17 Essential University and Careers Guidance Resources for New Counselors

The definitive list of BridgeU resources that can help get you and your students started with the university application process.

Studying at a university abroad is becoming an attractive and viable option for an increasing number of students in countries worldwide.

BridgeU’s work with guidance counselors and careers advisers all over the world makes us acutely aware of the challenges they face when helping their students to navigate the university application process.

Where should students begin their university research? What are the different university and course options out there? How can students make their university applications truly stand out in a crowded field? What are the different universities in different countries looking for in the international students they recruit?

The answers to all of these questions are varied and complex – it will, as you can imagine, greatly depend on which university system your students choose to apply to.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re a complete newbie to the world of international university guidance, a teacher moving into a new guidance counseling role at your school, or simply want a refresher to help you plan your university application calendar, these resources will help you guide your students from initial university research, through to final application submission.

Click on the three links below to access 17 definitive articles on university and careers guidance, along with a whole host of bonus ebooks, cheat sheets, quizzes and useful templates! 

University Research & Planning resources

University Application resources

Reference Writing & Document Sending resources

It all starts with you.

If you’re the person responsible for guiding students through their career planning and university application journey, then you need to make sure that students, parents and school leaders are completely invested in your strategy and your vision.

In this article, we discuss how to build a guidance programme at your school that is transparent, accountable and empowers your students.

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This second step hones in on what university campus life will be like for your students, and encourages them to think about the university experience as a whole. We’ve included five important questions in this section.

Does this university offer the qualifications your student needs for their future?

University fit will depend on what students want from their future career. For example, some universities will be better suited to offering specialist professional subjects like Medicine, Law or Architecture.


Before they start even thinking about university, students will feel the pressure to know what career path they want to follow.

As they start to think about where their personal strengths and career interests lie, they can fall prey to some unhelpful myths and misconceptions. We list 5 of the most common ones, and how you can counter them.

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Another strategy piece – except this time, we’re focussing on your students.

In order to tailor their applications to different university systems and ensure they stand out, students need to strategise their applications. 

Whether it’s providing a compelling account of why they want to study at university, explaining what drives and inspires them, or showcasing what they’ve learned from their extra-curricular interests, students need to know what to include in their application essays, and why it’s important.

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The United States is still the most popular country to study at university, offering both geographical and academic diversity for students.

This guide offers students an in-depth look at the whole US university system, including a guide to the culture and lifestyle of different regions,  an explainer of the different types of university and some helpful tips to get students started with submitting their applications and applying for financial aid. 

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The second most popular international destination, the UK offers a rich mix of traditional and modern university campuses, academic and vocational university courses.

If you want to get your students more engaged and confident with their UK university research, this guide also contains some free lesson plans to help get you started!

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Germany is increasing in popularity as an international destination. With free university tuition and a range of academic and vocational pathways on offer, Germany offers a low cost, high value university education for international students.

Our guide to the different types of degree path will help your students understand which one is right for them.

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Open days and tours of a campus can help your students to gain more of an appreciation of what university life will actually be like. It can also aid their research by allowing them to ask specific questions about the course they will be studying.

This guide to open days and campus tours will give you everything you need to prepare your students for this vital step in the university research process.

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University rep visits are another window into the realities of studying towards a degree. When reps and recruiters visit your school, it’s an invaluable opportunity for your students to ask questions and understand what universities are looking for in potential undergraduates.

But you can benefit too. As well as tips on how to help your students make the most of these visits, we explain how you can use them to forge links between your school and international universities. 

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University Application

The UCAS Personal Statement is the cornerstone of a university application in the UK. Students have to make a clear, concise and compelling case for why they want to study their chosen degree course and demonstrate why they possess the skills and competencies to excel at university.

This article offers you and your students insights on how to structure their personal statement and the secret to telling a great story about themselves.

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The Common App is one of the most popular university application portals in the United States, and the Common App essay is one of the most challenging aspects of any application.

This guide will help your students plan and structure their Common App essay, and gain a better understanding of what US universities are looking for from candidates.

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As well as the Common App essay, specific US universities might ask students to submit supplemental essays, asking them to explain why they are a good fit for the culture and heritage for that particular institution. 

This guide takes students through some of the most common supplemental essay questions US universities and colleges will ask, and what some of the more enigmatic questions really mean… 

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Standardised tests are another piece of the US university application puzzle. The SAT and the ACT are the two most common standardised tests for students who want to apply to a university in the United States.

In this guide, we look at both standardised tests and what skills and competencies they are testing. You can also download a free cheat sheet to help your students decide which exam is right for them. 

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Oxford and Cambridge are two of the most prestigious universities in the world and their interviews with potential students have gained a reputation as being one of the most daunting aspects of the university application process.

We help you bust some of the most common myths for your school’s Oxbridge applicants and offer you some tips to help your students sufficiently prepare for their interviews.

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When application season comes to an end, students are left with an agonising wait as universities review their applications.

In this article we discuss the potential outcomes of a university application, what students’ next steps should be when they receive an offer of acceptance, and how to help those students who might not have gotten the decision they were hoping for.

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Reference Writing & Document Sending

The UCAS reference sits alongside the Personal Statement as a crucial component of a UK university application. It must be one document sent on behalf of your school – so it’s up to you to collate and manage the references and observations of other teachers at your school.

In this post, we explore what UK universities are looking for in a reference, and how you can help your students stand out from the crowd.

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The Letter of Recommendation that accompanies US university applications is a separate art form in and of itself. Here, we look at the differences between a teacher’s letter of recommendation and a counselor’s letter of recommendation, as well as how to structure your LOR and ensure you tell a compelling story about your students.

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Before students can take up their place at a university in Germany, there are a lot of documents to prepare, from health insurance to a student visa. Check out this blog post for a simple, 7-step checklist to ensure that both you and your students are sending the correct application documents on time.

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If you want more hints and tips for introducing your students to a range of international university destinations, our latest New Counselor’s Survival Guide is essential reading. It’s packed with resources to help you guide your students through career planning, university research and application writing. We also discuss some of the challenges that counselors face in the increasingly competitive world of university guidance. 

Download it now! 

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