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Pursuing Real Education

-Admissions Officers of Amherst College and Williams College visited HFI

Just in time for application season, admissions officers from many top colleges came to HFI to introduce their schools and the details of the admissions process. On September 15th, admissions officers from the top two liberal arts colleges in the United States, Xiaofeng Wan from Amherst College and Sulgi Lim from Williams College, held a lecture in HFI.

To demonstrate their platforms for students to fully discover themselves and change the world, two admissions officers first introduced the strengths of liberal arts colleges, then elaborated on the introduction of their own schools, respectively. Xiaofeng Wan stated that the best undergraduate education in the U.S. is offered by liberal arts colleges. The common misconceptions about liberal arts colleges include only providing courses in the arts, not being recognized in domestic companies, and having limited opportunities to interact with diverse people. However, the reality is quite the contrary. They offer a wide variety of courses, extremely high professor-to-student ratios, closely knit classes, and generous research funding. Every student in the community can immerse themselves in exploring their genuine interests in interdisciplinary courses, from math and science to humanity and social science. Specifically, every student can choose their major after two years of fully exploring their academic interests in college, and they are encouraged and even required to choose courses other than their majors, ensuring students’ comprehensive development. All the teachers, students, and parents attending the lecture gained abundant knowledge about the unique liberal arts college education, cleared up misconceptions, and recognized its true values.

After the general introduction, Xiaofeng Wan and Sulgi Lin began to detail Amherst College and Williams College, respectively. They both displayed the specific courses offered, the destinations of the undergraduates, vivid pictures of their clubs and campus activities, and the details of their admission process. Audiences can all feel the academic rigor and students’ explorative passion from their lively descriptions.

Then, students and parents asked questions and communicated directly with two admissions officers. The scope of their questions ranges from choosing majors and alumni to scholarship policies and qualities of foods. The two admission officers answered all questions patiently, effectively addressing audiences’ concerns. During the private chat question session, many parents were concerned about the specific criteria for admitting students. However, Xiaofeng Wan stated that high school was supposed to be the time for students to explore their academic interests and do things they consider interesting and meaningful, not to struggle to fill out all the blanks on activity lists on applications. Especially for Chinese, people regarded attending prestigious universities as an essential criterion for a successful life, which misled lots of high school students to overlook their own genuine academic interests and passion for life.

The lecture not only introduces the two prestigious liberal arts colleges, Amherst and Williams, but also helps viewers understand the true values of liberal arts education and provides them with a fresh new perspective on college applications. The lecture emphasizes student-university matching, encourages students to explore the world fearlessly, and believes that every student will find the most suitable university. Through the lecture, the two admissions officers conveyed that education is obtained through life and is not wrapped as a hierarchical pyramid climbed crazily by millions of families.

Writer: Bonnie Liu

Content Proposer: Bonnie Liu

Editor: Selena Yao

Interviewer: Bonnie Liu

Interviewee: Xiaofeng Wan, Sulgi Lim

Date: September 16st 2023