College Fairs Proceed Despite Pandemic

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At TCS, 11th graders are deciding which college they want for their future.

Emilio Franco, Discoverer Staff Writer

 Over 300 colleges and universities from Colombia, the U.S, and Europe have participated in virtual fairs this year to help TCS Grade 11 and 12 students make informed choices for their future education.

 From March 18, TCS will open the college fairs for their junior and senior students, more than 180 of them will participate. College fairs allow students to pick from 65 colleges in the US, Colombia, and Europe, and the next college fair will be held on April 11.

“College fairs are basically some types of meetings from different colleges and they try to convince you as a student since 11 and 12 grade why you should go to their college and not other colleges,” Nicolas Zarate, Grade 12, said.

College fairs are meant to expand the student’s knowledge about where is the best place to go when school is finished. What the college fairs do, is that many national and international colleges have a representative that is there to explain to the students which are their advantages and strengths as a place to learn.

“I think college fairs are not only important, but they are crucial because when you attend a college fair you will have representatives from each college who will help you with any trouble you have in your application in case you want to attend their college.” Said Maria Teresa Mejía, TCS College Counselor.

 Many students believe that college fairs are very helpful because sometimes they get to know colleges because other people have told them something about them. But with college fairs, students can get to know new places that they didn’t even know existed.

 “Sometimes you might have an idea may be that you, for example, want to go to the Escuela de Ingeniería, and I think it’s a good college because someone told me, but in lots of cases, students don’t actually give an opportunity to other colleges. So the college fairs are the opportunity for you to learn about other colleges,”   Zarate said.

Compared to last year, the college fairs of 2021 were affected by the pandemic because there are many changes. Now that many colleges, mostly international would not be able to join the campus. But the college fairs will then be working virtually.

“You still have the opportunity to know more about the universities and to meet the representative to have a close encounter with them, so in the terms of being there present with physical things it was affected, but the information and the context are available for the students virtually,” Mejía said.

 Some students expressed disappointment that this year’s fairs would not be face to face and worried because they cannot make lots of questions and could not participate as much as they could if the fairs would be presencial. But each college has a representative the students will be joining some sort of breakout rooms in which they can be in small groups and even more focused as they could be if the fairs were presencial.

“So what the college fairs do is that they present the different universities that are coming with the fair, and after they do the presentation they have breakout rooms and the students go to the university’s session that they are more interested in,” Mejía said.

It is important for every student who wants to make part of the college fairs to know what specific traits in a college he is looking for. Students say that the most important aspect of picking a college is the time the student does. Because if a 12- grade student doesn’t know what he is looking for it is already too late for him to start searching. 

“I think college fairs are really important for you to start looking for new options and I think everyone should participate, but the question “when should they participate” is the most important for students to make to themselves,” Zarate said.