It’s never too early to start working on your HNC application! The first step in the process is to take our Chinese proficiency test . We will be posting a variety of application tips until the February 1st application deadline. For tips on getting your application started, our student blogger, Nanfei, shared some of her insider tips on how to best prepare your application for the HNC.
Applying to the HNC shares similarities with a lot of higher education applications: letters of recommendation, personal statements, transcripts, etc. To my fellow students, I would like to confess my intense anxiety over the entire application process. I cannot speak to exactly what the HNC admissions committee does during the application review process, but I can talk about the attributes of an HNC student. If you are a prospective student, understanding the kinds of people that come here can help you decide what to highlight in your application.
HNC students have a genuine interest in and a relationship with China. Think, for a moment, if you were the admissions officer for an US institution. Would a personal statement about the international student’s interest in pizza and hamburgers win you over? Of course not. The HNC is an institution with a specific mission regarding US-China relations. Every student had specific experiences that shaped their relationship with China, and specific interests that they care about (e.g. women’s rights in China, Sino-Japanese relations, China’s environmental policies).
HNC students are eager to discuss and debate. While the level of academic freedom in Chinese academic institutions has been subject to controversy, I can absolutely vouch for the freedom of discussions within the HNC. Last year, we covered matters of international law (e.g. applying territorial integrity vs. self-determination to Tibet and Taiwan), philosophy (e.g. gender issues, expat responsibilities), current events (e.g. Hong Kong protests, China’s “Under the Dome” documentary), etc. We want to hear from people with an opinion, and in return also want fellow students who are willing to consider opinions different from their own.
HNC students are talented. There are at least two talent shows per year. There is always at least one student band that plays on Halloween and the spring BBQ. A student has yet to win the student-faculty ping-pong tournament. HNC has a reputation of doing well in the Nanjing University basketball tournament. Our ideal incoming class includes violin virtuosos, ping-pong prodigies, and knockout 3-point shooters.
Written by Nanfei Yan, HNC Certificate/SAIS MA Student