Happy in Harvard: Ché’s first-hand account of Ivy League life

Happy in Harvard: Ché’s first-hand account of Ivy League life

Boys interested in learning more about the process of applying to Ivy League colleges and other leading American universities were encouraged and inspired by visiting old boy, Ché Applewhaite.

Ché, who left QE last year, is among a growing number of leavers taking up opportunities to study stateside, many of them electing to take advantage of broad-based American Liberal Arts degrees.

Ché is currently taking such a degree at Harvard and visited the School to speak to boys interested in learning more. He gave a presentation which covered Harvard’s extraordinarily broad academic programme, its house system, the financial assistance available and the 400-plus recognised student clubs. He talked about the skills and opportun""ities furnished by Harvard for their post-graduates. And he explained how to register and prepare for SATs – the standardised US university admissions test.

Head of Year 12 Michael Feven said: “His talk was well attended and received. It was wonderful to welcome Ché back to the School and to learn that he is having such a busy and enjoyable experience at Harvard thus far.

“It is invaluable to hear from OEs like him to provide current boys with a first-hand account of their experiences, to help them formulate their own plans and to inspire them to think about options they might not otherwise have considered.”

Ché referred in his presentation to the structure of courses in the US, whereby one can study a diverse range of options apart from one’s ‘major’. He had considered several options in the US, but Harvard’s Liberal Arts degree, coupled with its reputation in the arts, humanities, economics and politics, proved an irresistible draw.

He was attracted by the opportunities for international study and the option to continue studying French, as well as the extra-curricular activities. Ché has always had a keen interest in politics and current affairs. (While at QE, he was co-founder of the political blog, Whippersnapper, and set up QE’s Forward Thinking Society.) He hopes to reprise this interest at Harvard by getting involved with The Harvard Crimson, the long-established daily student newspaper.

“It is the combination of breadth of curriculum and the extra-curricular opportunities that holds appeal for many of our boys who have a strong interest and ability across numerous disciplines,” added Mr Feven, who organised the visit.

The School is meticulous in offering a wide programme of university preparation. A substantial number of Che’s peers, from the cohort who left last summer, are expected to return for the annual Universities Convention in March, where Year 12 students will have the opportunity to learn about different universities and course options from those who have taken them up this year.

QE also offers a dedicated course for those interested in American colleges. This includes an information evening and weekly sessions in the Autumn Term, as well as assistance from Old Elizabethans and from the US interns from the University of Connecticut who come on an exchange programme to QE each autumn.