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The mission of The Next Level is to transform lives and provide innovative educational solutions through effective language training, international exam preparation and expert educational consulting for Russian students and their families.

The Next Level works with Russian adults, students and families on any and all educational issues facing Russian professionals and internationally mobile young people. This includes individualized language training, international test preparation and educational counseling, choosing appropriate boarding schools, universities and identification of resources for children with special needs. The Next Level’s guiding philosophy is that making the right educational choice is based on knowing and understanding individual student needs.

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Study Abroad’s Seven Deadly Sins
06 May 2016

We’ve all heard about the purported benefits of study-abroad programs, the most fundamental of which is the opportunity for personal growth. Proponents are often vague about precisely what they mean in this regard, but growth is generally said to be signified by a broadening of perspective, greater adaptability and confidence, and enhanced empathy. more

Will You Sprint, Stroll or Stumble Into a Career?
05 May 2016

At the age of 18, G. Stanley Hall left his home in the tiny village of Ashfield, Mass., for Williams College, just 35 miles away, with a goal to “do something and be something in the world.” His mother wanted him to become a minister, but the young Stanley wasn’t sure about that plan. He saw a four-year degree as a chance to explore. more

Schools Are Slow to Learn That Sleep Deprivation Hits Teenagers Hardest
04 May 2016

As a pediatrician, I find that there are few topics that parents want to discuss more than sleep. Parents worry about their own sleep deprivation when babies arrive. Later, they worry about their children’s. I almost never encounter patients who are convinced that they’re getting the recommended amount of sleep. more

Too Many Universities Teach Pointless Degrees That Offer nothing to their students or Society
28 April 2016

A few years ago, universities started to advertise their courses using a striking government statistic: that a degree added about £250,000 to one’s lifetime earnings. It was the start of a new era, where teenagers would have to borrow up to £9,000 a year for their tuition and wanted to know if the investment would be worth it. Don’t worry, HM Government seemed to assure them, we’ve crunched the numbers and found that a degree will catapult you into the salary fast lane. more

Greater Competition for College Places Means Higher Anxiety, Too
26 April 2016

As the frenzied college application season draws to a close, and students across the country mull their choices, many colleges are trumpeting that it was the most selective year ever. But high school guidance counselors and admissions experts say the heightened competition has turned the process into a anxiety-ridden numbers game. more

Recruiting Students Overseas to Fill Seats, Not to Meet Standards
26 April 2016

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — “Hurry Up!!!” the online posting said. “Spot Admissions” to Western Kentucky University. Scholarships of up to $17,000 were available, it added. “Letter in one day.” The offer, by a college recruiter based in India, was part of a campaign so enticing that more than 300 students swiftly applied to a college that many had probably never heard of. more

Alun Ebenezer: Tomorrow’s Leaders Must Come From Outside Gilded Cage of Fee-paying Schools
14 April 2016

There’s more than one sort of independent school and it’s the independence, rather than fees, that will set children up better for tomorrow’s world. more

Russian Universities Double their Numbers in the QS Rankings by Subject
13 April 2016

A significantly larger number of Russian universities have made it to the latest QS Rankings by Subject. The top-100 list now includes eight Russian universities, compared to four last year. In the complete version of the ranking of 42 disciplines, 17 Russian universities made the cut. more

The World’s Top Universities by Subject
13 April 2016

Where are the best places to study maths and English? League tables published today reveal that UK universities lead the way in eight subjects more

Study Abroad: The World is Your Classroom
12 April 2016

After thumbing through countless prospectuses, working out predicted A-levels and totting up the price of university, British students are picking up their passports and searching farther afield for an education. more

What Teachers Say to Parents… And What They Really Mean
12 April 2016

On the surface, parent-teacher meetings are all smiles (“How nice to meet you – you must be Johnny’s mother!”). Yet they can be nerve-racking occasions, too, for all parties. more

Advice College Admissions Officers Give Their Own Kids
11 April 2016

While most parents find the college process stressful and bewildering, we interviewed some who have a unique perspective: admissions officers who are also the parents of teenagers and college students themselves. more

Playing to Win: How to Find the Perfect School Place
11 April 2016

At a recent open morning at Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton, I could barely focus on the headmistress’s welcome for the French mother at my side, furiously typing les points essentiels into an immaculate spreadsheet. more

Britain’s Exclusive Schools Try to Be a Little Less So
06 April 2016

RUGBY, England — Patrick Derham remembers the moment in October 1973 when, age 14, from a troubled home and planning to join the navy, he saw the course of his life changed, rather miraculously, for the better. more

New, Reading-Heavy SAT Has Students Worried.
18 February 2016

For thousands of college hopefuls, the stressful college admissions season is about to become even more fraught. The College Board, which makes the SAT, is rolling out a new test — its biggest redesign in a decade, and one of the most substantial ever. more

Cambridge University to Introduce Written Entrance Exams.
02 February 2016

Academics say move should benefit state pupils and give better indication of abilities than Oxbridge interview process. Would-be Cambridge University students will have to sit a written test in their subject area from this autumn. more

Ucas Deadline: the Final Countdown
15 January 2016

January: the one time of year you can almost guarantee to be overwhelmed with advice. Whether it’s tackling the Christmas indulgences, cutting back on alcohol or maintaining motivation past week one of your New Year’s resolutions, there’s bound to be an expert offering you guidance about how to fulfil your goals. more

University Application Deadline: Ask the Experts.
15 January 2016

The university application deadline is about to arrive. If you want your application to be considered by institutions, you must make sure everything is sent off by 18:00 (GMT) on Friday January 15. There are many parts of your application you need to have in place, so it is worth running through a checklist in good time before the day arrives. Read More. more

Why Avenues, Manhattan’s Most Exclusive School, is Coming to London.
06 January 2016

A growing number of high-flying parents are choosing elite international schools for their children – but New York based Avenues is in a league of its own. Imagine a school where the classes are conducted entirely in Mandarin, interactive lessons are beamed from country to country, pupils can still attend ‘virtually’, from the comfort of their sickbeds – and every child is taught “good character” alongside “digital and ethical citizenship.” Read More. more

Preschool Without Walls.
29 December 2015

Three-year-old Desi Sorrelgreen’s favorite thing about his preschool is “running up hills.” His classmate Stelyn Carter, 5, likes to “be quiet and listen to birds — crows, owls and chickadees,” as she put it. And for Joshua Doctorow, 4, the best part of preschool just may be the hat he loves to wear to class (black and fuzzy, with flaps that come down over his ears). more

Everything You Need to Know About the New SAT.
28 October 2015

The new SAT will soon arrive on a wave of bold promises. The College Board has said its redesigned admission test would contain “no more mysteries.” Instead of being a riddle to solve, it would correspond with high-school curriculums and better reflect what students have learned.

The pitch sounds good. But is it true? Read More. more

The New SAT.
28 October 2015

The revised SAT, arriving at a test center near you on March 5, is expected to be more closely aligned with classroom curriculum. more

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A young man, 18, was admitted into a very selective and competitive college. However, having just been diagnosed with ADD, he was overwhelmed with all the independence, lack of structure, freedom, and new responsibilities. By the end of first term, he was nearing failure. It was imperative to get him in touch with student counseling…

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A fifteen year old male student was extremely bright, but also had major struggles with ADD, depression, and behavior issues at school, resulting in numerous suspensions. The relationship at home was fraught with conflict and the family was at the breaking point. He was belligerent about the thought of going to boarding school, and opposed…

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A young man, 15, started looking for a boarding school for his junior and senior years. He had everything going for him – stellar resume, grades, sports, and personality. The conversation focused on just how much academic pressure he was willing to take on. He was adamant he wanted to push himself, and was given…

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A young woman of 17 moved to a remote location for what would have been her senior year of high school. She had never lived overseas before, and her school only offered the International Baccalaureate program. Therefore, she was put back a year to start the IB curriculum. She was miserable, and things finally reached…

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A family with a son who had significant development delays contacted me regarding life as an internationally mobile family and wondered about embarking on such a lifestyle. We spent hours of counseling up front while they were still in their home environments, and the family prepared to homeschool their son, knowing few schools overseas would…

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A family with two employed parents was suddenly separated by an evacuation, leaving them with some important decisions to make quickly regarding the children’s education. The older daughter remained in her boarding school and became the school’s star student; the younger one remained with mom and came back to the U.S. The father remained overseas…

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A sixteen year old girl came to me feeling very depressed and uninspired by school. Her mother was extremely concerned by her lack of engagement. This girl was extremely bright but did not do well in a traditional setting. Her mother said her creative side needed to be encouraged in order to get her engaged…

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Thank you for reaching out for references re: Becky Grappo. We are a Foreign Service family with the Department of State (DOS) and we have two daughters. We have used Becky several times. And she is top notch. Her portfolio includes special needs, boarding school, college applications, and a wide variety of help for adolences. Our…

Parent Story

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I wanted to tell you I spent last weekend in Arizona having a reunion of friends from Beijing days 20 years ago…..and guess who was there…xxxx…..I said, you don’t happen to know Becky Grappo and her words, exactly, “She saved my life!!!!” I thought you would like to know that….she is in fine form as…

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Speaking of professionals, please accept my sincere gratitude for your brilliant work. This all really started happening after you challenged our son to give you something concrete to work with. Your strategy was perfectly planned and executed. Good Show!

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I just wanted to thank you for getting me through the most painful and difficult thing I have ever had to do. I know that there is a lot of work to be done but I feel we are finally on the right track. I know that you put a lot of effort into helping…

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My husband and I cannot thank you enough for coming through for our son, when he needed someone like yourself to come for his rescue. Our son is a changed young man – full of confidence and joys of life. It is simply wonderful to see him doing so well and it is all thanks to you.

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My son is doing incredible!! I cannot believe the difference in him. He still has a way to go, but he even knows it and he is just so open and honest with us and himself. I am proud of him. Thank God for all of you that help us realize that we and our kids…

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I will take this opportunity to thank you for all your assistance and support over the last few months. This period could have been most stressful but was not due to your support, cool guidance and highly professional approach.

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I have seen a lot of maturity and sense of responsibility in him. No matter how much I miss him not having him home with the family, both his father and I realize that sending him to boarding school was the best things that we have done for him. The staff is wonderful at xxx,…

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I don’t think I have adequately thanked you for the superb work you did for us this past year. We went from being nowhere, to getting our son into some excellent, superb schools. You should be so proud of what you do, because it’s clearly an art. No rules, but a lot of gut feelings….

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You have already helped him, by giving him hope that his unique voice can be heard and celebrated. Thank you so much for that gift!

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I wanted to thank you for your helpful emails and staying in contact with me even now that I’m in college. I wanted to at least give you a quick reply and let you know that I’m loving it here at xxx and feel like it is the perfect place for me…More than anything, I…

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I would like to thank you personally for everything you’ve done for our son, actually for both my children. My husband and I were have been suffering (not so silently) for the past month with our son and his essays, or their non-existence…. Even though we felt he had good chances of getting in, one…

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I just want to make the point of thanking you formally for all the great work that you did with our son this last year! It was wonderful and so reassuring to know that you were there with him throughout the whole process of university applications. We all know it can be stressful for most and…

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I just wanted to let you know I could not do any of this without you, and I am so thankful for someone that cared enough to help me become successful.

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I gotta say I couldn’t have done it without you.

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