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Zad Chin Qi Qi: Meet the Young Malaysian That Got A Spot at Harvard University

Published by Afterschool.my on Feb 09, 2021, 09:37 am

My name is Zad Chin Qi Qi, 20 years old and hailed from Ipoh, Perak. I’m also an alumni of Kolej Yayasan UEM (KYUEM). 

You may have heard of me on the news when I, alongside a fellow KYUEM student, received a general offer from Harvard University and Princeton University in the United States. Yep, it’s true! But I owe my achievement to my institution, who helped me a lot during my journey.

The application system is so different over there. In the US, you don’t need to declare your major until after the first year but when I first applied, I sent my application for Computer Science and Social Studies. This aligned with the A-level subjects I took in KYUEM – because I’ve always planned to do something along the lines of technology and humanity, I took Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics and Economics subjects.

Another major reason why I was so adamant to further my studies in the US is because I’ve always liked their liberal art education system. Liberal arts degree is commonly offered in the US as there are plenty of dedicated liberal arts colleges, with even more institutions offering a liberal arts degree!

But I knew that to enrol in such a prestigious programme with internationally acknowledged universities and colleges, I needed an institution that could prep me very well. Hence, KYUEM!

I first heard about KYUEM when I was in Form 4 – the rumour was, KYUEM is one of the colleges that holds the most entries to Oxbridge each year in Malaysia. But what set the deal for me is definitely because of Yayasan Khazanah’s sponsorship programme.

And how generous has Yayasan Khazanah been to me! As a scholar under the Yayasan Khazanah’s sponsorship programme, my tuition fee and monthly allowance was sufficiently covered by them. That really helped carry the financial burden as a student and allowed me to fully focus on my studies!

Oh, note this down if you’re planning to pursue A-levels – it’s not easy! A-levels is academically challenging and rigorous but the supportive and encouraging environment at KYUEM was amazing, something I’ll forever be grateful for. Don’t get me wrong. The lifestyle here was pretty competitive but it was also balanced with its encouraging energy. Some students might find the competition too intense, but I discovered that it motivated me to strike harder and to push past my boundaries.

The welcoming environment at KYUEM was definitely because of my teachers. They were the most supportive educators one could ask for, always wanting the best for us students. For instance, I will never forget how the teachers in KYUEM took the time off to answer any additional questions that I had, as well how they patiently helped write me recommendation letters and reviewed my personal statements for when I applied to Harvard.

I cannot imagine how different life would be for me today without my teachers!

Life at KYUEM was pretty great. If you’re looking for a beautiful campus to spend your leisure time while studying, you’d find comfort in their well-maintained facilities, surrounded by lush greeneries. But if you’re seeking a different scene once in a while, you can just hop on the bus to Tanjung Malim over the weekends.

For me, personally, I loved the chalet. This is where I gathered with my friends after an agonizing week of examinations to watch movies and talk, one of my most cherished memories made in KYUEM. The lifelong friends I made here was the best thing that could have happened!

My time at KYUEM may be over but my journey has just started. In the future, I plan to dive into either entrepreneurship or finance. Wish me luck!

To KYUEM, thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet amazing friends and teachers, and for fostering an environment with little to no distractions, a factor on why I was able to focus on my studies and achieve my dreams. If your dreams are aligned with mine, then KYUEM is definitely a top choice to consider!

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