One cannot overstate the importance of a learning environment in one’s overall academic experiences. Education doesn’t only take place inside classrooms but everywhere and college education is meant to help students make better sense of the chaotic world they live in and use their capabilities to make this world a better place to live in. I have always desired to attend a university that will not merely allow me to earn academic qualifications but will also significantly expand my thinking horizon through diverse learning experiences and Boston University shares my learning philosophy.
Hong Kong is one of the economic superpowers in Asia and there is no lack of great schools. But I decided to leave Hong Kong after Grade 10 since the overall learning experience was quite unfulfilling. Asians do not embrace out-of-the-box thinking and new experiences like the west do. My decision to leave Hong Kong had also been inspired by the study-abroad trip to the U.S. which completely changed my perspectives on who I am and how do I fit in this world. The most important lesson I learnt during the study-abroad trip was to embrace new experiences because they expand our thinking horizons. Thus, I didn’t come straight to the U.S. after leaving Hong Kong but instead chose Costa Rica as my first destination. I had always envisioned Costa Rica as a beautiful country but the poverty I witnessed in the country came as a huge shock. At school I struggled due to poor communication skills in Spanish but didn’t give up. A year after arriving in the country, I was not only comfortable with Spanish but had also significantly expanded my thinking horizon through friendships with local Costa Rican and European students. The experience really helped me improve my communication and cross-cultural skills and increased my appreciation for cultural diversity. It also made me become better aware of my own biases and prejudices and become more objective thinker. My next destination was Texas, U.S. where I attended high school and stayed with a host family. My last experiences in the U.S. were so positive that it didn’t take long for me to settle down. I later moved to Seattle to complete my associate degree and also started searching for schools where I would complete my undergraduate degree.
I am attracted to Boston University for the same reason I got attracted to America in the first place. A real learning environment is not one where you get formal education no matter how superior it may be but one where you are also encouraged to explore on your own, ask questions, and then search out ways to seek answers. It should be a place that keeps you curious and excited about learning new things just as a child expresses amazement even at the simplest of things. When I visited Boston University, it was unlike any other campus I had ever been to. It looked like a small city within a major city like Boston and university students didn’t only come from diverse backgrounds but were extremely intelligent and passionate about changing the world for good. I got the precious feeling of being at home on Boston University Campus which I didn’t feel visiting any other campus.
I have no doubt I will be a great fit into the Boston University community. First of all, my learning philosophy is exactly the one that drives Boston University’s mission. I will also bring unique perspectives and background to the campus which should enhance the overall learning experiences of my fellow students. I am fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English and can also communicate in several other languages including Spanish, French, and Japanese. My language and cultural skills also demonstrate my appreciation for cultures and my global mindset. I have lived and learnt in different parts of the world which provides me with global perspectives on issues. We live in a world which is increasingly being shaped by global forces and I will not be surprised if the majority of Boston University students take at least one international assignment during their professional career. Asia is where the real action is now and being someone from Asia with strong understanding of Chinese and Hong Kong cultures will make me a valuable asset to the university’s student community.
In addition to academics, I also believe in volunteering because we are part of the society and have obligations to create a better world for current and future generations. I did volunteer work for about two years back home including teaching English to young children in impoverished areas in China where I also had the opportunity to interact with other foreign volunteers. I still remember the immense satisfaction I would get by seeing the smiling faces of young children. I hope to engage in volunteer activities during my years at Boston University with the same spirit.
I am also specifically targeting Boston University because the challenging curriculum will help me realize my true potential and I will also have access to the university’s strong professional network which including leading global multinational companies. The university’s strategic location in the city of Boston also immensely adds to its appeal because it means almost infinite new experiences to explore. I have no doubt my education at Boston University will go a long way towards helping me build a successful global career.