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Student from Hong Kong’s Island School Recommends College Consultant

This student from Hong Kong, who attends Island School, one of the several English Schools Foundation Schools that offers the International Baccalaureate program, worked with Mark Montgomery to help him determine which college to attend in the United States.

This young man needed help figuring out which college was really right for him, and he needed some assistance in completing all the applications and the essays and personal statements. In the end, he decided to apply to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and was admitted under the early decision program.

In addition, Mark helped him decide to take a gap year to study in China and to pursue some of his personal and intellectual interests that he had not had the opportunity to explore in high school.


I’m a student from Island School who started working with Mark at the beginning of 11th grade. At the start of 11th grade I didn’t really know where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do with my life, and I hadn’t really figured myself out and I hadn’t really figured out where I wanted to go to college. And so it was a difficult time for me because if I didn’t know who I was, how did I know where I was going to go to college? And so I started seeing Mark, and I started getting some help from him. And it was great, actually, one of the first things Mark got me to do was a personality test, he made sure I understood whether I wanted a big school or a small school, and basically he forced me to end up thinking about all these things, something I hadn’t really done. I was just looking at the list of big universities, looking at their web site, do I like the colors on their page, I don’t know, do I like the activities of their school? Basically very superficial things that I feel most students go through. Even when I went to visit the schools, it’s difficult to get a sense of them. You can only really understand them based on their tour guide and tour guides are different and they change and they don’t always represent the school.

So I didn’t really know where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. And Mark helped me with that. Finally, Mark talked to me a lot and I realized that I wanted to go to a small liberal arts school, and suggested Bowdoin in Maine. So I applied early decision, Mark helped me with all my deadlines, I’m pretty sure I would have missed a lot of them. He went over my essays, he did tons of stuff with me, and eventually I got in early decision and I’m really excited to go there. But the story didn’t end there; I decided to take a gap year so I asked Mark about whether Bowdoin would be willing to let me take a gap year, and I went ahead and did that. And even then, when Mark was not needed to help me with getting into college anymore, he helped me figure out if I wanted to go to China to take a language program, he sent me lists of programs to go to. Basically, all in all, Mark did a lot for me and I’m really grateful for him. So thank you a lot, Mark, it was great working with you.