My University Journey – Nik T: “If I could go back in time…”

Dulwich College Beijing

Embarking on the journey to university is a life-changing experience, but the path to preparation can often appear as a daunting challenge. While our team of expert University Counsellors tirelessly assists our students in navigating this crucial phase, it's worth noting that some of the most valuable insights can come from those who have recently trodden the same path themselves.

In this feature, we speak to Nik Tanner, a distinguished member of our Class of 2023. He is now pursuing a major in Global Business with a concentration in Digital Media and Tech. His major lies at the intersection of Business and Computer Science – subjects that he has been passionate about throughout his IGCSE and IB years. 

Nik Tanner and his classmates at graduation ceremony

How did you decide on your course and your university?

My decision for this major is rooted in these interests, but I am also appreciative of the flexibility provided by US universities to change majors until the end of our sophomore year. Therefore, while my current choice is pretty firm, I remain open to the possibility of change. My advice to students would be to select a major that genuinely interests you and sparks your passion.

My choice of Fordham University was primarily driven by its location. Despite it not being my first choice, it turned out to be the best fit given the options I had. I considered a higher-ranked institution, but its suburban setting did not resonate with me. As a lifelong Beijing resident, I have a fondness for the bustling urban environment, and New York offered just that. When deciding on a university, it's crucial to consider the factors most important to you. Even a top-ranked school won't provide a fulfilling experience if you're uncomfortable with the campus location or other factors.

Nik Tanner and his classmates at graduation ceremony at Temple of Heaven

How long have you been planning for your university applications and how did you go about it?

If I could go back in time, I would have started my university application preparation earlier. At the time, I was unsure about where I wanted to go, and I hadn't done much research. With early decision (ED) applications approaching, I initially decided to apply to my sister's college, Tufts, for my ED application. However, two days before the deadline, I changed my mind as I knew I wouldn’t be happy attending. Although I missed out on the slightly better odds of acceptance due to the binding nature of ED, I don't regret my decision as I realized Tufts wasn't the right fit for me. Due to this sudden change of heart, I ended up not applying to any school for my ED.

So I advise that students start their preparations early and maintain an open mind. Sometimes, reality may differ from your expectations, so being open to new possibilities is essential.

Nik Tanner and his classmates

What are some key lessons you've learned from your time at DCB that you'd like to share with younger students entering Senior School?

Remember, grades don't define you; try to maintain a balance between working hard and enjoying the journey.

(Reflecting on my time at DCB), I have a ton of memorable moments with friends around the DCB campus that will always hold a special place in my heart. While I can’t pinpoint any specific moment, it is the collection of seemingly insignificant moments, like lunches spent sitting and chatting with friends, that have left a lasting impact on my fond memories at DCB.

Lastly, I'd also like to extend my gratitude to my family, friends, university counsellors, and, of course, Ms. Kerr.


Nik recently shared with us that university has been great so far. We here at DCB wish him all the best, and we look forward to hearing about the amazing things he’ll be doing!