Practical tips on how to get into the Yale global program by our student reporter

I attended Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS), a two-week summer program at Yale University, where I studied Applied Science and Engineering. It is one of the most selective summer programs in the US with an acceptance rate of around 15-20%.

YYGS was truly a life-changing experience. YYGS changed my perception of science by making me realise how accessible science is. For instance, a group of four students, including me deliberated on the topic of space and time for one hour using nothing but tissue papers in the Davenport Dining Hall. It was at YYGS that I realised that a good research paper could rival an Agatha Christie novel.

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This program really motivated me to broaden my horizons. I remember walking up to the podium of an inter-school debate two years before YYGS, freezing at the commencement of my speech, and trying to salvage my embarrassment in the rebuttal round.

This humiliating experience, induced in me a strange tendency to distance myself from public speaking. This all changed this summer of 2019 when I walked up to the podium and delivered a talk on the ‘2008 American Housing Crisis’ at the YYGS Speaker Series, in front of 260 students and staff.

As for getting into summer programs, or even universities, there is not a fixed formula. I attended several talks about college admissions, at Yale and at Stanford, and there was one particular phrase reiterated: “Be Yourself”. While this may sound like a philosophical discourse, it is nonetheless very accurate.

I believe if you keep this phrase in mind, your application and your essay will reflect who you are and not your impersonation of an ‘ideal college application’. If your actions are guided by this phrase, the activity or academics you take part in will be devoid of any tone of monotony or a constant feeling of eschewing from the task.

For my particular case, it was guided by my interest in science and engineering. I had attended several workshops and programs about engineering, which piqued my interest, allowing me to express myself clearly in my application essays. A summer program application is not about the 0.5 marks you beat your classmates by but about how much exposure you have and how much you are willing to get out of the velvety cocoon of your home and explore yourself.

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