The Ten-Day Intensive Summer Program to Prepare Candidates for US University Admission

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US Admission Summer 2018 Workshop

To become optimally positioned to make the most of your US university search and application process!

Created and run by leading international educators for Hong Kong students who seek entry into America’s best colleges.

The program is designed to give students the freedom to focus on their college process unencumbered by the competing demands of the academic school year.

A comprehensive package combining over 40 hours of SAT preparation along with instruction in the foundational knowledge needed to make informed university choices, students will leave the workshop well positioned to make the most of their US university search and application process.

The US Admission Summer Workshop

This a very unique and special opportunity for US-bound Hong Kong students to interact with and learn from some of Asia’s most experienced university counselors.

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  • It’s free to register!

“Unlike companies that develop educational programs from a business model, at Higher⋅ED we develop educational programs from an educational model. ”

The US Admission Experts

Taking a comprehensive approach to the US application process

Higher⋅ED is a comprehensive educational consultancy founded and directed by experienced, professional educators dedicated to upholding the highest standards in the field.

Offering a wide range of services including Admission Workshops, Individual Counseling, Institutional Training and Consulting for Educational Organizations, Higher⋅ED brings decades of experience to bear in our work on every project, and with each individual client.

Ten-Day Intensive Summer Program to Prepare Candidates for US University Admission.

At Higher⋅Ed we believe that no two students have exactly the same aptitudes, the same needs, or the same educational goals. We also believe that due to its incredibly diverse range of university options, the US has something for everyone.

But with over 5,000 institutions offering tens of thousands of degree programs, how does one decide on which is best?

US Admission Summer Workshop brings a time-tested and highly successful approach to the US university application process, delivered by education professionals in the field of counseling and admission. From standardized test prep and essay writing sessions to learning how to research universities and what to look for, our workshop has the college process covered.

This comprehensive two-week workshop, held at Chinese International School in Hong Kong, is uniquely designed to furnish students with the knowledge, self-awareness and tools necessary for a successful US university application process. Our career, test preparation, writing and admission counseling professionals show students how to best navigate the complex world of US university admissions in an organized, well-researched and healthy manner, providing them with the knowledge that is guaranteed to set them on a positive path toward realizing their educational goals and personal aspirations.

Most importantly, our individualized approach gives students a clearer understanding of what they want and need from their university experience, ultimately leading to college and university choices that are based on an understanding of what is best for them.

The US Admission Summer Workshop takes a comprehensive approach to the US application process. It is designed to give students the freedom to focus on their college process unencumbered by the competing demands of the academic school year. A comprehensive package combining over 40 hours of SAT preparation along with instruction in the foundational knowledge needed to make informed university choices, students will leave the workshop well positioned to make the most of their US university search and application process.


Session 1: June 19 – 30.

Session 2: July 03 – 14

Session 3: July 17 – 28



08:30AM – 4:00 PM: Monday through Friday

While the particular activities will vary from day to day, the general structure of each day will remain the same. The morning sessions will be entirely dedicated to SAT Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing practice, as well as tips, techniques and training on writing the college essay. Over ten days, the participants will receive a total of 45 hours of subject-specific training delivered in small groups of no more than nine students. Each morning, students will rotate through three 90-minute sessions of English, Mathematics and Writing, conducted by experienced international educators.

Each afternoon, participants will have a 150-minute session with a team of university counselors. Plenary forums, small-group discussions, one-on-one work with counselors, and individual research and writing modules will be scheduled flexibly to meet the diverse and individual needs of all participants.

A workshop day may include:

8:00 – 9:30 SAT Critical Reading
9:40 – 11:10 SAT Mathematics
11:20 – 12:50 College Essay Writing
Lunch: 40 minutes
1:30 – 2:30 One-hour seminar how to research universities
2:30 – 3:30 Individual task: researching universities
3:30 – 4:00 Counseling session: individual meeting with counselor to discuss your career interests

Robert Mansueto has over 40 years of experience in education in the United States and throughout the world. He has served as Admissions Counselor at Monmouth University in New Jersey for one year, Undergraduate Admissions Counselor at George Washington University for three years, Assistant and Associate Director of Admissions at Oberlin College for five years, Dean of Admission at Reed College for thirteen years, and headed Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Vermont for one year. Following his work in higher education administration, he held the position of Director of College Counseling and History Teacher at the York School in Monterey, California from 1997-1999. In September of 1999 he became Director of University Counselling at Chinese International School in Hong Kong, a position that he currently holds. Mr. Mansueto is Founder and Executive Director of International Education Advisory Services and Co-Founder and Executive Director of HigherED, two educational consultancy firms.

During his career in education Mr. Mansueto has been a speaker at conferences and forums on many educational topics both in the U.S. and throughout the world, including a speech in 2010 on “Exporting Chinese Culture Abroad Through Education” at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for The Ninth Overseas Investment Strategy Forum for Chinese Enterprises.

In recognition of his standing in the field he was appointed one of six senior educators as a Consultant to the U.S. State Department on Overseas Schools. In that role he advised on education and consulted with secondary schools in the Tri-Association (Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia and Mexico), specifically in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia and Mexico. In representing U.S. education his work took him to Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Peoples Republic of China, England, Wales, France, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Mr. Mansueto has consulted recently with schools in Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China and Mongolia. He served on a number of educational committees including the Common Application Steering Committee (Chair), the TOEFL Policy Council (Vice Chair) and the OACAC/IACAC Finance Committee. Throughout his career, Mr. Mansueto has held professional membership in the National Association of Foreign Student Affairs (NAFSA), National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC), the College Board, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers(AACRAO), California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), Pacific Northwest Association of College Admission Counselors (PNACAC), International Association of College Admission Counselors (IACAC), and the Council on International Schools (CIS).

Marc Marier’s professional career began in the year 1979 in Berwick, Maine, USA at Noble High School where he taught English. Noble was on the leading edge of Maine’s educational reform efforts at the time, and Mr. Marier was a strong advocate for and leader in the school’s restructuring efforts which included team teaching, interdisciplinary curriculum, exit exhibitions, alternative assessment and other reforms.

While at Noble, Mr. Marier earned his Master’s Degree in School Counseling at the University of Southern Maine and, after over twenty years in the classroom, left teaching for school counseling in 2004, again at Noble High School. In 2006, Marc, his wife Lori, and daughter Juliette departed Maine for the adventure of international life.

From 2006 December, he served as school counselor and subsequently Counseling Department Chair at the American School of Dubai. At ASD, Mr. Marier played an instrumental role in developing a comprehensive counseling program which included more robust career and college counseling curriculum as well as enhanced student and parent support. In 2012, Mr. Marier and his family moved to Hong Kong where he is currently employed as a university counselor at the Chinese International School.

Mr. Marier has avidly pursued opportunities to improve his counseling skills through his membership in the National Association of College Admission Counselors and International Association of College Admission Counselors, and has participated at many professional workshops and forums both in the US and internationally. Mr. Marier has also presented at several professional workshops, most recently at the Council of International Schools Counselor Forum held in Bangkok (Fall 2015) where he presented on the topic of promoting student wellbeing in the college process.

In addition to his regular counseling responsibilities, Mr. Marier has been the driving force in creating a newsletter for CIS parents promoting a deeper understanding of the many issues associated with the college process, especially student wellbeing.

Laszlo Varro holds advanced degrees in Mathematics, Geology and Educational Administration. His career in international education has spanned three decades and three continents, and has allowed him to work with students, parents and educators in a wide range of cultural contexts. Since the late 1980s he has held various teaching and administrative positions in Hungary, the United States, Mexico and Hong Kong. He served as a Fulbright Scholar in San Diego, California, was appointed the Chair of Science and Mathematics Departments at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara in Mexico, and the Head of Mathematics at the Chinese International School in Hong Kong. Since 2010 he has served as Head of Administrative Services at the Chinese International School in Hong Kong.

Dr. Varro has developed a comprehensive knowledge of several curricular approaches, including the International Baccalaureate Organization’s Middle Years and Diploma Programs, the UK-based A Levels and IGCSE, and the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program. He has also been trained at different Oxford and Cambridge University Colleges to assist candidates’ preparation for the admission interviews at these universities. Building on these experiences, Dr. Varro has designed, structured and led several SAT and ACT preparatory programs for small groups and individuals, and has assisted a large number of candidates to prepare for their mathematics and physics interviews at UK universities.

Since 2003 Dr. Varro has been working with the Council of International Schools, the leading accrediting agency of international schools around the world. In this role he has visited schools in Mauritius, Thailand, Malaysia, the People’s Republic of China and Kazakhstan, where he served on visiting teams evaluating school governance, finances and budgeting, facilities management, student services, teaching practices and operational models.

Dr. Varro is a Cofounder and Director of Building Learning Communities, a Hong Kong-based educational consulting firm advising schools and other educational organizations in curricular, structural and organizational matters in China and Southeast Asia.

Robert Mansueto

Marc Marier

Laszlo Varro

Why You Need to Attend This Workshop!


  • Learn how to complete a personal interest inventory to gain a better understanding of educational and personal goals, leading to possible career paths
  • Engage in 45 hours of SAT test preparation.
  • Get advice on whether or not a language testing (TOEFL, IELTS) is required or recommended.
  • Learn how to create a timetable for completion of standardized tests.
  • Prepare an Activities Résumé suitable for inclusion with applications.
  • Work with an individual University Counsellor to explore personal criteria and to develop a preliminary list of universities to research.
  • Learn how to thoroughly research a university.
  • Learn how to complete a US Application Essay under the guidance of a college essay expert.
  • Learn what factors students should consider in selecting teachers to write letters of recommendation.
  • Gain an understanding of various admission plans including Early Decision, Early Action and their appropriateness.
  • Learn how to get the most from university tours and visiting university representatives.
  • Gain insight into the various factors upon which US admission decisions are made, along with their relative importance in the process.
  • Learn about Scholarships and Financial Aid offered by US universities.
  • Learn how to develop a personalized plan for a smooth, positive and successful university admission process.
  • Learn how to work more cooperatively and positively with parents.
  • Emerge with a greater understanding of oneself as a unique individual.
  • Get up close and personal with Asia’s leading US Universities Counsellors and get into the best college possible.

Located at Chinese International School


US Admission Associates

Workshop Leaders and Associates

Jennifer Lee

Brianna Porter

Annie Yung

Ryan Haynes

David Sanda

See Mi Lee

Tin Tsang

Jennifer Law

Jennifer Lee is the Head of Counseling at Shanghai American School, Puxi Campus. She graduated with a B.A. from Wellesley College and received a Ed.M. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Ms. Lee has had the joy to work in education in the field of university admissions and university counseling for over fourteen years, both on the secondary and post-secondary sides domestically in the United States and internationally. A university enthusiast at heart, she has had the opportunity to visit over 250 universities in the United States and other countries. With her experience in seeing what different campuses and colleges have to offer, she partners with students and families to help them achieve and realize their goals for university. It is not only about finding the right match for university, but also preparing students so that they are confident and ready for the challenges of the real world. She has counseled hundreds of students and their families, to enable them to make the important decision in selecting a university that is right for them.

Ms. Lee is a former admission officer of Scripps College and is currently an outside Admissions Reader for UCLA. She has served on the International Association for College Admission Counseling Professional Development Committee since 2013 and co-chaired the International College Counseling 101 for new international counselors. She also served as a faculty member for the 2016 International ACAC Pre-Conference Institute. Ms. Lee has presented at various international and U.S. conferences including NACAC, College Board Forum, WACAC, International ACAC.

After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Tulsa in 2008, Brianna Porter returned to graduate school to become a school counselor, earning a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology and her Pupil Personnel Services Credential from the University of San Francisco in 2011.

Ms. Porter has six years of experience as a school counselor in the US and Asia. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she now lives in Busan, South Korea where she serves as High School Counselor at Busan International Foreign School. Prior to her arrival in Busan, Ms. Porter served as Head of Counseling and AP Advanced Placement (AP) Coordinator at the International School of Myanmar (ISM) in Yangon from 2014-2016, the largest international school in Myanmar. She began her professional counseling career in 2011, working for three years as a Counselor in the San Francisco Unified and Moreland School Districts.

During her years as a professional educator, Ms. Porter has worked in collaboration with many California State Universities and University of California campuses while in the US, hosted hundreds of university representative throughout her career, and worked with various educational systems including AP (in the US and Myanmar), the International Baccalaureate (in Korea), as well as the local systems in both of her international positions. Throughout her career she has supported and assisted students in their applications to universities in the US, the Netherlands, Canada, the UK, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Switzerland, Australia and Norway. As a student, Ms. Porter was herself recruited to compete at the highest university level in NCAA Division I Rowing, an experience that has provided her with unique insight into the complicated and competitive process of athletic recruitment in the US. Her experience as a competitive student athlete has fostered a collaborative and strategic demeanor that she utilizes when assisting students in navigating their own process as either a regular applicant, or one who seeks to participate in competitive university athletics.

Over the course of her career, Ms. Porter has been an organizational member of the California Association of School Counselors, American School Counselor Association, and International Association for College Admission Counseling. She has presented at professional workshops including the International ACAC Conference and the EARCOS-CIS Institute on Higher Education Admission and Guidance. Ms. Porter has also participated in professional conferences and counselor tours worldwide.

Raised in the windy city of Chicago, Ms. Yung obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from DePaul University and her Master of Social Sciences in Counseling from The University of Hong Kong. Her international counseling career began in Hong Kong at King George V School (KGV), one of the five secondary schools under the English Schools Foundation. At KGV, Ms. Yung served as a Careers and Higher Education Counselor, working with a diverse group of students she is familiar with various academic including the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program, IB Middle Years Program, the UK-based GCSE, IGCSE as well as the BTEC program. Ms. Yung has counseled and supported students with their applications to universities and colleges in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Switzerland. In addition to providing guidance through the university application process, Ms. Yung organized and conducted mock interviews together with teachers and industry professionals for students applying to Oxford, Cambridge, medical and law programs.

Since June 2014, Ms. Yung has been delivering the Career Education Program to high school students at Chinese International School (CIS), where she is currently employed as the Individual and Career Advancement Counselor. In that role, she guide students through personal and career exploration, and assists them in identifying their individual strengths and objectives along with the implications of academic and co-curricular decisions on career options. Ms. Yung is experienced in administering and interpreting a range of personality surveys, interest inventories and career-related assessments. Having administered the inventories and assessments, she is able to provide individualized support to students when formulating their activities resumes for college applications and guide them on their college essays. Ms. Yung regularly conducts workshops for students on interviewing and networking skills.

Ms. Yung is an active member of the American School Counseling Association and attended their annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona in Summer 2015. She has also been a member of the George M. Pullman Educational Foundation Scholarship alumni selection committee since 2012.

Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Ryan Haynes obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Virginia and his Masters in Secondary School Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. Mr. Haynes worked as a High School Counselor in his home state of Virginia for four years prior to entering the wonderful world of international education. His posts in Asia include Ruamrudee International School, Bangkok, Thailand; Taipei American School, Taipei, Taiwan; The American International School of Muscat, Muscat, Oman; International School Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Thailand.

Mr. Haynes has always worked in comprehensive counseling models, where he has served in a variety of roles, and he is familiar with both Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculums. One of Mr. Haynes’ favorite aspects of school counseling is the university application process and he has counseled and supported thousands of students in his 18 year counseling career who have matriculated to universities worldwide. Mr. Haynes has also presented on best practices in the university application process at various conferences, in addition to presenting to students and parents frequently. In addition, Mr. Haynes has visited many universities worldwide and is an active member of the International Association of College Admission Counselors (IACAC).

David Sanda is currently the Head of Mathematics at Chinese International School, Hong Kong. He graduated with a Bachelor of Technology (Civil Engineering) from University of Southern Queensland, Australia, and has since obtained a Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education (Griffith University) as well as a Masters of Education (also from University of Southern Queensland).

Mr. Sanda has been working in Mathematics education for the past 20 years. He has had the opportunity of working in Australia, the United Kingdom, Portugal and most recently in Hong Kong where he has been Head of Mathematics in two successful international schools. He has had experience teaching the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (Higher Level, Standard Level and Mathematical Studies), as well as A-levels, the International General Certificate in Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP). In addition, over the years he has become thoroughly familiar with the mathematics components of the SAT and ACT.

Relying on his familiarity with a wide range of curricular approaches and assessment systems, Mr. Sanda has helped several mathematics departments in national and international schools to revise and update or completely replace their mathematics curricula. His particular strength is to advise schools that need to adjust to the changing needs and expectations of the wider community within the confines of an existing curricular model.

Se Mi Lee currently works in the Secondary School of Chinese International school. She received her B.A. in English Literature and Classical Civilisation from UCLA, and graduated with an M.A. from Teacher’s College, Columbia.

Ms. Lee has been teaching English Literature for 5 years in the United States (New York City) and Hong Kong, and has also taught ESL in South Korea. She has worked with a wide range of secondary students from Year 7 to 13, and has experience in working with both the IB (DP and MYP) and AP in English Literature.

Short bio will be posted soon.
Prior to arriving in Hong Kong, Ms. Law spent 6 years in New York City working in various roles and functions in finance. Ms. Law was born, raised and educated in Boston, MA where she attended and graduated from Simmons College. She holds a Graduate Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA and is now pursuing a Master of Education in Higher Education at the University of Hong Kong.

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