Concordia Shanghai May 30 2023

Road to College: Making the Right Choice

The journey of college selection and application can be a daunting one, but our seniors have risen to the challenge and made informed decisions about their future. With high school graduation so close on the horizon, we want to celebrate the achievements of our Class of 2023 seniors and share their joy at gaining acceptance into the colleges and universities that fit their academic, cultural, and social needs and expectations.  

For this week’s “Road to College”, we spoke with a group of seniors who shared insights on the dream schools of their choice and how they arrived at the decision of pursuing their chosen paths in college.

Campus Culture and Community

To determine a right fit university, the campus culture and community should align with a student’s values, interests, and personality. Factors such as the location of the college or university, student organizations, clubs, social activities, and diversity can contribute to a vibrant and inclusive environment that fosters personal growth and a sense of belonging. 

For senior Isaac L., NYU, “a campus without walls”, is the perfect fit as it satisfies his love for making new encounters and traveling, while Joe L. prefers a campus with a more familiar cultural and social environment, which was an important consideration in his choice of schools. 


Besides feeling excited and nervous, which I’m sure everyone going to college feels, I feel especially motivated. With the city as my campus, I have countless opportunities to meet all sorts of people. Additionally, NYU offers study abroad programs to 12 global locations which I definitely plan on taking part in.   —Isaac L.

I lived in Virginia from fourth grade to eighth grade, so I have a good feel of the state. Moreover, the University of Virginia has an urban planning undergraduate major and has a great college town for students to study in.  


My AL Global Development Studies class at Concordia really changed my perspective on the world by exposing me to various issues regarding farming practices, ocean acidification, climate change and others. Urban Planning is a profession which is interdisciplinary and a way for me to be engaged in implementing more sustainable practices in urban areas.    —Joe L.

The Pursuit of Passion

Whether the institution offers strong academic programs in the student’s field of interest is one of the most important considerations in choosing a university. A good fit means having access to high-quality courses, majors, and faculty members who can provide a solid education and support the student’s academic and career goals. 


I chose Cornell Engineering because its values—diversity, rigor, and creativity—aligned perfectly with what I envisioned to be the school where I'd spend the next four years of my academic and life journey.   —Nicole Q.

A driven STEM enthusiast, Nicole Q. has her sights set on a career in engineering. Her passion for the field led her to explore the many STEM courses offered at Concordia, which have further solidified her interest in pursuing this path. She also co-founded an after school co-curricular focused on teaching programming to girls, and her Big Data research work on Kiva loans to alleviate poverty was presented at an international big data educational conference.

Nicole is a self-directed learner whose passion for STEM is a great role model for girls. She has been preparing herself very well for her pursuance in Computer Science/Operations Research & Engineering. —Dr. Peter Tong, High School teacher- Aerospace, Big Data, Math

With his interest in biology having been sparked in his Grade 10 AP Biology course, Junhee L. has since seized the various opportunities that Concordia offers to delve deeper into this subject. As a senior, he’s been busy doing research in the lab and has honed his skills in designing and investigating his research questions in the AL Independent Research course.   


If I hadn’t taken these classes or met these wonderful teachers, I would’ve never known I had so much interest and passion in this subject. Duke has been my dream school since my sophomore year. When I opened the admission letter with my mom and saw that I got accepted, my mom and I started hugging and crying. I am excited to join the Blue Devil community with two of my fellow Concordia students this year!  — Junhee L.

Junhee brings so much to the learning environment: he is a person which possesses the right amounts of logical thinking and effervescence in his personality. No doubt he will be popular and successful at university and beyond.  —Mr. David Doyle, HS Science teacher


I'm very excited to join the Purdue community and to dive headfirst into one of the coolest computer science programs I know. I also love Purdue's environment, because it has many cool computer science related resources like the Data Mine that can help expand my interests and knowledge. I am very thankful for Mrs. Yu, my counselor, and Mrs. Smith, my AP Literature teacher, for helping me through every step of the way during college apps. —Shoyo K.

Our students are never alone in navigating the college application process. High school counselors, teachers, and family members are supporting them through every step of the journey. By working together as a community, we ensure that our students are well-equipped and confident as they take this important step towards their life success.  
We wish all of our graduating seniors the best of luck as they embark on this new chapter in their lives.
Stay tuned for more highlights from the Class of ’23 as we continue to share their journey on the road to college.