School Advisor Articles

BSKL and Charterhouse Grad Scores Dream Spot at New York University

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Apr 17, 2024

Imagine the thrill of receiving that acceptance letter from your dream university. Years of relentless effort culminate in a single moment of pure joy. For Rachel Choong, this isn’t just a dream; it’s her reality.

Rachel, a soon-to-be graduate of Charterhouse Malaysia, is an inspiring young woman with a bright future. Her journey began at the British School Kuala Lumpur (BSKL), where she spent 11 formative years. Looking back, Rachel credits BSKL and Charterhouse for igniting her passion for learning and setting her toward academic excellence.

BSKL: A Launchpad for Lifelong Learning

BSKL’s holistic approach to education resonates deeply with Rachel. The school’s dedicated teachers played a pivotal role in her development. The relatively small class sizes, averaging 20-25 students, ensured personalised attention, nurturing a love of learning.

“The teachers put a lot of thoughtful care in their work, no matter what year you’re in,” she says. “Throughout my IGCSE years, we spent most of the time online, but it didn’t stop the teachers from explaining the content thoroughly and giving us the resources to learn and revise.”

The diverse student body, representing a kaleidoscope of nationalities and talents, further enriched Rachel’s learning experience, fostering a sense of global awareness and cultural appreciation. For example, the interactive lessons and a strong emphasis on class participation encouraged Rachel to challenge herself and engage with diverse perspectives — especially valuable in subjects like History and English.

The result? Rachel scored 7 A*s, and 4 As in her IGCSE examination.

Beyond traditional academics, the school offered a vibrant tapestry of extracurricular activities. From the Social Impact Team tackling global issues to competitive sports and creative pursuits, Rachel thrived in this stimulating environment. 

At Charterhouse Malaysia, Rachel studies A-Level subjects, including Mathematics, Economics, and Psychology.

Charterhouse Malaysia: Preparing for the Future

When transitioning to Charterhouse Malaysia for her A-Levels, Rachel encountered a learning environment built upon the ‘future-ready’ programme. This innovative approach emphasised both academic rigour and life and career preparation.

Here, the supportive faculty provides personalised guidance and feedback, catering to individual learning needs. Smaller class sizes, averaging 8-15 students, allows for in-depth discussions and tailored support. Rachel particularly appreciated the empathy and flexibility of her teachers.

“Knowing our workload, if we ever need an extension on our homework or have some constructive feedback on a class, they are always willing to listen and adapt their teaching style.”

Beyond academics, Charterhouse offers exceptional support for university applications. The university counsellor, Ms Amy, played a crucial role in Rachel’s journey. Her guidance and support, from efficient application assistance to unwavering encouragement, empowered Rachel to pursue her dream of studying at New York University (NYU).

“It’s crucial to have a university counsellor who encourages your aspirations rather than making you feel unworthy of applying to your dream university. Ms Amy supported our personal statements by offering her feedback, drawing on her extensive experience.”

Rachel will be sitting for her A-Levels in May/June 2024, where she will be undertaking Mathematics, Economics and Psychology for her A-Levels.

Participating in extracurricular activities allowed Rachel to sharpen her time management and teamwork abilities while proving beneficial for her university applications. 

Beyond Academics: A Well-Rounded Individual

Rachel actively participated in co-curricular activities throughout her school years.  “At BSKL, I was a dedicated member of the senior orchestra as a violinist, alongside participation in the string ensemble.” 

At Charterhouse, her pursuits took a more academic turn with the Economics Society. Applying classroom knowledge to real-world situations, the society engaged in discussions on current issues and explored practical applications of economic theories. Rachel also participated in a unique project called ‘Arxiv in Minutes’, where she collaborated with classmates to summarise academic articles for wider dissemination.

These extracurricular activities did much more than just keep Rachel busy. They helped her refine her time management and teamwork skills, both essential for success in university and beyond. What’s more, they showcased her well-roundedness and commitment to personal growth, making her a stronger university applicant. Top universities value well-rounded individuals, and these activities helped her stand out from the crowd.

While Charterhouse offers numerous internship opportunities in fields such as medicine, law, and finance, Rachel proactively secured her own placements, eager to gain firsthand experience in investment banking. These internships proved invaluable, allowing her to learn from industry experts and gain hands-on knowledge. Mentors generously imparted their expertise, demystifying the intricacies of investment banking, including the SPAC cycle and financial structuring

“I believe that internships are essential, providing a pivotal opportunity for students to discover if the working environment aligns with their future aspirations and if the career path is one they wish to pursue.

NYU: A Dream Fulfilled

NYU has been Rachel’s dream university for the past four years. She developed an interest in Economics early in her academic journey, notably at the beginning of her IGCSE studies in year 10. BSKL and Charterhouse offered excellent Economics programmes, enabling a deep understanding of the subject. Both schools also had knowledgeable teachers who were passionate about the subject - which helped Rachel nurture her interest in this field.

Determined to pursue a career in Wall Street, Rachel knew NYU’s renowned economics programme and unparalleled internship placements offered the perfect launchpad for her future endeavours.

Rachel will be pursuing a BA, in Economics at New York University on August 2024

International Education: Shaping a Global Mindset

Studying in two international schools profoundly impacted Rachel’s personal development. Both BSKL and Charterhouse championed individuality, cultivating a learning environment that catered to each student’s unique talents. This nurturing environment helped Rachel discover her passions and strengths. 

But most importantly, the diverse student body exposed her to many cultural perspectives. Learning to appreciate and understand different viewpoints fostered empathy and global awareness, crucial skills in today’s interconnected world.

For parents considering BSKL or Charterhouse for their children, Rachel’s advice is unequivocal: embrace the opportunity. These schools go beyond traditional education, offering a holistic approach that shapes well-rounded individuals. 

She also encourages parents to educate their children on the importance of networking. “Instil the idea that building and cultivating relationships with both peers and teachers can extend into invaluable sources of support, mentorship and opportunities beyond school years.”

Rachel Choong’s journey is an inspiring testament to the transformative power of education. With a strong foundation built at BSKL and Charterhouse, she is poised to excel at NYU and beyond.