As someone passionate about the humanities, I didn’t initially think of Hopkins as the place to be. Along my application journey, I realized Hopkins had a strong international studies program.

International studies and political science were the majors I was interested in, and this spurred me to click on the Hopkins website for more information. There were a few elements that attracted me. One was the flexible curriculum because I wanted the freedom to structure my learning. I had strong ideas about the fields I wanted to explore, and Hopkins would allow me the space to do that effectively. Another aspect was Hopkins’ mid-size and close-knit community. As someone who went to an international school in Hong Kong, I enjoyed the privileges of small classes and faculty-to-student ratio. I knew how important those features were to building connections and my growth as a student. I was so excited to know I could extend that experience into university at Hopkins.  

During my research, a figure that jumped out to me was 98% of Hopkins students had at least one research or internship position. Although I did not have an immediate desire to conduct research, this number appealed to me because it signaled that Hopkins was a place that heavily invested in student interests and pushed learning beyond the lecture halls. This was the environment I hoped to participate in. I wanted to join a student body that actively pushed the boundaries of their education.

Due to the pandemic, I couldn’t go on college visits. When I landed in Baltimore in August of my first year, I felt instantly endeared to the red brick of the Homewood campus. I appreciated that I only needed to take short walks from place to place. Ultimately, I found all the factors that attracted me to Hopkins to be true. I have also discovered parts of Hopkins I didn’t come across until I enrolled, like the immensely diverse student clubs and groups. Who knew there were so many different acapella groups on campus? Hopkins has become the place where I have nurtured and challenged my learning, where I have created a close community, and where I call a personal and academic home.