Alison McCallum

Alison McCallum
88 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
Alison McCallum is Head of University Counselling at SMUS and one of the Academic Advisors.

When is the Deadline for University Applications?

We break down the whens and whats of university applications so students and parents don't stress as deadlines approach

Recapping the Grade 12 Parent Information Evening

A recap of this week's University Counselling Parent Info Evening about post-secondary planning. And download the useful slideshow from the presentation!

University Counselling: Thinking Ahead to Summer

Ms. Alison McCallum, head of University Counselling, offers some great advice for how to spend some of your time off in the summer
video

Choosing the Right High School Courses at SMUS

Senior School students will soon pick their classes for next year. Find out everything you need to know to help you choose the right high school courses
letter of reference

How to Get a Great Letter of Reference from a Teacher

Asking a high school teacher for a letter of reference is a crucial step to help make your university or scholarship application stand out
SMUS-University-Counselling

University Options: Look Beyond the Usual Suspects

Earlier this week, the CUE (Canadian Universities Event) came to Victoria. This annual event is a fair format with representatives from about 50 Canadian...

Marching Toward Grad 2017

We hosted our annual Grade 12 Student and Parent Information Evening last week to help students and parents prepare for the year ahead. If...

Winding up to get back in the groove

Alison McCallum, Head of University Counselling, offers advice to Grade 12 students looking ahead at their post-secondary options

Wear Your Colours

There was a fabulous array of colours, university names, and accessories in assembly yesterday! We invited the Grade 12s and the school faculty (K-12)...

University Preparation for the Class of 2016: Beyond the SMUS Bubble

We hosted two events on Tuesday, May 24 with the goal of helping grade 12 students and their parents prepare for the next phase...

Summer School Options: Victoria and Vancouver

If you are looking to complete one of your Grade 10-12 courses this summer at summer school in Victoria or Vancouver, you have options....
SMUS-University-Counselling

Decision time

It’s decision time. Students know the results of many, but not all, of their university applications and they may experience a whole range of...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Ryan Totz ’16 Wins Morehead-Cain Scholarship to UNC-Chapel Hill

One of the best parts about the work I do is the privilege I have to get to know so many incredible young people....
SMUS-University-Counselling

The waiting game

Many of our grade 12 students are now in a new place: the waiting room. Last fall, there was a flurry of tasks to...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Surf, golf, and study…come to St. Andrews (but not for the weather!)

On a blustery Scottish day, I took the train from Edinburgh to St. Andrews to have a wee visit with my former advisee and...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Post-Secondary Information for Parents

If you were unable to attend our information session held in the Chapel on Tuesday night, please visit the webpage below to view a...
SMUS-University-Counselling

7400 College Counselling Peers, 2 Campuses, and 1 Coalition

My University Counselling colleague, Timio Colistro, and I spent 4 days in San Diego last week attending the 'National Association of College Advising and...
SMUS-University-Counselling

A SMUS grad at UC San Diego

Len (SMUS Grad ’12) is in his fourth year of study at the University of California, San Diego, in the Jacobs School of Engineering....
SMUS-University-Counselling

Grad 2016, Start Your Engines!

In the world of education, September really is like everyone else's January: it's when we set new directions, make resolutions, and fine tune our...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Go to university in Norway? Hvorfor ikke?

One of the many reasons I love my job is because I get to live vicariously through my students as they find out about...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Long summer days ahead

Ah, June. There is so much to do this month, and also so much promise for the two months that lie in wait. Some...
SMUS-University-Counselling

One road to med school

I had the opportunity to meet with one of our '09 grads, Colin,  this morning to talk with him about his path from high...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Summer study opportunities

AP season is upon us now and there is ever increasing talk of exams in June, but many students are also turning their minds...
SMUS-University-Counselling

University Counselling Parent Information Evening

On Tuesday evening, there were over 80 parents and students in the Lecture Theatre listening to our University Counselling team talk about the myriad...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Helping your Child Transition to University

Written by Matthew Gardner, M.Ed, RCC , who is one of our SMUS personal counsellors. The stress of adjusting to university or college is...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Learn about American college options

Next week will be a busy week for students looking at their post-secondary options south of the border. Details about all university visits are included...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Royal Holloway, University of London

Representatives from both Admissions and the Faculty of Law were here this morning to talk about the merits of this university 45 minutes outside...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Ready, set, apply!

http://youtu.be/eBE1isCvKyw?list=UUmtp7zgg7HYTtns7ySiXOmA On Thursday, September 4, University Counselling hosted an information evening for Grade 12 students and parents to disseminate important information about what this year...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Canadian University Representatives on our Campus

Admission representatives from universities near and far have started their annual pilgrimage to Victoria, armed with viewbooks and information to give to prospective students. Here...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Looking ahead: applying to the UK

The UCAS (University and College Admission Service) has activated its apply system (Apply 2015) much earlier than usual.  Just go to this link: http://www.ucas.com/apply/undergraduate  Make sure...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Post-Secondary Transition Talk Without the Fluff

The evening began with an intentionally playful process using a panel interview format à la Jimmy Fallon: there was no preparation of questions but...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Sending our chicks out into the world

As University Counsellors, we delight in our students’ successes and excitement about their post-secondary plans, but sometimes it is tinged with a little bit...
SMUS-University-Counselling

NYU Abu Dhabi: Where Magic Happens

When I was invited in April to visit NYU Abu Dhabi for a weekend, my first reaction was 'absolutely', thanks to my strong adventurous...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Looking ahead to summer

Sometimes students want to use the summer months to get ahead in some coursework, preview a course, or take advantage of a unique learning...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Life lessons from a career in media

I had the good fortune to listen in on the Career Day session offered by SMUS alum, Susie Wall, last Wednesday. Officially, she was...
SMUS-University-Counselling

17 visits, one busy week!

Did you know that we had 5 university representatives on campus today, and we have 12 more coming in the next 4 days? It's...
SMUS-University-Counselling

A university with butterflies, tunnels, and a superlab?!

I spent a day at Carleton University for a rapid-fire update about the Ontario universities.  At the end of the day, a few counsellors...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Home of the bilingual Gee-Gees

With 41,000 students (36,000 undergrads) on a campus that is only 0.5 km by 1 km, you would think that it would feel squashed....
SMUS-University-Counselling

Oh to be young again!

When I was a teenager, I spent my summer vacations babysitting and bussing tables. Summer school was the furthest thing from my mind and...
SMUS-University-Counselling

English language option in France

Sciences Po is an internationally renowned university in France composed of seven campuses, each with its own geographical focus area and dominant language on...
SMUS-University-Counselling

California road trip: 11 college campuses in 5 days

In early February, Rea Casey and I spent a week in Southern California visiting colleges with three other University Counsellors from BC independent schools. With...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Last but certainly not least…University of San Diego

I have to admit that by the end of our tour, we thought we might have seen all that Southern California had to offer...
SMUS-University-Counselling

University of California, San Diego

Back to California road trip: 11 college campuses in 5 days
SMUS-University-Counselling

Cowboys, Samurai, and Manly Men – A Writing Seminar

Occidental College is located 8 miles from downtown LA, though I have to admit that we were never really sure where downtown LA actually...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Chapman University – Orange, CA

Located about an hour and a half drive on the freeway from Los Angeles, Chapman was a real gem of a place. The people...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Our First Stop – UCLA

UCLA is located very close to Beverly Hills and the campus visit was the first one on our itinerary. The campus itself is vast...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Beauty, brains, and brawn at USC

Imagine getting credit towards your university degree for a course that entails listening to a talk given by a theatre critic followed up with...
SMUS-University-Counselling

2012 Grad is Governer General’s Award Winner

Each year, SMUS is able to award one Governor General Award Bronze Medal to the graduating student with the highest academic average of the...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Ahhh…January.

It’s a new year and things are cooking in the University Counselling Centre! To date, 37% of the graduating class is on record as...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Interesting times in the Canadian post-secondary world

Here at SMUS, we are committed to preparing students for higher learning, whatever shape that may take. In this article printed in the Globe...
SMUS-University-Counselling

US College Fair in Vancouver – Oct 24, 2012

For students applying to US colleges this fall, or thinking of it for next year, you have the chance to take part in a...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Ivy League take on testing (SAT, ACT, TOEFL/IELTS)

Following up on the blog last week about testing, it was interesting to hear one of the Ivy League presenters at SMUS last week...
SMUS-University-Counselling

PRA, SAT & ACT on our campus

'Tis the season for sharpening pencils, filling in bubbles, and reasoning your way through problems! Many students applying to a US college or university...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Halifax

Our travels took us from Sackville to Antigonish to Halifax, where the average age of a Haligonian is 28, thanks in large part to...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Smile, you’re at X

I’ll admit it. I was totally taken with St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The campus is beautiful, the facilities are all...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Mount Allison University: $6 to anywhere

Sackville is a very small town nestled in rural New Brunswick, about thirty minutes from the Moncton airport. The town doubles in population when...
SMUS-University-Counselling

McGill: something for (almost) everyone, in and out of the bubble

Over the past four graduating classes, we have had an average of 47 students apply to McGill University each year (that’s a little less...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Free rides, free spirits, and free lunches at Concordia University

If your parents are concerned about you getting enough vegetables while at university, let them know that Concordia University offers a free vegan lunch, Monday to...
SMUS-University-Counselling

A university whose star is on the rise

What do Johnny Reid, the premier of PEI and the inventor of the "smart board" all have in common? They all went to the...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Now that’s a big fish in a small pond.

Catching a sturgeon Vancouver Island University is full of surprises! Located in Nanaimo, it has a quite a large campus and a total student population...
SMUS-University-Counselling

A different kind of summer school

In this past Saturday’s edition of the Globe and Mail, I came across an advertisement for the “Quantum Crytography School for Young Students”. I...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Which path will YOU choose?

In our roles as University Counsellors, Grade Advisors, and Planning/HCE teachers, particularly at this time of year, we have many conversations with students and...
SMUS-University-Counselling

iSearch options for US Colleges

Like millions of others, I spend a little time with an iPhone and/or an iPad in hand. Okay, maybe more than a little. But,...
SMUS-University-Counselling

California dreamin’

If you are considering applying to one of the University of California schools, you might consider registering for one of upcoming U of California...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Studying in the UK and Ireland

There is an international educator’s conference in Vancouver in early June and this has given us the opportunity to invite a number of university...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Let’s talk about TOEFL

It is Advanced Placement (AP) season around here and that has me thinking about all the different kinds of tests students take. Some are...

University of Edinburgh (Scotland)

  The University of Edinburgh is located right on the edge of the Royal Mile, a stretch of road that goes from Edinburgh Castle, perched...
SMUS-University-Counselling

University of St. Andrews (Scotland)

At the celebrations in February for the 600th anniversary of the University of St Andrews, Prince William said, “It is the greatest university on...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Go for a test drive!

If you have some time over the break, why not take advantage of a campus tour for one of more of the universities you...
SMUS-University-Counselling

University of Oxford, England

There is little distinction between the University of Oxford and the town of Oxford. The academic buildings are strewn throughout the historic town that...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Alicia P. at the University of St. Andrews

While visiting the University of St. Andrews in Scotland last week, I had the chance to catch up with Alicia P. (Grad 2010) who...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Waiting, waiting…

It used to be that students would rush home every day to see whether an admissions decision had arrived by mail, and decide when...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Something for everyone this month

Between now and the end of October, there are 15 university visits planned, in only 11 school days. If you are a SMUS student,...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Finding your inner zagger at CUE

There was excellent chi in the gym last night for the Canadian University Event (CUE): free flowing energy from the admissions representatives, the parents,...
SMUS-University-Counselling

California, here I come!

Applying to the University of California system as a non-California resident There are 9 undergraduate campuses and one graduate school campus (UC San Francisco) that...
SMUS-University-Counselling

A day with St. George’s, University of London

With programs ranging from medicine (including nursing) and biomedical science to radiography and physiotherapy, St. George's, University of London (SGUL) is a top-notch place to go....
SMUS-University-Counselling

Is an Ivy League college your dream school?

SMUS is delighted to once again be the only stop on Vancouver Island for representatives from the “Ivy Plus” group of universities, which includes...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Western and the “Affiliates”

After touring the University of Western Ontario (London, ON) last week, I came away with an enhanced understanding of the university as a whole,...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Royal Veterinary College (England)

I had the opportunity last week to sit down with Nina Davies, Head of Undergraduate Student Recruitment, at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), located in...
SMUS-University-Counselling

April: a month of opportunities

There are a number of events organized by the University Counselling Department this month. There will be annoucements to keep you in the loop but...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Researching business, architecture or engineering courses in the UK: a primer

If you are thinking of pursuing post-secondary studies in the UK, there are many considerations to be made. How long does the "course" (degree...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Camosun College in 2010: a great, local option

How little I knew about the 2010 version of Camosun College! Although the new information has been readily accessible, my understanding of what they...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Business / Commerce Programmes at Canadian Universities

Students who wish to enter a business programme in Canada have a number of choices. Many university business programmes are direct-entry from high school,...
SMUS-University-Counselling

So you want to be an architect…

Architecture is a key area of interest for many young adults considering a professional career path in a growing field.  In order to train...
SMUS-University-Counselling

A Women’s College? Why would I want to do that?

During my recent visit to the Bay area, I had the chance to spend a morning at Mills College, a women’s college located in...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Thinking of heading to “Nor Cal” for college?

  Well if you are, you have a lot of choice! Yesterday I visited U California Berkeley in the morning, and Stanford University in the...
SMUS-University-Counselling

Looking for an inside scoop?

If you are wandering (or wading) through college or university websites, you might want to add a different approach to your virtual touring. There...
SMUS-University-Counselling

What I have learned so far…

Well, after two months in the University Counselling office, I have had the opportunity to sit in on many university presentations. Most visits are a whirlwind...