Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I knew that attending a boarding school in the United States would expose me to a miscellaneous and diverse community. This would not only give me great education but would also help me gain multiple perspectives and a better understanding of different values that students bring to the school community. Also, in contrast to most educational systems in Asian countries, which are strictly academically based, schools in the United States provide a comprehensive educational environment that includes academics, extra-curricular activities, voluntary programs, and internships.
Why did you choose The Northwest School?
I liked that The Northwest School is located in the heart of Seattle; the surrounding is extremely pleasant and convenient, with the combination of a metropolis and nature. I also knew some alumni of The Northwest School who had wonderful experience at the school and had been admitted to great universities and colleges. I knew immediately this is a place where I want to go to challenge myself and become better prepared for college.
What do you like best?
Probably The Northwest School’s diverse community of faculty and students.
What do you miss most?
Definitely my family. Being in a boarding school means that you have to learn how to take care of yourself. However, because of this, I have become more responsible and independent and have learned how to manage time, control financial spending, cook, and keep my place organized.
How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?
This is my second year at The Northwest School and my English language has improved a lot. Thanks to the school’s rigorous academics and support that the teachers and advisors provide, I was admitted to my dream school, University of British Columbia, which I will start attending this September!
What was your biggest surprise?
My biggest surprise about the American educational system was the fact that art courses were considered as important as other academic subjects such as humanities, mathematics, or science. The Northwest School believes that art classes are equally crucial for students’ education and development.
...your biggest disappointment?
I would say the high cost of living. Yet, it helped me better understand the value of money and learn how to manage my finances.
How have you handled:
The school is very welcoming and supportive to international students and everybody understands that making mistakes is a part of the learning process.
...adjusting to a different educational system?
At first, it was very difficult to adjust to a new educational system. Writing essays in a specific format, rules of citations, certain lab equipment, or specific vocabularies in science and math, were entirely new to me. It certainly takes time and effort to adapt to the new academic environment. However, when you finally get the hang of it, everything becomes simple and makes sense!
What are your activities?
I am a middle fielder on our school soccer team and I am also a member of the Model United Nations interest group.
How easy or difficult was it making friends?
Of course, at first, I felt somewhat nervous and not very confident to reach out to new people, especially the ones who come from different cultures or speak different languages. However, if you are open-minded and interested in getting to know people who might be different than you, then it should not be a problem to make new friends and establish relationships with students from all over the world that will probably last well beyond your school years.
What will you remember most?
Definitely the time when my soccer team played against other schools’ teams under the soaking rain of Seattle!
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
Don’t hide your talents, abilities, or interests from other people. If you can sing, dance, play sports, or draw, do not be afraid or feel embarrassed to do this in front of others, even if you are a beginner. People will better understand and appreciate who you are. This will also help you connect with the broader community of students and faculty outside of your classroom.