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Student activities can be a key factor in admission to top universities

Amp Burapachaisri, Varisa Limpijankit, Ken Lohatepanont, and Vaibhaw Ladha sharing their thoughts on the admissions process at the US University Student Conference: Recent Admits Forum

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The recent student-led conference on admission to top US universities attracted a full house and for many of the successful students, their special activities during high school were key factors.

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The Underestimated Impact of Student Initiatives

 Kengo Shigeta
 
On June 7th, we successfully ran the first US University Student Conference: Recent Admits Forum, the first event of its kind to ever be held in Bangkok. Sponsored by Crimson Education, a global admissions consulting company with offices in 11 different countries, the event featured a panel of 9 successful admits to top US universities, and effectively facilitated the conversation between high school students and recent graduates. Corresponding with Crimson’s vision to make Thailand’s applicants more competitive on the global stage, the event’s speakers shared the stories of their journeys to pass on the wisdom that they gained while going through the application process.

Held at the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel, the US University Student Conference had almost 250 attendees in total

Through the narrative of their hardships and challenges, several key takeaways emerged: be proactive and start early, seek out opportunities to better yourself, and most importantly, do activities that truly excite you. The genuine passion that goes into your projects seems to be a key aspect in effectively conveying your character and persona to admissions officers.

Hearing the speakers’ stories, we were reminded of the often overlooked and under-recognised impacts that student initiatives have on the communities around us. In looking into the exceptional activities of some of Bangkok’s most proactive youth, we see the power of students that drives true social change exemplified and in action. And through this insight, we see the passion that makes one’s college applications truly compelling.

Conference organiser Kengo Shigeta at the podium, moderating the event’s Q&A session

An example of such a meaningful student initiative comes from Ken Lohatepanont, a recent graduate from KIS International School, who aspired to create lasting and meaningful change for the entire nation. During the 2013-2014 Thai political crisis, Ken began to take an interest in politics and began writing about his perspectives on the issues on a blog (kenlwrites.com/), which received a lot of attention on social media. From this, he was given the opportunity to visit Parliament and attend a meeting of the public relations subcommittee of the Constitution Drafting Committee. Inspired by the passion and commitment to national reform that he saw from that meeting, Ken took part in the subcommittee’s social media team, where he helped write articles to explain the workings of the draft constitution; the goal was to increase political engagement and understanding of the draft constitution.
 
Although this draft was later rejected by the National Legislative Assembly, Ken was able to promote political conservation on the national level. In the past two years Ken has continued writing his blog, with a mission to continue informing his readers about local and globally significant political developments. For this, he was recognised by the BBC, and was subsequently interviewed by BBC radio regarding the Erawan Shrine bombing of 2015. Ken continues to actively blog with the belief that writing can facilitate positive political and social change on a local and global scale.

Carlos Romero Jantacomma, the Yale University admit from Shrewsbury International School, speaking about his common application essay

Aside from Ken’s exceptional work as a citizen journalist, other great initiatives are taking place at schools right in the heart of Bangkok. Two of our featured speakers from NIST International School, Vaibhaw Ladha and Jessie Kanacharoen, are co-presidents of the NIST Development Bank (NDB), a student-led social entrepreneurship club adapted from the concept of microfinance to create an infrastructure for the school’s service community. Through providing resources and consultation, it enables service groups to skip the fundraising process through a loan and grant system, which allows them to commit their efforts to real action.

NIST Development Bank Co-President, Vaibhaw Ladha, with the village youth of Maeramit Luang, a small hill tribe coffee-growing village in the Omgoi district of northern Thailand.

Over the last few years, NDB has worked closely with FairNIST Coffee, a student-led social enterprise that offers premium fair trade coffee, and 2Develop, a student service group that supports the collaboration between NIST and village communities to promote sustainable development. These initiatives have worked in tandem to actively improve the livelihood of the underdeveloped community of Maeramit Luang, a small hill tribe coffee-growing village in the Omgoi district of northern Thailand.
 
Past projects involve the funding of water filtration systems in the Mearamit Village to provide the entire community access to safe drinking water, while simultaneously buying the village 2000 new coffee plants of the higher priced Arabica strain, providing farmers with double the revenue per kilo of green coffee beans produced. Looking ahead, future plans for development include building a coffee drying facility in the village to grant farmers and even higher revenue, as drying strongly increases the product’s value. Overall, the students aspire to have a real impact in ensuring income security and greater self-sufficiency for the villagers.
 
In recognising the student initiatives of today, it is important to acknowledge the social impact that the youth can have. Through innovation and active engagement with the surrounding communities, you not only see the development of your environments, but also of your own profile and persona. So don’t dismiss that nagging feeling of restlessness to do something. Start somewhere.

Crimson Education is a global admissions consulting company with 11 offices in Bangkok, Singapore, Seoul, Nanjing, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Moscow, London, Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland. Since it was founded in 2013, Crimson students have gotten into all 8 Ivy League universities, Stanford and Oxbridge every single year.

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Vocabulary:

access : having the opportunity to have or use something - มีโอกาสในการใช้

acknowledge : to accept or admit that something exists, is true or is real - ยอมรับ

adapt : to change to suit different conditions or uses - ทำให้เข้ากับ, ปรับตัว

admission (noun): selecting students to attend a school or university - การรับเข้า

admit (noun): a person who has been given a place (admitted) to a school, college or university -

applicant : someone who applies for something, such as a job or a loan of money - ผู้สมัคร,ผู้แจ้งความจำนง,ผู้ขอ

aspect : one part of a situation, problem, subject, etc - ด้าน,มุม

aspire : to want to achieve something or to be successful - ตั้งปณิธาน

assembly : a group of people who have been elected or chosen in order to discuss issues and make decisions - สภา, สมัชชา

attendee : a person who attends a meeting, etc. - ผู้เข้าร่วม (ในการประชุม, งานต่าง

challenges (noun): things that need a lot of skill, energy, and determination to deal with or achieve - สิ่งที่ท้าทาย, การท้าทาย

character : all the qualities and features that make a person different from others - บุคลิก, ลักษณะนิสัย

citizen : someone who has the right to live permanently in a particular country - พลเมือง 

commitment : willing to give your time and energy to something that you believe in; a promise or firm decision to do something - การให้คำมั่นสัญญา, การให้คำมั่น, การมอบความไว้วางใจ

committee : a group of people who are chosen, usually by a larger group, to make decisions or to deal with a particular subject - คณะกรรมการ

compelling (adjective): very interesting, captivating; makes you want to believe in it; convincing - ที่กระตุ้นความสนใจ

competitive (adj): as good as or better than others - ซึ่งสามารถแข่งขันได้

concept : an idea of something that exists; an idea for something new - ความคิด, กรอบความคิด

conference (noun): a large official meeting, usually lasting for a few days, at which people with the same work or interests come together to discuss their views - การประชุมร่วม

conservation (noun): keeping and protecting something from damage, change or waste - การสงวน,การเก็บรักษา

constitution : the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by - รัฐธรรมนูญ

consultation : the act of discussing something with somebody or with a group of people before making a decision about it - การปรึกษาหารือ

consulting : giving expert advice about something to other people - ให้คำปรึกษา

convey : to communicate something; to express a thought, feeling or idea so that it is understood by other people - สื่อไปถึง, สื่อสาร

corresponding with (verb): being the same as or matching something; similar to or the same as something else - สอดคล้องกับ, เข้ากันกับ

crisis : an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation - วิกฤตการณ์

development : the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced, stronger, etc - การพัฒนา

dismiss : to refuse to accept that something might be true or important - ไม่สนใจ,แย้งกลับ

double : twice as big, twice as much or twice as many - สองเท่า

draft : to write a document, plan, etc. that may be changed before it is finally accepted - ร่าง

emerged : appeared - ปรากฏออกมา

enable : to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible - ทำให้เป็นไปได้

engagement : being involved in something - การพัวพันอยู่กับ

enterprise : an organisation, especially a business - กิจการ, บริษัท,อุตสาหกิจ,วิสาหกิจ

entrepreneurship (noun): the activity of making money by starting or running businesses, especially when this involves taking financial risks; the ability to do this - ความเป็นผู้ประกอบการ

exceptional : much greater than usual, especially in skill, intelligence, quality, etc; - แตกต่างเป็นพิเศษ

exemplify (verb): to be a typical example of something - เป็นตัวอย่าง

facilitate : to make it possible or easier for something to happen - ทำให้สะดวกขึ้น

facility (noun): a building, equipment, etc., used for a particular purpose - โรงงาน, สถานบริการ, สิ่งก่อสร้าง, สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก

fair trade (noun): when companies pay farmers above market prices -

feature : to include someone or something as an important part - มีบทบาทสำคัญใน

filtration (noun): the process of filtering, passing through a special device, especially to remove something that is not wanted, a liquid or gas - การซึมทะลุ,การแทรกซึม

forum (noun): a place where people can express their ideas and opinions - ที่แสดงความคิดเห็น, การประชุมแสดงความคิดเห็น

fundraising : actions taken by a company or organisation to get money so they can operate -

genuine : real; honest - แท้

global : throughout the world - ทั่วโลก

global stage (noun): in the news around the world; causing people around the world to pay attention -

grant : an amount of money that the government or an organization gives you for a specific purpose and does not ask you to pay back - เงินช่วยเหลือ

hardships : difficulties - ความลำบาก

hill tribe (noun): part of the various ethnic groups who mostly live in the high mountainous areas of Northern and Western Thailand - ชาวเขา

impact (noun): an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ

improve : to make better - ทำให้ดีขึ้น

in tandem : together with, two things were done at the same time -

infrastructure : the set of systems within a place or organisation that affect how well it operates, for example the transport and communication systems in a country - ระบบสาํธารนูปโภค

initiative : a new action or movement, often intended to solve a problem - ความคิดริเริ่ม

innovation : the introduction of new things, ideas or ways of doing something; a new idea, way of doing something, etc. that has been introduced or discovered - นวัตกรรม, การคิดขึ้นใหม่, สิ่งที่นำเข้ามาใหม่

insight : a chance to understand something or learn more about it - การเข้าใจอย่าถ่องแท้, ความเข้าใจลึกซึ้ง

inspired (adj): having the desire, confidence or enthusiasm to do something well - มีความกระตือรือร้น, ดลใจ,เร้าใจ

interview : to ask someone questions in a meeting for a newspaper article, television show, etc. The noun form is also interview - สัมภาษณ์, การสัมภาษณ์

issue : a subject that people discuss or argue about - ประเด็น

journalist : a person who writes news stories or articles for a newspaper or magazine or broadcasts them on radio or television - ผู้สื่อข่าว

key : very important - ที่สำคัญ

lasting : continuing to exist or have an effect for a long time - ที่กินเวลานาน

legislative : involving the part of government responsible for creating new laws - เกี่ยวข้องกับสภานิติบัญญัติ

level : a position or rank in a scale of size or importance - ระดับ

livelihood : (the way someone earns) the money people need to pay for food, a place to live, clothing, etc - การดำรงชีวิต, การครองชีพ

loan : an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank - เงินกู้

microfinance : the activity of providing loans to poor people and their small businesses that cannot get loans from banks - การเงินรายย่อย

mission : an important piece of work that a person or a group of people has been given to do - ภาระกิจ หน้าที่

moderate (verb): to be in charge of a discussion or debate and make sure it is fair - เป็นพิธีกร,เป็นประธานการดำเนินงาน

nagging : affecting you in an unpleasant way for a long time - ที่คอยกวนใจ

narrative : a description of events, especially in a story or novel - เรื่องเล่า

overlook (verb): to fail to notice or consider something - มองพลาด, มองไม่เห็น, เพิกเฉย

panel (noun): a group of specialists who give their advice or opinion about something; a group of people who discuss topics of interest at a meeting or on television or radio - ผู้ร่วมอภิปราย

parliament : the group of people who are elected to make and change the laws of a country; the building where members of parliament meet. - รัฐสภา

passion : a strong enthusiasm or interest - ความชื่นชม หลงใหล 

persona (noun): the aspects of a person's character that they show to other people, especially when their real character is different - บารมี

perspective : a particular way of considering something - ทัศนคติ

podium : a small raised area where someone stands to give a speech, conduct an orchestra, give out awards, etc. - แท่น, พลับพลา

politics (noun): the activity of getting power and serving as part of a country's government - การเมือง

positive : good - ที่ดี

premium : of higher quality or more expensive than other similar things - ที่มีคุณภาพสูง, พรีเมี่ยม

proactive : taking action and making changes before they need to be made, rather than waiting for problems to be developed - อย่างมั่นใจ. ซึ่งเข้าควบคุมสถานการณ์,

process : a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ

profile : a description of somebody/something that gives useful information - ประวัติโดยย่อ

project : a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ

promote : to encourage or support something - สนับสนุน

public relations : the business of giving the public information about a particular organisation or person in order to create a good impression - งานประชาสัมพันธ์

recognise : to give praise or approval to someone or something - เป็นที่ชื่นชม ยกย่อง

reform : a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair - การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป

reject : to not accept something - ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ

remind : to make someone think of something they have forgotten or might have forgotten - เตือนความจำ

resources : things such as money, workers and equipment that can be used to help achieve something - ทรัพยากร

restlessness (noun): an inability to stay still or be happy where you are, because you are bored or need a change - ความกระสับกระส่าย,ความไม่สงบ,ความกระวนกระวาย

revenue : income from taxes or business activities - รายได้

scale : the size or extent of something, especially when compared with something else - ขนาด, ระดับ

security : protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage - ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย

self-sufficiency (adj.): to have enough doing it yourself, don't need any help from the outside - ความพึ่งพาตนเองได้

simultaneously : happening at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน,ที่พร้อมกัน

skip (verb): to not do something you normally do - ข้ามไป

sponsor : to support a person, organization or activity by giving money, encouragement or other help - อุปถัมภ์, สนับสนุน

strain : a particular type of virus, animal, insect, or plant  - สายพันธุ์

subcommittee : a smaller committee formed from a main committee in order to study a particular subject in more detail - คณะอนุกรรมการ

subsequently : happening or coming after something else - ซึ่งตามมา

sustainable : able to be successfully continued for a long time - ยั่งยืน, ถาวร

underestimate : to think that something is less important or serious than it really is - ประเมินต่ำกว่า

vision : the ability to imagine how a country, society, industry, etc. could develop in the future and to plan in a suitable way - วิสัยทัศน์

wisdom : the knowledge that a society or culture has gained over a long period of time - ปัญญา

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