My name is Justin B. Karrenberg and I’ve been working with students through UDA for almost three years. My professional background is in secondary education, and I have worked with middle school, high school, and university students in various environments such as summer camps, after-school programs, professional organizations, and in school classrooms. After being introduced to UDA by one of its directors, Jeff Thompson, I was excited about the opportunity to continue to work with students who are interested in pursuing their educational journey overseas. Having traveled around the world and experiencing the value and growth that seeing new cultures brings, I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to provide insight and guidance to others who want to experience life overseas.
My motivation in working with students stems from the desire to empower students to chart their own paths forward. In the US, universities can seem out of reach for some students who do not have the resources to navigate the admissions process as well as the financial obligations. Compared to many US universities, studying at a UK institution entails a straightforward application as well as competitive tuition rates. Many students and parents are surprised at how accessible universities in the UK are for US students. And it’s true that traveling overseas and studying can be easier, and cheaper, than studying in the US.
My current role with UDA involves working with students to advise them on the educational opportunities that are available to them at a UK university. Once we discuss if the opportunity is right for a student, I then work with each individual to compile each component of the application for admissions. This can involve proofreading personal statements, helping reach out to gather letters of recommendation, as well as providing an insight into what financial resources and scholarships are available. Throughout this process, I try to set realistic expectations for students so that they understand how to transition into studying at a university in the UK. The educational setup in the UK is different from most universities in the US, but it provides a challenging and developmental experience for students. In addition to the admissions process, we help students by connecting them with international offices at their chosen university, who help provide information about student life, accommodations, and arrival information. By making myself a resource to students, I hope to provide the guidance and information that allows each individual to reach their goals in their education, their career, and in their personal lives.
UDA helps students find the right university by getting to know our students and discussing their academic and career goals. Universities in the UK offer a wide array of degree options that suit a diverse community of students, and we work with students to make sure we find a university that fits their individual needs and goals. If you are interested in pursuing an arts degree in filmmaking or theatre, we know the university for you. If you want to expand your business acumen through real- world experiences, we know the university for you. Even for student-athletes, we work to match you with a university that will help you continue to study, train and play the sport you love. The diversity of universities in the UK also means students can choose to study and live in a growing urban area like Cardiff in Wales, or in a smaller cultural center such as Chester in England.