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Decoding Amsers' successes

Post by: Mai Thành Sơn | 13/04/2012 | 3680 reads

As a Vietnamese student, you must have heard of Hanoi - Amsterdam High School for the Gifted with incredible academic achievements of the students there. The important factors leading to the overall success are nothing but students’ability to master foreign languages and their zealous participation in extra curricular activities. Let’s decode those Amsers’ miracles! 

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Ton Ha Anh - offered 5 scholarships from U.S Universities.

One of the reasons helping create Amser’s trademarks is the study record which amazes everyone glancing at. With excellent study progress and impressive extra curriculum, instead of trying hard to get into a university, many Amsers have been offered to study in famous universities around the world..

For example, Tran Hai Chau (alumni of the Specialized Mathematics class) easily achieved a 5-billion-VND scholarship from Brown University. Besides, he also got offers to study from 8 other U.S. universities. Ton Nu Ha Anh – the salutatorian of Hanoi-Amterdam, is now one of the best students of Havard University. What are the “keys” of these miracles?

Foreign Language – The first step to realize your dream

Determining to get a scholarship, Amsers are all very dilligent on their foreign language no matter which classes they are in. Thu Quynh – an Amser who achieved 13 scholarships from U.S. universities, shared: “I’m attending the Specialized Mathematics class but I’m very interested in English. I used to search for song lyrics on the Internet, then look up in the dictionaries and translate each sentence until I can understand the whole song. I eventually become interested in not only listening to English songs but also learning this subject …”.

Therefore, if you know some Amser who is attending a science class but works very hard on English, then he must be preparing for a prestigious full scholarship.

The overall lesson that can be gained here is: Foreign language is not only a subject but also a condition for you compete in those severe academic races such as applying for full scholarships or looking for cultural exchange trips. Therfore, the aim of achieving IELTS 8.0 should be considered a priority if your ambition for the next 2 years is to step into a prestigious university in the U.S.

Extra curricular activities – Big plus points for your application form.

Universities and colleges in the U.S. or in any other developed countries around the world, not only value a person through scores but also focus on the skills, on what the applicants contributed to the community as a whole. Therefore, in the application form, there always exists the ‘Extra curriculum’ section, which the recruiters require you to fill in. It would be quite difficult to get a scholarship if you have an excellent study record but no extra curricular activities, which Amsers clearly understand. So, instead of being glued to the books all day long, they effectively balance between studying and playing.

Tran Hai Chau is a good example. Having got into Ha Noi – Amsterdam High School for a few months, Chau and some of his close friends set up an online bookstore and library for disadvangtaged students. He also took part in many computering contests and even gained an award in the fair “Applied Information Technology in Acedmic Study” . One interesting point is that, Amsers who seize scholarships are also talented. They can play soccer, paint, or play musical instruments,… Those seem to be a minor detail, however, in the CV, they probably help make the main character stand out.

Lesson: Having a good study record, you are probably highly appreciated. However, academic results are not the only factor assiting you in getting closer to your scholarships. The ‘key word’ here is the extra curriculum. It shows different values in you: the leadership quality, self-confidence, dynamic and communality… 

Essay – “The final attack”

Among many students that all study well and play well, the final key that makes the difference is the written essay. Ha Anh shared: “This is the most difficult and crucial part, so you have to practice soon. The more astute and unique the essay is, the easier it is for you to get opportunities.

That was also the reason why Hai Chau mentioned the relationship between Mathematics and Psychology in his essay. This very interesting connection helped this guy beat thousands of other candidates to become “the chosen one”.

Lesson: Writing essays is the opportunity for you to show your points of view on some issues. It reflects the individual impression and also a part of your character. This is a difficult task, requiring writing skills and creativity. Therefore, it would be a good idea to try to practice writing essays from now on to realize your dream!

Author: Minh Phuong (CE 10 - 13)

Translator: Dao Huyen Trang (A2 11-14)