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Undergraduate, Physics, Chinese

August 5, 2017

As a young man from China whose family is not well educated, formally speaking, I am the first member on either side to attend college. My mother finished only middle school and then entered the workforce to help support the family and my father achieved only a vocational education, never attending a real university. Life as I have known it has always been a great struggle to make ends meet economically—education has always been my compensation and reward. I also come from a family background that is built around hard work and perseverance. We were fortunate to have each other and the opportunity to learn. Most families in China only have one child, but my family had two, me and my younger brother. Our age difference of 11 years placed an early responsibility on my shoulders as I was forced to act as an additional parent and help guide him as he grew up. I taught him many things and continued to learn a lot about myself along the way. Most of all, I learned early on how to care for others both physically and emotionally; how far a helping hand really could go.

Also, I didn’t confine myself in my small hometown. Instead, diversity for me is something that I encountered and learned to appreciate when I grew and matured enormously, personally as well as professionally, especially during my six month exchange program in Hong Kong. This experience left me hungry for more international experience and I decided to apply for and was selected to a three-month research internship at the University of XXXX. I jumped at the opportunity to not only learn at another academic institution in an entirely new country and culture but also to perfect my English skills to an optimal level of performance. Soon after arriving in Canada, I became very much aware of the different teaching styles and I very much enjoyed the more liberal atmosphere since I found this openness to be more effective at stimulating the creative ideas of students. I especially enjoyed making friends from all over the world and swapping stories about physics, engineering, architecture, construction, etc.

I have struggled mightily throughout my entire life, always with great joy, to excel as a student and I have attempted at the same time to become a consummate intellectual with a global mentality. In this I have found my freedom and progress, opportunity and growth. Through community outreach and tutoring, I have also found great pleasure, giving back to those around me, contributing to causes that are close to my heart. I spent over 10 hours each week for two years tutoring peers and lower-level students in my undergraduate program. After spending two years’ work at peer-tutoring, I came to better appreciate the suggestion that ultimately one does not fully learn a subject matter until they teach it. This experience not only reinforced my understanding but cultivated my ability to articulate in the most fluent and concise fashion exactly what the student most needed to learn. I was also the co-founder of the physics club and sought to deliver cutting edge research to the community and non-physics-major students.

My formal education has always been accompanied by informal learning experiences as well as doing research and leading research projects, along the way as I have learned what is required to succeed at the next level of academia. I look forward to many decades to come of full time immersion into the interdisciplinary pursuit of creative ways in which the power of physics can be brought to bear on making the world a better place to live for all of us. As a world-class institution and exemplary in your historic commitment to fostering a diverse and welcoming community, your university stands out head and shoulder among the rest. I assure you that I shall always accept nothing less than to perform world class research that will make a difference for the next generations of physicists to come. I sincerely ask for your favorable consideration.

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