Natalie Rader: The Humble High-Achiever
In this week’s edition of Student Blogs, we’re delighted to highlight the outstanding achievement of Year 13 student Natalie Rader, who was recently named a Commended Student in the 2018 United States National Merit Scholarship Program. Commended Students are recognised for their exceptional academic promise, as determined by placing in the top 2% of scorers from more than 1.6 million entrants in the 2018 competition.
In the interview below, Natalie shares details about her life at Yew Chung International School of Beijing, the process through which she received the Commended Student honour, and her advice for other students who would like to try for the National Merit Scholarship as well.
Can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Natalie Rader, and I’m currently a Year 13 student working on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). My family has been in China for two years, and my sister is also a Secondary student here at YCIS Beijing.
What do you feel are the unique advantages of being a student at an international school?
It’s wonderful to be surrounded by people from so many different countries. Through exposure to different cultures, even small things like getting to try the foods from your friends’ lunches and seeing what YouTube videos and television shows they watch, allows you to find new interests and broaden your horizons.
What was your first impression of YCIS Beijing?
Compared to my old school, YCIS Beijing is smaller and has a more familial environment. The closeness of the community is very different from what I experienced in the US, because at my old school there were so many people that I wouldn't recognise or know everyone’s names. But here, I know everyone in my year level, and we often go and do things outside of school together, which is great.
How has YCIS Beijing prepared you for the academic successes and recognition that you’re now receiving?
The teachers here are extremely knowledgeable, so I feel that I’m being well prepared for the upcoming IBDP exams next semester. Regarding the National Merit Scholarship Commendation, that was based on the PSAT examination – so though that’s not a subject that is specifically taught, I feel that my teachers helped to give me the confidence that I needed in order to perform well.
What was the process through which you received the Commended Student recognition?
The process is quite simple, actually. You just need to be in your junior year of high school, you have to be an American citizen, and you have to check a box when you take the PSAT that says you’d like to be considered for the scholarship. Depending on your score, you’ll then proceed through several rounds of selection in which Commendations and Scholarships are awarded.
What are some tips you have for students who want to apply for the same scholarship?
Prepare for the PSAT before you take the exam. Learn some of the techniques and strategies for eliminating wrong answers, reading passages strategically, etc, and then make sure to get a good night’s sleep before the exam.
The work that you put in for the PSAT can also be applied later to the SAT exam, which is then important for university admissions.
How was your experience meeting President Trump?
During President Trump’s recent trip to China, he visited with all of the local diplomats, of whom my father is one.
Meeting the President was cool, because you always see these figureheads on television, but you never see them in real life. It felt unreal in that way. But it was also interesting because, in person, President Trump isn’t that different from what you see on television; his real life and television personas are quite the same.
Deborah Qu: Becoming a Better Me
In this week’s edition of Student Blogs, we speak with one of Yew Chung International School of Beijing’s most active members, Deborah Qu.
From YCIS to UCL: An Alumnus’s Journey
In this special edition of Student Blogs,
Overcoming Shyness with Music
In this edition of Student Blogs, we speak with Year 13 student Liyong Wang, recipient of the Yew Chung International School of Beijing Performing Arts Scholarship, about the scholarship process and tips for students looking to apply. Also, as a member of the popular student rock band CHROMA, Liyong shares how he first became interested in music, the story of his favourite performance, and what he plans to do after graduation.
Zach Engler: Conquering Middle School
For the past two years, Zach Engler has been an international school student in Beijing. Originally from Key Largo, Florida, he moved to China in the summer of 2015, unsure of what to expect from the country he’d known only from newspapers and movies.
Incredible Internships: Year 11 Students Making Music Festivals Happen!
Year 11 students at the Yew Chung International School of Beijing are wrapping up their final year in our IGCSE programme with two-week internships all around Beijing, from local media outlets to cultural exchange centers to five-star restaurants.
Creative Science: Blending ICT and Space Physics for Dynamic Learning Opportunities
Here at the Yew Chung International School of Beijing, we’re big proponents of using science and technology to its fullest extent; it’s one of our principal educational objectives. In Lower Secondary school, a routine science project provides an excellent microcosm of the school’s mission to give students opportunity to fully utilize technology and their own creativity with every subject.
Catching up with CHROMA, YCIS Beijing’s Hottest Student Band
If you’re a member of the YCIS Beijing community, you’ve probably seen this group already, rocking the stage with an eclectic collection of covers, adaptations, and original music for all their adoring fans. But make no mistake, the Yew Chung International School of Beijing’s most famous student band are the real deal.
Discovering Passion for Violin
For more than a decade, violin has been an essential piece of the Yew Chung International School of Beijing’s Lower Primary School education thanks to its proven benefits in enhancing student brain development, hand-eye coordination, and discipline. Beyond these benefits, however, many students at YCIS Beijing discover a lifelong love of music, choosing to continue their musical studies even after their last group concert in Year 3.