Parth Garg admits he was not really a topper at school – Bright Riders, a CBSE curriculum school in Abu Dhabi. But academically, he performed well consistently. On the extracurricular front, he hosted a TEDx conference while in Grade 12 and, along with a friend, created a volunteer organisation called Club Rise – a platform where youth could get involved in various community initiatives.

Learning about forces and mechanics in Grade 9 triggered in him a desire to pursue academic physics research in the future. His dream: to become a theoretical physicist “uncovering the deepest mysteries of the universe”.

And he is well on course to realising his dream: Parth has been accepted at Stanford University where he just completed his freshman year this summer.

“The most important decision [that helped me get into Stanford] was enrolling at Hale Education when I was in Grade 11,” says Parth. “Hale was quintessential in making my educational journey unique and successful. They let me do my thing and explore my interests, and that enabled me to truly know my passion.”

CEO Peter Davos reveals that Hale students have been awarded over Dh170 million in merit-based scholarships

Hale Education Group, the leading education consultancy in the Middle East, has been helping high school students achieve their fullest potential through the pursuit of US and Canadian higher education. “Our students have been awarded over Dh170 million in merit-based scholarships and have secured admission to over 150 North American universities, including all eight Ivy League schools and one Stanford acceptance every year,” says Peter Davos, CEO of Hale Education Group. Hale also offers test prep classes for SAT and ACT.

Apart from the TEDx event and the volunteering initiative, Parth was involved in several other projects that helped pave his way to his dream college.

“We arranged a mental health seminar for teens and their parents; had flash mobs raising awareness about the health risks of smoking; raised awareness about saving fuel while idling your car at the traffic signal....”

How useful were these initiatives in improving his chances of getting into Stanford?

“I think my application as a whole showed that I was someone who wasn’t afraid to take risks and explore. Even now, during Covid, I have decided to take a year off and work on a start-up in the F&B industry. The initiatives alongside my passion in theatre and achievements in physics are what must’ve made my application stand out,” he says.

It also helped that educational consultants at Hale were not only assisting him navigate the admissions processes, but were also helping him flourish and grow as an individual.

“[The mentors] at Hale inspired and motivated me the most,” he says, adding he received plenty of advice that helped him secure a place in Stanford. Chief among them: Don’t spend time chasing things that don’t interest you; learn to use your time as a resource and maximise output – be it in your social or professional life; cherish the connections you make; and always be open to help and receive help from your peers.

What advice can he give students hoping to enrol in an Ivy League university?

“The name of the university only matters to an extent,” he says. “What you do there and make of the opportunities will determine your future. Most elite colleges seek extremely motivated students who are the best in what they do, be it academics, sports, arts or leadership. Strive to find your niche and excel in that. Do not try to tailor your personality for a specific university.”

What is his ambition?

“I want to impact as many lives as possible. This may be through my entrepreneurial adventures by creating solutions that create a positive change or through my research in theoretical physics by fostering a deeper understanding of our universe,” says the young man.

Peter’s tips for students preparing for higher studies overseas

• Apply to at least 12 universities.

• College lists must be balanced and realistic. Conduct thorough university research, assess your chances of admission with an objective view of your grades and standardised test scores, see how these factors compare to those of admitted students.

• Research the myriad academic and extracurricular opportunities offered at universities.

• Check out significant merit-based or need-based scholarships. In all of this, an educational consultant/counsellor could significantly help.

• Whether a Grade 12 student about to apply to universities or one in high school, Hale can help you find the right college to excel.

Hale’s pointers for parents

• Selecting a university is a life-changing decision that will significantly shape your ward’s growth academically, personally and professionally.

• Unfortunately, most families place a lot of emphasis on university rankings, at the expense of comprehensive research. At Hale, we emphasise the concept of “fit” and encourage students to research and consider clubs and organisations, academic opportunities both within and beyond the classroom, class size, geography, and weather, among many other key factors.

Visit or call 04 578 6499 to begin your university journey.

Read more