’Kane from Canterbury School in Gran Canaria and John Barter from Baleares International College in Mallorca.
If you seek firsthand testimonials or aspire to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the conference operates and how you can optimize your participation, this article serves as a valuable resource tailored to meet your needs.
Can you describe the SRT E-Conference in one sentence?
David: The E-Conference is a wonderful opportunity to meet interesting people, all professionals in their respective fields, and exchange ideas, perspectives, and knowledge in relation to higher education opportunities around the world.
John: The SRT E-Conference is where I meet up with universities and build my knowledge of what is available to my students.
What does your day look like while attending the E-Conference?
David: Personally, my day during the E-Conference is pretty hectic; I arrange appointments and attend informative sessions around my teaching and counseling duties on that given day.
John: I add sessions to my non-teaching periods, being able to usually do 2 or 3 sessions per day.
Which part of the E-Conference is most useful for you?
David: The most useful part is without doubt the opportunity to meet and discuss undergraduate courses and access to the very same with representatives from different universities around the world, rather than just one of two of the more popular destinations for international students. In doing so, as a counselor, I have become more knowledgeable and therefore better able to help each one of my students find the best path forward in the next phase of their lives.
John: The updated knowledge in a world that is changing pretty fast.
What is your most memorable experience as an E-Conference participant?
David: The one-to-one conversations with delegates from different universities.
John: Lots of great meetings with the friendliest of people.
Can you share one new thing you learned during your last E-Conference?
David: Studying abroad does not have to be extremely expensive and access to the most competitive courses at the undergraduate level does not always presuppose that applicants all have to be high academic flyers.
John: The slight variations in the expectations of universities regarding architecture portfolios, which one of his Y13s made use of.
Why are you attending the E-Conference again?
David: I attend the E-Conference time and time again because it allows me to learn more and become better at my job while also meeting like-minded educationalists from around the world.
John: I learn something new every time so this should be no exception.
What would you recommend new E-Conference participants do before the start of the event as well as during?
David: Prior to the event, I would recommend new participants free up their schedule as much as possible so as to be able to make the most of it. Similarly, I would suggest that counselors should ask themselves two questions 1) What do I already know in relation to studying at the undergraduate level? 2) What would I like to find out more about? Once you have this clear, make appointments according to your specific needs and those of your students. Don’t worry if you cannot attend any of the general information sessions, these are recorded and you can access them anytime.
John: Work out a set of priorities for meetings and then contact universities to schedule meetings that meet these priorities.
David O’Kane comes from the UK but has been working for over 10 years in Gran Canaria, Spain, where he is Head of Sixth Form, Counselor and English Teacher at Canterbury School.
John Bartes is also an international education professional with more than 10 years of experience. He is the Head of Sixth Form, University Advisor and Teacher of Humanities at Baleares International College in Mallorca.