Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Unisus School (2020)
Unisus School alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Blaine Melnyk had to say about the school.
Highlights from the Q&A discussion
Blaine Melnyk — alum
Blaine Melynyk, Director of Recruitment and Advancement at Unisus School, answers questions from school parents about the application process that an international student would have to go through to attend Unisus School. He highlights the school's strong academic program, as well as the diverse community of international students that attend. He discusses the value of the International Baccalaureate Programme, and the opportunities it brings to the graduates of Unisus School.
- “We would ask [prospective students] for an application that would come in. And through the application process [to Unisus School], we are able to kind of evaluate [the student] and find out their strengths, and maybe some of the areas that she needs to work on, and her interests. Then we would decide between ourselves and our school if it seems like it would be a good fit for them as far as their interests, and their dreams for the future.”
- “[Unisus School] will offer a letter of acceptance for [students], a conditional letter of acceptance, and then we would ask for a certain small deposit. Once that deposit is received, you get things like a formal letter of acceptance from the school. … [A Unisus School staff member] would be [an international student’s] legal guardian, when they are in the school or for the year, or however long it's going to be.”
- “I think it's more important that [Unisus School] really has an opportunity to find out what [students] hopes and dreams are, and understand a little bit of both their logic and reasoning. ... Entering in Grade 10, we still have a year to work with [students], as an IB school. The senior year grades, the diploma program of Grades 11 and 12 are really critical and they tend to be quite challenging.”
- “[Unisus School] does an online program. So [parents will] start an inquiry or an application, we ask for two years for report cards. We asked for some really basic things. And then we start to get the assessment. The assessment is the most critical piece for us. [If your child] has a couple of tough years at school, [Unisus School] can totally understand that. What’s more important is that conversation that we have with [the student], to try to find out what their hopes and dreams are, I think that's a big piece of it.”
- “If [your child] is the type of person who really wants to take great opportunities to take ownership of her learning, that's a bigger piece [of Unisus School] than a lot of other things.”
- “I was just talking to [a student] today, and she's a new student who's been in school now for roughly three weeks. [The family is] so happy to have found a school so willing to talk to parents.”
- “[Unisus School] runs two programs within our school. So the first is the International Baccalaureate, which is a worldwide organization. With the IB you can go anywhere in the world. Once you're an IB grad, you get first-year university credits for most of your courses, to go into typically second year, but it's really, truly an international diploma. And so [your child can] choose to go to Indonesia, they can choose to go to Africa. It doesn't really matter where, they can literally go anywhere in the world.”
- “Our students that go to the United States don't write an SAT or anything like that. [Students] graduate with an International Baccalaureate diploma. The other piece is that they still graduate with a BC Dogwood diploma, and that's also ranked as number three in the world, and number one within Canada for the British Columbia educational system. So you get both of those.”
- “We don't typically go that strong off of a Toefl [English-language testing], I would say, with the Ielts [English-language] exam, the student would have to be in that range of six. I'm not sure what the Toefl equivalency is. [Unisus School] has their own internal examination with the student, to see where they're at. I've had many students over the course of the last number of years that have come in with strong Toefl and Ielts scores, and that didn't really mean very much.