Three Unique Advantages of Being a Chinese Applicant
As a Chinese applicant to American universities, you’ve no doubt heard all about the many challenges you’ll face in the admissions process.
You are also probably all too familiar with the many pitfalls you need to avoid: cookie-cutter applications, perfect test scores with no outside accomplishments, a perceived “lack of personality” (whatever that means). Honestly, it can be disheartening.
But look, that’s not the whole story. Our fellow admissions consultants often spend so much time avoiding those common obstacles, that they miss the advantages of being a Chinese applicant. Admissionado’s ability to find those oft-overlooked advantages is fundamental to our outsized success in China. Uncovering buried treasure in all the right places is our specialty, and we’re happy to share the map.
1. Diverse Perspective & Experience
This one is so glaringly obvious, it hurts…and yet, it is still drastically overlooked and underutilized. Let’s zoom out for a second: As a Chinese applicant, you grew up in a country wildly different from the U.S., in a city wildly different from any U.S. city, and you speak at least two of the world’s most important languages. You grew up in a different culture, with different norms, different beliefs, different foods, different customs. Alright, alright, we know what you’re thinking, “Yes, duh. But who cares? And can’t thousands of my Chinese peers say the same thing?”
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To the first point: adcoms care! Those factors together mean that you already have a wealth of unique contributions to make to a university, just built in to your background. You bring a diverse perspective, language, culture, and network. That’s significant because it means you can add a valuable perspective to the classroom, to student groups, and to campus in general. And to the second point: Yes, thousands of your Chinese peers can say the same thing, but many of them won’t. Many of your peers won’t recognize how valuable this inherent diversity is, and so they will fail to take advantage of it, allowing you to swoop in and stand out.
You see, admissions committees need international students to create the diverse, enriching campus environment they’re after—but more than just having those students present, they need those students to actively contribute to campus life. This is the point that many of your peers will miss. So, once you identify both what makes you unique and how that translates to unique actions you can take on each campus, you’ve just struck gold.
2. Huge Potential for Stellar Stories
As a Chinese applicant, you have a slight edge over your American counterparts in the unique stories department, for two reasons: 1) Your international background gives you a bucket of material that the admissions committee will be less familiar with; and 2) Your path in choosing to leave your home country for college lends itself to introspection.
First, on material: Remember all those factors that added up to give you a diverse perspective? Well, those also give you a treasure trove of unique material—you have a lifetime of experiences that are less common in the broader applicant pool, so you have greater opportunities to craft totally original essays on original topics, purely by telling stories that might seem entirely unremarkable to you. Think about it this way: you’ve experienced a life that is mostly foreign to the admissions committee, so your average story about growing up in your hometown inevitably contains some material unique for your reader. Your average American counterpart’s equivalent story wouldn’t be as compellingly unique; they would have to dig deeper.
And second, on introspection: Your decision to leave your
3. Understanding of Pitfalls
Remember those common pitfalls of Chinese applicants that we
For example, if you’ve read much about the admissions
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And that’s just one example. Generally, the better you
Starting to discover some of this buried treasure, but still not sure what to do with it? Not to worry, in the second part of this series, we’ll go through exactly how to leverage these goldmines, so stay tuned.
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That’ll get you started. Still have questions? Reach out, and let’s gab.
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