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St. Mary's School Wuhan
March 20, 2019 | News & Updates

Experience-sharing session about studying abroad from an upperclassman

Experience-sharing session about studying abroad from an upperclassman

On February 27th, the International Department of Wuhan’s no.2 high school held an experience-sharing session about studying abroad. It invited the outstanding upperclassman, Jason Liu, a graduate student of St. Mary’s school who is currently a third-year student at UCLA in the United States. Jason was specially invited to share his study experience, as well as his successful university application and school choice, with his fellow underclassmen. The school looked forward to this session as it would help students to learn valuable experience and to reduce any difficulties with their own university applications.

During this session, Jason shared his journey from high school to university and told the story of his wonderful life. In order to make his fellow underclassmen understand American universities on a deeper level, Jason introduced American universities in detail; from the differences between public universities and private universities; the elements of applying for American universities; to the analysis of popular majors in universities and other aspects.

When he said that “public and private universities are different in the United States”, he mentioned that, in general, a public university is a one that is publicly owned and receives significant public funds through a national or subnational government. Private universities (and private colleges), on the other hand, are typically not operated by governments and are solely funded by private donations.

He also told students the advantages of both public universities and private universities:

St. Mary's School Wuhan

The advantages of both public universities and private universities

Advantages of American private universities:

1.  Smaller class size

2.  A strong alumni network in which students have more opportunities for internships and jobs

3.  Professors are more focused on teaching rather than their own research. They are willing to spend more time with students so they achieve better academic results.

Advantages of American public universities:

1.  More attention is given to scientific research achievements

2.  Have a larger number of students from different backgrounds. If you want to get more exposure to American culture, choosing an American public university may allow you to have a deeper understanding of the multicultural life of American society.

3.  Low tuition fees

4.  Provide students with a variety of academic options

At the end of this part, Jason told the students: “When international students need to choose a public or private university, they need to comprehensively evaluate whether a university is suitable for them across various aspects, such as university professors, curriculum, social activities, etc.”

When he talked about the most concerning topic for prospective international students – “The Elements of University Application in the United States” – he also provided an explanation for each element and why it is so important:

St. Mary's School Wuhan

The Elements of University Application in the United States

1.   GPA (Grade Point Average): three years’ GPA in senior high school reflects students’ overall learning level, so recruiters attach great importance to this score. Students who are going to study in the United States should try to improve their GPA in each course in the first year of high school, because a student’s overall GPA level determines which kind of university they can apply for.

2.  Standardised test scores: There are no shortcuts for achieving good grades in examinations or standardised tests. You can only get good grades by studying hard and repeatedly.

3.  Essays and recommendations: Students should try their best to learn about the universities they are applying to. It is compulsory preparation, for writing this kind of application essay, to collect relevant information about the university. Browse the university website, talk with students or alumni and read the university’s recent books, magazines and relevant publications.

4.  Personal extracurricular activities: In order to impress recruiters, the extracurricular activities students participate in should focus on the “quality” rather than the “quantity”. You should sort out the activities you participate in, and then find one or two that highlight your personal advantages or abilities on a deeper level, instead of piling up several activities. This can set you apart from the thousands of other

The students were also concerned about “analysis of popular majors in universities”. Jason pointed out the following on this topic:

There are a variety of majors and courses available in American universities. Students can learn about the main categories of university majors in advance, and understand and prepare for the fields they are interested in. He emphasized that choosing a major is an important choice in life. He hopes that his fellow underclassmen can make the appropriate preparations in advance for such a big event in their life. When choosing a major, students need to consider all aspects, prepare for the future, think about their ideal life in the future and make a good career plan.

During this session, the atmosphere was relaxed and harmonious. Jason actively interacted and communicated with his fellow underclassmen. He hoped that all of the students in this session could learn something from his experience and be able to adapt to the environment of living and studying in a different culture. He wished students all the best in their university applications and success with studying abroad.

The school concluded the session by telling the students they should grasp their youth with no regrets, aim high, and face life’s challenges with a positive attitude.

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