New adventures can lead to business opportunities” 

Joyce Slayton-Mitchell – Global College Admissions Consultant & Author

When you’re in your 70s, no matter how much you like your life, sometimes you want to change it up a bit and learn something new. Joyce Slayton Mitchell was the Director of college advisement at one of New York’s most prestigious girls’ day schools. She liked traveling to Paris for spring breaks (wrote a book about Paris pastry shops), spent summers in her Vermont hometown, and always spent the year-end holidays with her children and grandchildren in New Zealand. 

Joyce Slayton-Mitchell

“I loved my life, but wanted to add to the adventure and try something totally different.  So I decided to go someplace that I knew nothing about. I bought a ticket for a place as far and different from NewYork City as possible –  Beijing. I was curious if I could find a way to support myself in China with my writing and U.S. college admissions expertise. I soon discovered a number of business opportunities.” While still at her NYC job, Joyce enrolled in a language class at the China Institute.  Language classes lasted two lessons. “What can I say? Memorizing phrases and writing Chinese characters 100 times every night just wasn’t for me.” 

Joyce soon traded language lessons for the Corporate division of the China Institute with seminars on their Stock Exchange, Real Estate, and print media. During those lectures, she met a number of Chinese newspaper people, including the China Daily, where she learned that they had a high school edition for the public schools of China.  She soon had the name of the editor and an appointment in Beijing for her next spring break. 

“I had a great meeting, even though I left without knowing if they wanted an advice column on U.S. College Admissions.  By the end of the summer, I learned that Yes! They would agree to give the College Advice column a try. With that credential in hand, I left for Beijing again at our next school holiday, Columbus Day Weekend.”

That weekend led Joyce to a meeting with the largest English-language education company in China- New Oriental – the first Chinese business accepted on the NY Stock Exchange.  Several weeks later, and back at her school job, she secured a book deal to write the first dual language Chinese/English American college admissions book, The Chinese Guide to American Universities

With book contract in hand, and China Daily’s newspaper column in print, she left her job in NYC and worked for a small Chinese company, who wanted an Amercian amongst them, to bring the U.S. AP Curriculum into the public schools.  Through perseverance, learning how her college counseling experience fit into the Chinese culture, and the fast growth of the Chinese economy, Mitchell has now been in China for 12 years. Today, Joyce is a recognized pioneer among college admissions deans and continues to work with young Chinese entrepreneurs in their U.S. college and school counseling businesses. Always aware of the market for what she has to offer, Ms. Mitchell followed the remarkable change of the China market from U.S. colleges to our boarding schools. She now spends 3 or 4 months in China, and during the rest of the academic year, counsels Chinese high school students across the US.

To learn more about Joyce’s latest book, Who Is This Kid? Colleges Want to Know!, and other books written by Joyce, visit

Copyright© 2019 Emelie Smith Calbick and Betty Wong

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