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A successful university application to Stanford University, United States

14 September 2017

Nguyen Ngoc Minh, a Year 13 student at BIS received an offer from the renowned Stanford University, United States. She’s happy to share her successful university application experience to one of the most prestigious universities.

  • British International School Hanoi

1. Can you share with us about your application process to Stanford University? What is the most challenging part of the process to you?

My application to Stanford was like most other applications – difficult and time-consuming. There were a lot of things that I needed to complete, which meant I had to pay attention to every detail if I wanted them to be perfect. One thing I learned from the entire process was definitely the value of patience. A lot of the elements will be under your control, but some of them won’t be. I had to learn to prioritize the items on my application check-list in order to make sure I got everything done in time. The most challenging part was probably the essays. Aside from the personal statement, most universities will also have additional essay questions. You have to strike the correct balance between staying true to yourself and showing how you’re a good fit for the school. 

2. What major do you choose to study in Stanford University ? Do you have any plan for after graduation from University?

I haven’t chosen a major yet, but luckily, I still have 2 more years before I have to make that decision. After graduation, I’ll go back to Vietnam to contribute the most that I can back to the community that I am so indebted to. 

3. What do you think are the most outstanding points in your application that help you achieve the offer from a prestigious university as Stanford? (for example competition participation, charity work etc)

The thing that universities really care about is passion. You have to demonstrate that you are capable of thriving on campus, and what better way to do that then displaying your enthusiasm for learning in a particular field? It does help a lot if you can supplement your passion with activities. A general tip for university applications is “show, not tell”. Activities are a fantastic way to “show” what you are excited about and what kinds of things you’re doing to further that. 

4. How did BIS Hanoi teachers support you during the application process?

If I could say anything about my application process, it is that my teachers were extremely supportive. Even though my recommendation letters were both from teachers that were no longer part of the staff, they were always willing to help me. And when I got stuck with my essays, I knew I could rely on the current BIS teachers to help iron out the kinks in my writing. I am so grateful for all of the members of staff that helped me during applications – the teachers, our guidance counselor, and even Mr. Rowlands. I couldn’t have been luckier to have had the support that I had at BIS.