Where Love&Care Take You

Like David Xu, Alice Lam has also been with Beanstalk since primary school. By far, she has obtained two offers for top UK Occupational Therapy programs from the University of Southampton and Brunel University. She has also received two interview offers from two other U.K. higher institutions. Today we will share with you her perspective and experience of the university application process and study at BIBS.

Q:We’ve heard that you, as then a 11th grader, scored a 7.5 in written test and an amazingly full score of 9 in the oral test with your very first IELTS attempt and without taking any prep courses.  What’s your secret of success?

Alice Lam :  As a student who has been studying in BIBS since primary school, it wasn’t that hard to achieve it. My fellow schoolmates including David and I communicate with native-speaking teachers on various topics and subjects every school day.  English is already like our second mother language.  We’ve also learned to be avid readers at BIBS.  I believe that reading a lot of books has prepared me well for the IELTS test.

I used to be a shy girl and did not have the courage to speak in public.  Yet I’ve been blessed with ample opportunities at school to improve my skills in communication, management, leadership and collaboration.  My experience with the students’ council, the Model UN, art exhibitions and music festivals allowed me to think clearly, communicate with others proactively and express myself fully.

Q:What do you think, in addition to your English language proficiency and development of social skills at school, are critical and conducive to your college application success so far?

Alice Lam:It is definitely my IB learner traits. Like what David introduced, many university admission officers demonstrated a high level of interest in IB students.  It is because IB students develop core skills and attitude like ATL which are important for academic success at university.  Equally important, IB education fosters capable and responsible young people who care about people, community and the world.  Throughout my IB years, I have worked with Pet Orphans Home, an animal shelter,  for three years.  David actually adopted one of the dogs from there.  I am currently working with an orphanage.  I love working with the kids there and my monthly activities with them provides me helpful experience for my future career as an occupational therapist that requires not only excellent profession skills but also a heart of love and care.Additionally, I would say it is important that you share with college admission officers your passion and achievements.  Personally, I love music and enjoy playing the piano.  I participated in the Model UN activities for two consecutive years.  I am highly proficient in Chinese mandarin, Cantonese and English.  I, being the only Asian student, earned the first place in the English proficient test at King’s College London’s Summer Camp.  Share these highlights with the college admission officers, they will definitely help to present the more vivid and versatile aspects of you.

Q:Can you share with us how you choose future schools? Any tips?

Alice Lam:Academic strength, major options, location, college expenses, scholarship availability, and career prospects.  There are many elements to consider.  Speaking from my own experience, I believe that it is extremely important that you “know thyself!”  The world is full of choices.  We need to know ourselves to make the choices that show what we truly are.

I, for instance, know that I am quite sensitive to the environment around me.     One of my original dream schools is located in the northern part of the UK. The climate is very humid and it rains very often.     At last, I decided not to apply to that university because I know I won’t be able to enjoy my time in such a cold and damp place. So I chose several southern U.K. universities with warmer and friendlier weather instead.

Our counselor gave me tremendous help by offering useful information and advice.  He also prepared me for interviews.  This has been a great help to calm me down and to allow me to behave confidently during each interview.  I am really grateful for all the help our teachers provided me.

Q:In your particular case, how has your school helped you to become who you are now?

Alice Lam:Like David, I was the only student in the whole grade who selected high level biology course and also received one-to-one tutoring on this particular subject.  My teacher would always adapt his lesson with my level of comprehension and work his way to make sure I learn the subject well. Actually all our teachers are like my high level biology teacher who would work hard to make sure that we learn and achieve. If we have things that we don’t quite understand in our class, or we have been sick and away from school for a couple of days, or we need help with a forthcoming college application interview, we can always go to our teachers and they will always be happy to help us.  I thank them a million for being so supportive and for making me who I am today.