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From Economics at Chicago, to Baseball at Tufts. Nord Anglia Students Shine a Light on Applying for University in the United States.
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Background. Stories from the Edge of the Future – A Guide to Applying for University.

From Economics at Chicago to Baseball at Tufts, Nord Anglia Students Shine a Light on Applying for University in the United States.

Student Voices Series 2021.


In the Sixth of a special series of articles, Prekshaa Lohia and Jack Chapleski, Sixth Form students at Nord Anglia International School Dubai, write of their personal journeys applying for university in the United States.

Miss Lohia speaks directly with SchoolsCompared about the vital role her work at Nord Anglia grappling with issues in India played in her decision making to study economics, whilst Mr Chapleski focuses on the culture of coaching as his key driver.

Both students grapple with the biggest jump into the future facing students in the final years of school; applying to university and the challenge of what next…

What do we learn? Many things, including that there are rarely clear and definite answers for the next steps following school for any student – and just perhaps the best advice of all is to be true to yourself and follow your passions. Both of these students have very different drivers and ways of approaching applications to university.

Each student in this Student Voices series of articles from SchoolsCompared, was given free reign to describe their experiences and to offer their advice to fellow students, and families, facing the many dilemmas, struggles, and sometimes sleepless nights, of what comes after school – and the best ways, for each of them, of getting there.

It takes no small amount of courage to agree to put your name to an article in a such a public forum, and we extend our enormous gratitude – and (giant) heaps of praise, for each of you who have taken the plunge to contribute and placed yourselves above the parapet.

For many of our contributors, this has been the first time that they will have had their names in print – well done! Who knows, maybe we shall see you in the years to come as a journalist changing the world… Interestingly, Miss Lohia has already been published in Forbes India – no small feat. More on this below.


“From Heroic Lorry Drivers to Underprivileged Inspired Women – How Making the World a Better Place Powered my Journey to Chicago.”

by Prekshaa Lohia. Nord Anglia International School Dubai. 2021.

Prekshaa Lohia Nord Anglia International School speaks on applying to university in 2021.

I am Prekshaa Lohia, a Sixth Form student at Nord Anglia International School Dubai.

I am planning to study Economics at the University of Chicago this fall.

I applied to universities in the UK as well as the US.

Even though the college application process is not an easy one, it can be made less complex if one starts early.

Personally, I started thinking about my applications and started working on building my ‘story’ during the sophomore year in high school. I began by enrolling myself for quite a few extracurricular activities, leadership roles and community service practises. I feel NAS offered a lot of leadership opportunities. These were accessible without having to go through a tedious time-consuming application process, something I found was really helpful.

Furthermore, I really liked some of the question-answer sessions we had with Ms. Simoni (one of our university counsellors) which helped me clear most of my doubts and misconceptions about the application process for the universities I shortlisted.

Apart from having competitive test scores, I think the uniqueness of my applications arises from my two personal passion projects: Freemium and WISH List.

In 2019, I founded Freemium, a social intervention that aims to build resources and direct access to free of-cost health insurance options for underserved communities in India; our original information repository on health insurance access and our partnership with a transport company helped 300 truck drivers get insured.

Subsequently, in 2020, I started the WISH List, or Women’s Informal Self-Help Groups, to facilitate the formation of women-led chit-funds to encourage rotating savings and micro-insurance, empowering women in ways that are sustainable and relevant.

While passionately addressing this issue at the Women Economic Forum, I was able to crystallize and articulate my interest in facilitating economic upliftment.


Read “A Social Warrior safeguards lives of underprivileged communities with health and term insurance. Lorry drivers are the unsung heroes of the Indian Economy.” in Forbes India by Prekshaa Lohia here.

Read more on Freemium India here.

Read more on WISH List here.

Read more on the Women Economic Forum here.


“Friendship, Lost Childhood and Being True to Yourself. Why I will never forget Nord Anglia on my journey to America – and Beyond.”

by Jack Chapleski. Nord Anglia International School Dubai. 2021.

Jack Chapleski Nord Anglia International School on applying to university in the United States in 2021

Although my acceptance was a breath of fresh air, the process itself was not exactly a walk in the park.

The application process was tough and often confusing, as the modern college process was very new to our family, and we did not have an older sibling to use as a point of reference.

I applied “Early Decision” to Tufts, which was, in itself, a huge decision.

I applied to many other schools and had ambitions to get into all of them, however my top priority was always Tufts. More than anything I wanted to ensure my chances of being accepted there.

I had been in contact with the baseball coach at Tufts, and enjoyed talking with him, as he was honest and kind-hearted. I also really agreed with his philosophy about coaching and his approach to the players on the Tufts baseball team. I wanted to be a part of not only the school, but the baseball program as well, hence why I applied ED.

The acceptance, when it came, was a big relief – but the reality of leaving high school is slowing setting in.

I’ll be sad to leave Nord Anglia. I will miss this place, the experiences I’ve had, and the people I’ve met.

I am excited for a new chapter, but being a kid is something that I’ll always want back, and I am thankful that, by some small chance, I found the friends that I did at NAS.

COVID-19 has had its effects on everyone’s lives, and thankfully it has had a mostly positive effect on mine. I was able to focus more of my time on baseball, and I also didn’t need to do an SAT for my university applications. Although it made much of my education more challenging, we are all in the same boat, so I tried my best, although I am not perfect, to ensure that I was up to standard with my learning.

My advice to students is to do what your gut tells you.

Talk to your family and discuss things to form clarity in your decisions. But, just remember, at the end of the day, if you’re not happy with your choice, you’re just wasting your time on applying somewhere that you don’t want to be.

Put your interests and passion into what you write to universities, whether you’re applying to the US, the UK – or elsewhere.

This time is stressful, but just make sure you get things done in an adequate time frame. That doesn’t mean rush it all as early as possible, or finishing the application the night of the deadline.

Remember, above all, to do the things that make your life whole. After all, university, for most of us at least, makes up only 4 years of the long lives and journeys ahead of us…


Click to read our independent review for parents of Nord Anglia International School Dubai.

Learn more about the power of the International Baccalaureate at Nord Anglia International School Dubai here.

Click to visit the official web site of Nord Anglia International School Dubai here.

Learn about studying Economics at the University of Chicago here.

Learn about studying at Tufts, and the opportunities in Baseball, here.

© 2021. All rights of the authors reserved.

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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