COOL Contest – the annual essay contest for Wellspring students – is organized in an effort to inspire and motivate students to think and act with creativity in their own life and future plan by witnessing their own parents, teachers, friends and surrounding environment doing creative work.




There are two separate themes for the contest: overseas study and career orientation. Students should choose a topic in ONE of the two themes for an essay. Students are allowed to work on one topic only due to time constraint.


1.1 Objectives:

The overseas study contest aims to:

  • Encourage students to learn about different aspects of studying abroad, including application process, school selection process, college life, etc.
  • Improve students’ different skills critical to their higher education, such as research, self-learning, writing, presentation and so on.
  • Inspire students to have higher aims for their choices of college.

1.2 Content requirements:

Students can choose one of the topics below to work on:

1.2.1 A Good Application

Choose one University, Course or Country and provide information of what it takes to make a good application for this chosen interest.

Criteria being assessed:

  1. Requirements, Description and recommendation of a good application,
  2. Requirements to ensure that it is ready and well prepared on the due date,
  3. Create a college/university application timeline & steps for preparation
  4. Explain the options for submission dates
  5. Additional information that you believe is essential to a “good” application

1.2.2 Selecting “The Right Fit” (courses, culture, lifestyle and college/university selection criteria)

Consider a College or University that you would be interested in attending and explain how it is and isn’t the right fit for you.

Criteria being assessed:

  1. Options for study (majors and minors)
  2. How does it help you reach your desired career goals?
  3. Culture: How do the values, campus culture and extracurricular opportunities suit you as a person?
  4. Future tips: how would you recommend students focus on when looking for the “right fit” and why?
  5. Additional information that you believe is essential to understanding if you are the “right fit”

1.2.3 Thinking ahead for Finances

Design and budget and compare the financial requirements of 2-3 of the following countries: England, Australia, Singapore, NZ, USA, Canada and other European countries.

Criteria being assessed:

  1. Day-to-day living costs (housing included)
  2. Students fees
  3. Options for international students to overcome financial needs (accessing financial assistance/aid, scholarships, working part time etc.)
  4. Additional information that you believe is essential when considering financial needs while living and studying abroad
  5. A recommendation of where you would study abroad and why based on your findings.

1.2.4 Admissions Requirements: Official Documents, Academic Profiles and Testing

Choose your top 2 colleges or universities from two separate countries and compare their admissions requirements.

Criteria being assessed:

  1. Requirements for School Transcripts and how to get a transcript from your school
  2. Requirements for Personal Statements, essays or short written documents
  3. Requirements for General Academic criteria: the kind of academic certificates admitted for University 1st year acceptance in different countries
  4. Requirements for additional Standardized Testing (TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, or ACT…).
  5. Additional admissions requirements that you believe are essential to improving you application to get into your desired University.

1.2.5 Getting Personal: Organizing your Personal Statement or Interview for University Admission

Prepare a detailed explanation of requirements that make a great Personal Statement or Interview with University Admissions. Choose to discuss on the topic of a Personal Statement or interview and cover the following Criteria of Assessment.

Criteria being assessed:

  1. The steps required to prepare to start an interview or prepare for a Personal Statement
  2. Top 5 things to consider when completing this task and why they are so important.
  3. What should you do next when you have finished an interview with admission or finished writing your personal statement?
  4. What role do you think the personal statement/ interview with admissions plays in your admission result?
  5. Provide additional information that you believe is essential understanding the importance of a great Personal Statement or Interview with Admissions Staff.

1.2.6 Extracurricular Choices: Developing an Extracurricular Activity Profile

Choose a desired Bachelor to study at your chosen University and write an essay recommending extracurricular activities that you should do to get in. Make sure the recommendations cover at least the last 3 years of your study in High School. You must choose at least 5 extracurricular activities to discuss.

Criteria being assessed:

  1. Explain your objectives are when choosing to take part in your chosen extracurricular activities
  2. Explain how these extracurricular activities help you in getting into your chosen course and university
  3. Explain how these extracurricular activities reflect on you as a person and your values
  4. Explain why it is important to be involved in these extracurricular activities for longer than 2 years.
  5. Provide additional information that you believe is essential understanding the importance of an extracurricular activity profile in your application.

1.2.7 Overcoming Challenges in University life

Choose a University that you are most interested in studying at overseas. Assess what you believe will be challenging while living and studying there.

Criteria being assessed:

  1. Social: what do you believe the most challenging situations socially how do you recommend overcoming these challenges.
  2. Financial: what will be the most challenging issues financially and how do you recommend overcoming them.
  3. Joining campus activities: what do you believe will be the most challenging thing when joining campus activities and how will you overcome this.
  4. Living away from home: what do you believe will be the most challenging about living away from home and what will you do to handle this challenge.
  5. Additional information that you believe is essential to understanding the challenges of living and studying abroad.



2.1 Objectives:

The career orientation contest aims to:

  • Enhance students’ research and self-study skills, writing skills and presentation skills.
  • Improve students’ knowledge and understanding of the jobs they wish to have in the future or the jobs of their parents
  • Support students and parents to shape learning pathways to higher education

2.2 Content requirements:

Participants are expected to learn about a job[1] they wish to have in the future. The desirable approach is to choose an actual company/enterprise that you can have full access for your research and draft an essay with the following suggested content outline:

     1. Company profile

     1.1.  The company’s line of business

     1.2.  Major products/services that the company produces/provides

     1.3.  Main competitors of the company in Vietnam and in the world

      2. Organizational structure of the company

      2.1.  Structure and functions of all units in the company

      2.2.  Description of key positions in selected major units (duties, responsibilities, skills and qualifications)

      2.3.  The selected position you wish to have and reasons for your choice

      3. Lessons learnt from the case study of the company

       3.1.  Your view on future growth of the company

       3.2.  Your view on development of the career path for the job you dream of

Please bear in mind that the suggested outline above is only the core content that we wish you to have. You may feel free to add other parts to make your essay distinguishable.

2.3 Suggested list of industries for jobs

Students are free to choose a company in any industry[2] they like for the essay. The list of industries below can serve as good examples for participants’ consideration:

  1. Marketing and communication
  2. Education and research
  3. Arts, writing and performances
  4. Banking, finance and accounting
  5. Diplomacy and international relations
  6. Fashion industry
  7. Medical and Pharmaceutical industry
  8. Architecture and construction
  9. Computer science and software development
  10. Industrial engineering and production
  11. Agriculture and food processing
  12. Transportation, logistics and supply chain management
  13. Environment industry
  14. Trading and distribution
  15. Services (legal consultancy, restaurant, hotel, etc)


There are many timelines for the contest and participants must not miss any timeline:

  • 11 November 2016: Participants from IGCSE and Grade 9,10,11,12 attend the instruction session for more details
  • 16 November 2016: Participants from Grade 6,7,8 attend the instruction session for more details
  • 24h00, 18 November 2016: Deadline for change of topics and/or team member(s)
  • 24h00, Friday, 6 January 2017: Deadline for draft deliverables
  • 13 January 2017: First round presentation
  • 31 March 2017: Deadline for final deliverables
  • 7 April 2017: Final round presentation


The competition will be conducted in two rounds and participants are requested to submit two different sets of deliverables in English: draft deliverables and final deliverables. Each set of deliverables must include:

  • An essay about a topic of your own choice with at least 2,000 words (5 A4 pages)
  • Slides for the presentation (you will have 10 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for questions and answers)
  • Videos, photos or posters etc. illustrating the topic

Creativity is important, and a considerable weight of the scores will be given to creative deliverables, whether it is the content of the essay, the methodology you use or presentation of your essay.


Students from Grade 8 to Grade 12 are strongly encouraged to participate. Students from Grade 6 to Grade 7 can freely join if they are confident. Students can work alone or in a group of maximum 3, and students from different grades can work together. In case students work in team, the introduction part must tell who contributes what to the deliverables.


Qualified deliverables will be selected for first round presentation regardless of the theme of the topic. In the first round of competition, 12 prizes will be awarded in cash:

  • 1 first prize: VND 5 million
  • 2 second prize: VND 3 million each
  • 3 third prizes: VND 2 million each
  • 6 merit prizes: VND 1 million each

Twelve awarded deliverables after the first round of competition will be qualified for the second round of competition. Seven prizes will be awarded in the second round:

  • 1 special prize: certificate and scholarship of VND 120 million to any program in 2017-2018 academic year
  • 1 first prize: certificate and scholarship of VND 60 million to any program in 2017-2018 academic year
  • 2 second prizes: certificate and scholarship of VND 30 million for each prize to any program in 2017-2018 academic year
  • 3 third prizes: certificate and scholarship of VND 15 million for each prize to any program in 2017-2018 academic year

In addition to the prizes and awards, all participants who submit the deliverables on time will be given a bonus of additional 5% to total scores of ESL and qualified participants for the first round presentation will be given additional 50% of Participation and Homework credits for ESL [3]. If the additional credits add up to over 100% of total scores, they will be rounded down to 100%.[4]

Please note that the prize will be equally divided to all participants in the team. Scholarships cannot be converted into cash or loan and cannot be transferred to others. The latest Wellspring rules on prizes will apply unless otherwise stated here. Please refer to Wellspring rules on prizes for details[5].


Grading criteria will be released in the instruction session on 11 November 2016.


  • The email for communication and questions regarding the contest, and submission of deliverables is cool_contest_1617@wellspring.edu.vn.
  • Interested students must register by filling the form in the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf-6pHM7KXHtC2hyjvFi_KFnS-i7e8UyUGq55l0zcNaBf5gzQ/viewform
  • Registration can be redone ONCE before 18 November 2016 with change of topic or change of team member(s). If you register with a change, please fill in the form in the link above again and email us to notify the change so that we can easily notice it. From 18 November 2016 onward, any changes will not be accepted.
  • If you work in a team, only one team member can register and fill in the name(s) and class of the other team member(s).
  • Deliverables must be sent to the email address above before the deadline stated in section II (Timelines). Late submission will not be accepted. If the video clips or pictures are too large to send via email, you can use Google drive instead. Please make sure you know how to use Google drive properly, or you can come to us for instruction.
  • The title of the email when you send deliverables must be: SUBMISSION – Your name – Your class. The one who registered should be the one who send deliverables via email for our easy reference.
  • Essays must be original and unpublished. Plagiarism and fraud entries will be rejected. All essays will be checked for originality.
  • Rubrics for writing and presentation

[1] In this context, “job” is something you do in short periods of time (1-3 years) to earn a living while “career” is a long-term pursuit of lifetime ambition. The job you choose will lead you to the career path you desire.

[2] An industry offers a pool of similar jobs with different levels from intern to junior, senior, specialist and manager positions.

[3]For students who do not have ESL classes, the bonus scores will be added to ICT classes.

[4] For example, if the credits for Participation and Homework accounts for 20% of the total scores, students who are qualified for 1stround of presentation will be given 10% of the total scores, andif the overall additional 15% of the total scores make the final scores up to, say, 110% then the final scores will be rounded down to 100%.