Graduate Story—Christina W

Each year, many graduates from Harrow Beijing choose to apply to both UK and US universities. With outstanding results, they gain simultaneous admission to top universities in both the UK and the US. This also demonstrates that the A Level curriculum, known as the world’s gold standard, not only holds traditional advantages for UK university admissions but is also widely recognized by top universities worldwide, including the Ivy League institutions in the US.

In this issue, we will get to know Christina W. and see how she achieved dual admission to top UK and US universities at Harrow Beijing, gaining more choices for her future.

University of California, Los Angeles, Gender Studies

King’s College London

English Literature

Joined Harrow Beijing in Year 8

Exploring Interests Through a Flexible and Diverse Curriculum

The A Level program at Harrow Beijing offers students a wide range of subjects in both the arts and sciences, allowing them to deeply explore various fields and lay a solid foundation for their future development. Christina found her interests within this flexible and diverse curriculum.

“Compared to the IB curriculum’s subject requirements, A Level allows us to freely combine subjects we are interested in. At the A Level stage, students can choose three subjects that interest them. I chose History, Literature, and Drama Studies, which allowed me to delve deeply into my interests in performing arts and humanities,” Christina shared. In her Literature and Drama classes, Christina was exposed to many works focused on female subjects, which deepened her understanding of gender studies and influenced her decision to pursue related fields in university.

In today’s rapidly evolving global education landscape, top universities worldwide are increasingly valuing students’ comprehensive abilities, particularly their capacity to conduct in-depth research. Harrow Beijing offers an Extended Project Qualification in high school, providing students with opportunities to delve into various fields and demonstrate their academic passion for specific subjects during university applications. In Year 12, Christina completed her EPQ on the topic related to gender studies. “Working independently on this project gave me an excellent opportunity to explore a field I am passionate about,” Christina remarked.

Professional University Guidance Supports

Applications for US and UK Universities

The experience of applying to both UK and US universities gave Christina a deeper understanding of the university application process. She also has her own unique ideas when it comes to choosing her major.

“The application systems for the UK and the US are very different. Although the activities you participate in and your grades are the same, the way you present them in your essays is different. UK universities tend to emphasize academic achievements, while US universities place more importance on personal interests and values. I applied to different majors because the cultural environments of the two countries are very different. The UK has a strong academic atmosphere, which is suitable for studying British cultural subjects, while the social environment in the US provides a freer soil for gender studies. I feel that the pressure of applying to US universities is relatively higher, as there are more things to prepare, but it is also relatively more flexible,” Christina said.

Facing the pressure of applications, Christina said that the university guidance counselors were a great help to her during the process. “My university guidance counselor met with me every week, helping me revise my essays and guiding me on how to highlight my personal qualities in them. He also recommended many university application-related websites, which were very helpful. Besides the guidance team, my subject teachers also provided immense support. For my UK and US university applications, each of my subject teachers wrote a recommendation letter for me. They knew my performance, strengths, and other aspects well, highlighting my advantages in my chosen fields,” Christina said.

The university guidance team at Harrow Beijing is well-versed in the application processes and requirements of both UK and US universities. They can tailor application strategies for students, ensuring professional support at every step. Whether it’s selecting suitable courses, writing personal statements, or preparing for interviews, the school provides comprehensive support to help students showcase their strengths and potential to the fullest.

Applying Knowledge and Developing

Leadership Through Rich Practical Opportunities

At Harrow Beijing, achieving excellent academic results is not the sole purpose of learning; more importantly, it’s about applying the knowledge and skills acquired. Christina greatly benefited from Harrow Beijing’s rich extracurricular classes and on-campus and off-campus practical activities. These experiences outside the classroom had a profound impact on her, not only being very helpful for her university applications but also enabling her to become a better version of herself.

For example, the school’s LAMDA public speaking and acting courses helped Christina find her confidence. “Harrow Beijing’s wide range of learning opportunities allowed me to explore different fields. Before coming to Harrow Beijing, I had never been involved in drama and never thought that someone as introverted as I am would be suitable for performing on stage. However, under the guidance of the performing arts teacher, I began learning to act and participated in LAMDA extracurricular classes in my spare time. Later, I played main roles in the Upper School’s annual musicals for two consecutive years and made many like-minded friends along the way,” Christina said.

Harrow Beijing are proud to be the Centre of LAMDA and test center since 2014. Most of our outstanding graduates, who have been admitted to top universities in the UK and the US, have experience in participating in LAMDA courses. We offer courses at Harrow Beijing City Campus and Hegezhuang Campus which is including Speaking in Public, Prose and Poetry, Acting, Musical Theatre, The Shakespeare Qualification and the PCERT Diploma.

Starting from Year 11, Christina became a LAMDA student mentor, helping students from Year 1 to 9 with acting and public speaking. “This gave me a great sense of accomplishment. I could use what I had learned to help younger students find their own aspirations and interests,” Christina told us.

In addition, Christina also served as Kong Zi House Prefect during Year 12-13, organizing large-scale House events together with teachers and other student leaders. Through this experience, she gained a strong sense of belonging to the community and continuously developed her leadership skills through practical engagement.

For the Future

I Have Clearer Goals

Before joining Harrow Beijing, Christina was uncertain about the field she wanted to specialize in for her future. However, after coming here, she has gained clearer goals for her career path. This learning experience has led Christina to aspire to become a teacher or writer in the future, using her knowledge and experiences to drive change in the world.

Christina’s advice for younger students is: “Fear of failure is fear of success. If you want to do something, start doing it now! You have more chances to learn from mistakes than you think. If you don’t want to be constrained by external expectations, break free from the limitations you set for yourself and embrace all possibilities.”

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