• Nora Sun

Tags: Columbia, Barnard, international

Institution: Barnard College Columbia University

Study: Major in biology

High School Experience

I come from a private international school so I didn't feel held back by my ethnicity but I did feel a lot of restrictions around gender and I felt everyone coming from the same socio economic background created a huge bubble so a lot of my classmates were quite ignorant and unwilling to have conversations about worldly problems.

Course choices

I have loved science since forever due to the odd simplicity of it. Because of this I did dual sciences and the highest level of math that my school offered.


I did HL math physics and bio SL english LL psychology and mandarin B. I didn't receive scores yet as I did the full diploma.


Standardized Testing

SAT: 1450

SAT Biology: 700


I did a lot of extracurriculars. I am part of my schools division 1 volleyball team, I also frequent retirement homes and work with the local breast cancer awareness organization. In school I am part of a leadership team that organizes lots of school events to maintain school spirit and outside of school, I organized and led an 8 people cycling expedition through Taiwan and Okinawa.


My English and biology teachers wrote for me. I have a close relation with both of them as they have been my teachers for a long time.


My common app essay was strongly centered around the reforms I pushed for in school around gender equality. My school's dress code policy was extremely unfair towards girls and brought on unnecessary stress and stereotypes and taught girls from a young age that it was a norm.


I think my interview made me a strong applicant because it really highlighted how I was someone who wanted to make a change which strongly aligned with my school’s motto.


The advice I would give would probably be to be fearless. Fear hinders growth, don't be afraid to ask for things and question the normal but also to ask for help.




I chose Barnard because I felt it was best fit for me. Small college with resources of a large research university. I also felt as a woman going into stem no better place can prepare me. Barnard empowers women and I'm so excited to join the community!

#Columbia #international

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