In recent years, more and more Chinese parents are sending their children to study abroad, leaving the impression that Chinese students are not so independent and easily controlled by their parents.
Because of this, many Chinese students have felt misunderstood by overseas admission officers, one of which was Aimee Jin; a fifteen-year-old student in the 9th grade of the Brewster Academy, US. During one of her admission interviews with schools, she was asked questions like: “What did you decide to study in America?” and “Did your parents encourage you to come?”
After settling into her new way of life and overcoming the initial challenges, Aimee's belief that studying abroad can be a valuable and life-changing experience is stronger than ever.
"I think more girls should go travelling or decide to study abroad because there is only so much you can learn from a textbook; moreover, it is life experiences that truly matter. Things like learning how to take a flight, book a hotel, and solving problems by yourself. These experiences make you more self-reliant and mature.”
Learning to be Independent
While in China, Aimee was often so busy with her studies that she rarely had time to enjoy other activities or hobbies outside of school. Now at Brewster Academy, Aimee is encouraged to participate in many extracurricular activities, which has helped her to organise her life without any input from her parents. As a thirteen-year-old girl, newly arrived in a foreign country, this was a difficult challenge.
Undeterred by the difficulties she faced, Aimee bravely pushed herself forward and took an active interest in many different activities including horse riding, dancing, painting, skiing and tennis, enabling her to enjoy a well-balanced life at Brewster Academy.
Despite her preference to study and work independently, Aimee has been encouraged to work with others while studying at Brewster Academy. Instead of working on assignments by herself, Aimee learned the benefits of accomplishing tasks together with classmates and how to effectively communicate with others.
Succeeding in an Interview
One of the concerns that many families have when applying to study overseas is that of test scores. In spite of only scoring a 70/120 in her TOEFL exam, and average results in SSAT, Aimee won favour with admissions officers from seven schools by leaving a good impression during her interviews.
“Interviewing with admissions officers is the most significant part. You must be confident in yourself. As I can speak English fairly well, I was able to enjoy great conversations with the people interviewing me; giving me the advantage I needed.”
In the interviews, each admissions officer wanted to know why Aimee had chosen to study in America and if it was due to pressure from her parents. Sincerely and without hesitation, Aimee replied to all by saying, “Actually, my parents did not approve of my decision to study abroad in the beginning. But I successfully persuaded them by seeking professional advice on the matter and asking them to accompany me on my visits to potential schools. That is why I am here.”
Thanks to her confidence, intellect, strong independence and passion for the future, Aimee won praise from all the admissions officers she met with. What’s more, she received a handwritten letter from the Brewster Academy admissions officer, expressing the school’s fondness for her.
I have interviewed many Chinese students over my 18 years but yours was memorable. Your energy and enthusiasm to become part of a community and try new things made me want you here next Fall. We would be fortunate to have you here. I look forward to seeing you soon.
This warm, handwritten letter was just one of the reasons why Aimee chose to study at Brewster Academy. In her opinion, face-to-face communication with admissions officers plays an important part role in choosing a school that suits you best.
Although, meeting with a school’s admissions officers can be time-consuming. Aside from school visits, school information sessions can provide a better chance for students and parents to communicate directly with admissions officers.
On Sunday 10th November, six well-known, private boarding schools in the United States will visit Shanghai to hold a school information session and to conduct one-on-one interviews with prospective students.
The Governor's Academy Admissions Seminar
★Ms Victoria Bernier has been in the education industry for more than seven years, first serving as an English teacher, then later as the Director of the Admissions Office at West Nottingham Academy. Now she is in charge of international student recruitment, women’s basketball team training, and dormitory supervision at the Governor's Academy.
-Speech and Q&As (around 1H)
-Student Interviews (20 minutes per person)
▍Time & Venue
-Time: Sunday, 10th November, 1:00pm
-Venue: BE Education, 803 Wanhangdu Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai
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