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Education in America. Getting into U.S. universities. Presented by: Booyeon Lee Allen United States Consulate General Guangzhou. Presentation Overview. Why we are here today College application process Focus on essays – how to market yourself. Why we promote U.S. education.

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Education in america

Education in America

Getting into

U.S. universities

Presented by:

Booyeon Lee Allen

United States Consulate General Guangzhou

Presentation overview
Presentation Overview

  • Why we are here today

  • College application process

  • Focus on essays – how to market yourself

Why we promote u s education
Why we promote U.S. education

  • Celebrating educational exchange

  • Good for individual enrichment

  • Means of promoting mutual understanding and respect among different countries

U s government believes
U.S. government believes…

  • Foreign students bring diversity and different ideas and culture to universities. America can learn a lot from what foreign students have to contribute.

  • Students will return to become leaders in their home country and will educate others about U.S. life and culture. This will promote friendly relations and understanding.

Applying to u s colleges
Applying to U.S. colleges

  • The most important part of the application process is not the test

  • No big Gaokao. TOEFL or SAT only one part of the application process.

  • Essays are important. They help colleges “meet” the applicant through paper. They help admissions officers build a story about who that applicant is.

How does the process work
How does the process work?

  • If the colleges offer “early decision” or “early action,” then apply early. You will get a fresh look from the admissions officers, not thousands of applications later.

  • If your test scores and grades are high, then you the first cut.

How does the process work1
How does the process work?

  • If your essay is unforgettable, then your admissions officer will remember you when advocating for you.

  • The purpose of the essay is also to demonstrate your ability to write and express yourself at a high academic level.

Three main type of essays
Three main type of essays

  • Why you?

  • Why this college?

  • Creative

Why you
Why you?

  • What sets you apart?

  • What do you think about a certain issue?

  • What defines you as a person?

Why you1
Why you?

  • Examples:

    • Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, or risk that you have taken and its impact on you.

    • Discuss some issue of personal, local, national or international concern and its importance to you.

    • Indicate a person, character in fiction, an historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, etc.) who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.

Why this university
Why this university?

  • Example:

    • Why do you want to spend two to six years of your life at a particular college, graduate school, or professional school? How is the degree necessary to the fulfillment of your goals?


  • You pick the format

    • Short story

    • Poem

    • Stream of consciousness

  • You pick the content

  • You must still be able to express yourself as a high academic level

Getting started
Getting started

  • Choose a topic

    • Avoid big, general topics

    • Bad: “Environmental issues”

    • Good: “New power plant in my hometown that has replaced a field of wildflowers.”

  • Be authentic and personal

  • Everyone has a compelling story to tell. Don’t make things up. Your Chinese upbringing is unique among American student applicants. Simply tell your story.

Getting started1
Getting started

  • Brain storm supporting details, experiences, stories, images

    • Concrete

    • Meaningful

    • Relevant

Writing the essay
Writing the Essay

  • Follow the prompt

    • If directions say 1,000 words, then don’t go over

    • Make sure you answer the question

Writing the essay1
Writing the Essay

  • Choose a verb tense, stick with it

  • Write in active voice, don’t be vague

    • NOT “I was chosen as student body president.”

    • “As student body president, I led a fundraiser for earthquake victims. We raised 20,000 RMB. ”

Writing the essay2
Writing the Essay

  • Show, don’t tell

    • NOT “My family is very traditional”

    • “Each March, we place sprigs of rosemary and thyme outside our front door to commemorate the end of winter.”

    • NOT “I have been influenced by him and interested in computer since I’m a child.”

    • “By the time I was three feet high, I was already using my father’s workstation to design 3-D graphics for my school friends.”

Writing the essay3
Writing the Essay

  • Edit

    • Don’t be in love with the sound of your own writing

    • Cut out anything that doesn’t need to be there

    • If you can say it in 4 paragraphs, get rid of that 5th paragraph

    • Self-edit

    • Get others to edit your essay

Examples of writing
Examples of writing

Who is your hero/from whom do you draw inspiration?

My hero is my mother, whom I admire and respect very highly. From her resiliency in tough situation, I have grown a don’t-give-up-mentality. She taught me to not hide away from problems, but to face it up front and battle it, for the next day is always better. She is also a great listener and a coach who gives me advices that fuel my ambition and hope in doing what I love and loving others.

Example of writing
Example of Writing

Who is your hero/from whom do you draw inspiration?

My mother. She is the very definition of resilience in the midst of trials. She teaches me to never run from problems but to face and fight them. Only then will tomorrow be kinder to you, she says. She has also taught me the value of listening to others intently and loving people deeply.


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