Originally from Sydney, Tom Wang spoke to Sophie Loras about his decision to study in the US and how an international education, and growing up in Beijing, has shaped his outlook on life.
Business Administration at the University of Southern California
IB score: 35
2011 Graduate of the Western Academy of Beijing
Q: How did you find the IB?
TW: I thought the IB was a rigorous, but definitely manageable curriculum. The tougher parts of the curriculum is what made me the better student that I am today in college.
Q: What made you decide to pursue university courses in the US?
TW: Well, ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to go to school in the US, as I’ve spent a lot of time in my life in the US and after coming to an international school, I more or less adapted to the American culture. In addition, since starting my university applications, I never really considered Australia because I’ve always wanted to live in a crowded, miniclip
vibrant city – a city that never sleeps.
International schools give you some of the best opportunities and resources to apply anywhere in the world and you have peers applying everywhere in the world, which makes studying internationally a much higher possibility. Also, if I lived in Australia during those years, I’d be more adapted to the Australian culture, making me want to stay in Australia for university.
Q: What was special about your time at WAB and growing up in China at an international school?
Growing up in China at an international school is one of the most enriching experiences that I think a student can have these days. With the culture fusion between East and West, both Eastern and Western students can learn about each other’s cultures. Furthermore, in such a vibrant and fast-developing city like Beijing, it’s hard to not think of something to do, whether it’s with your friends or family. Living in China also allows students to practice Chinese, which is such a valuable language to know.
Every moment of my seven and a half years at WAB was special. They truly have everything to offer students from athletics, academics, the arts, top class staff, great friends… But most importantly, being at WAB is more than being part of a school, it’s like being part of a family. There hasn’t been a day at WAB where I didn’t feel at home.
My time at WAB and in China has played a large role in shaping me into the person that I am today… it has given me the opportunity to make friends from all around the world, allowed me to understand more about different cultures and also to be more open-minded. ■
*Pictured top right: Tom Wang, third from right, with University of Southern California classmates.