This article was written by Taisei Inoue
The university application process can be daunting, shrouded with mystery and an overwhelming amount of information. Taisei Inoue, a graduating senior at St. Andrews International School, describes his journey through the application process and tells us a bit about a June 10th event featuring similar stories from 9 students who recently went through the university application process.
Attention students thinking of attending universities abroad — come hear these stories first-hand at the UniGlo Student Conference 2019!
This student-led event by UniGlo features 9 recently-admitted student speakers from international schools all around Bangkok. Hear their first-hand accounts of how they successfully worked through the university application process as international students from Thailand. RSVP at https://uniglo2019.eventbrite.com/?aff=bkkpost to hear their stories on June 10th!
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1078746632326873/
Give and Take
Since young, I was never interested or intrigued when it came to the topic of ‘University’ in a conversation. I have always avoided the subject as I sensed no urgency in the process, and that mindset later came back to bite me.
The spring of 2017, when I was deciding what to do with my summer vacation, was the moment I realised my mistakes. All of my peers were applying to summer camps in prestigious universities abroad, while I only thought of enjoying my summer relaxing. Not only were my colleagues gaining precious experiences, but the fact that they already had a clear intention of where they would like to go for University frightened me. Still unsure, I decided to apply for a summer course at UCLA purely due to its location and its name value.
It was not until two months later that I had a clear view in mind. My mother (without telling me) had signed us up for a university conference at the Renaissance Hotel called ‘US University Student Conference 2017’. It was organised by UniGlo, a for-student, by-student organization aiming to motivate, connect and empower students in their university application journey. What I did not know at the time was that this conference was soon to be one of the most memorable, and important conferences that I will attend in my life.
This event was the first time I was able to hear personal experiences and difficulties involved in the process of applying to a university. For instance, I distinctly remember one of the panellists talking about the academic requirements that were mandatory/preferred to get into the T20 universities. Frankly enough, that was also the first time I heard of the term ‘SAT’ and ‘ACT’ in my life. Listening to all the experiences were especially beneficial to me, as the panellists and I were in the same shoes when it came down to us being ‘International Applicants’ applying from Bangkok. The various culture shocks, the differences in diversity and the impact of the location were several things that I remember vividly from the Q&A sessions.
After the conference, I rushed home to find universities of my own fit. Taking the advice from the speakers into consideration, I looked at the various universities from all over the world; From London School of Economics to Cornell University. I closely observed their locations and the majors they offered, but most importantly, I focused specifically on the campus environment for international students. I remember shortlisting schools such as UC Berkeley, Brown University, and the University of Toronto in my first findings.
Following my first University conference, I was eager to attend a couple of other University conferences both by UniGlo and other organisations to get a better grasp of the whole process. I remember going to one conference which solely analysed what makes a successful student resume: but UniGlo’s events discussed the practical, more human aspects of the application, with topics ranging from the student’s mental health to the balance of their workload with extracurriculars. Each time I attended these conventions, I would get new ideas in terms of finding out new Universities, tips for the application process, and even came to know what to look for in finding the university best for me. Just as the panellists told me in the first conference, my shortlist of universities had transformed completely.
Comparing to my peers, I felt as if I had a better perception and mindset for applying to universities when I was finally in my senior year. While my friends were rushing their research on the universities and their requirements, I already had a decent understanding of which universities I wanted to apply to, giving me the time to write and edit my essays as much as possible. I knew the little tips and tricks to answer the essay prompt in my own way, as well as the necessary information to upload on my Common Application. It may have seemed like a waste of time going to these conferences to my former self — but January 2nd, the date I uploaded my last application, was when I truly realised that these conferences were more of a benefit to me than anybody else.
If anything, I would like to thank all of the panellists who have shared with us their personal experience and their tips on the application. Now that I have my experiences to share on the application process, it is my absolute privilege to join the UniGlo team! With the next event, the UniGlo Student Conference 2019, happening soon at the Rembrandt Hotel on Monday, June 10th, I’m beyond excited to help offer events that will be beneficial to prospective Bangkok applicants community.
UniGlo’s events are unique due to its nature as a student-led organisation helping out younger students in need without any external input from adults. I believe that the person who will benefit the current Bangkok students are the people who were in their shoes most recently, or at least that was how I felt when I was attending the past conferences. My objective in this organisation is to be able to provide younger students with the information that they might not be able to get from the internet or their counsellors through current college students. I certainly did not see myself in the future working with such enthusiastic colleagues when I was seated in the conference — and I hope that on Monday, June 10th, you’ll join us at the Rembrandt Hotel and gain as much from this event as I did! Get your tickets here at: https://uniglo2019.eventbrite.com/?aff=bkkpost