Guidance and Counseling Services

GEMS International School – Al Khail (GIS) provides a variety of college counseling and career resources to help each student determine individual pathways beyond high school. We believe the process of finding the right pathway should be student-empowered and owned. Throughout their upper school journey, students, with the collaboration and support of their parents, teachers and counselors, embark on a journey of self-discovery as they engage in honest self-assessment, thoughtful research and increasingly independent decisions. We encourage students to find their voice in the college and career exploration process and to probe and challenge assumptions about themselves and the colleges they are considering.

To that end, we offer students a variety of formats for gathering information. In addition to personalized counseling sessions to discuss course choices and university options, students are invited to participate in grade level educational sessions, destination-specific workshops, individual university rep visits and university fairs, as well as external events which include larger university fairs and career exploration activities sponsored by local universities and other providers. As an important part of any student’s journey, parents are invited to engage regularly with the college counseling department. 

We adhere to the belief that students are ultimately the driving force behind the process of identifying best-fit options for themselves and that they must take ownership of their destiny and responsibility for their actions. We support them in embracing this opportunity to test their values, explore their personal preferences and make complex, long-term decisions for themselves, and we expect them to assume great responsibility in driving forward their post-graduation plans. Nevertheless, the GIS college and career counselors work closely with students to identify necessary tools and steps related to the college application process or other post-graduation plans, and to plot a way forward toward graduation. Application deadlines, testing dates, essays, recommendation requests and interviews all require equal and full attention from the students and must be balanced with their academic workloads. Counselors work in close coordination with students, teachers and the Registrar’s office to guarantee the timely submission of any necessary application-related materials to universities.

Engaging students regularly, helping students obtain a greater awareness of who they are and enabling them to discover viable options for life beyond GIS are goals of our college and career guidance. We believe an approach encompassing each student’s personality, goals, and aspirations will ensure the discovery of challenging and rewarding opportunities throughout their lives. Open lines of communication, honest feedback and a spirit of cooperation among all parties, including parents, students, teachers and school counselors will ensure successful college placement or other outcomes for all GIS students. In the end, students will find the most success in this process when they allow their insights, research and self-discoveries to lead them toward a university or career pathway which best fits their interests and ambitions.


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