June 27, 2024

From Thai High School to Columbia University Class of 2028 - My Application Experience

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Siwakorn from Thailand 🇹🇭

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From Thai High School to Columbia University Class of 2028 - My Application Experience

Hi, my name is Arm and I’m from Thailand! I have been accepted to Columbia ED and will be a part of the Columbia Class of 2028.

My background 

I'm from Thailand, where the high school system differs from that in the US. In Thailand, we have only three years of high school. I found my high school experience to be very enjoyable. There were many activities to participate in, and I spent a lot of time with friends since I'm quite outgoing and enjoy participating in school activities and sports. I was the captain of the soccer team and took part in choreographed dances during sports day events. During high school, I also devoted time to innovation. My friends and I worked as a team on various projects, including some aimed at helping people with disabilities.

In the Thai system, class schedules are fixed and assigned to students. Subjects like math, science, social studies, physics, and others are mandatory. There isn't much freedom for students to choose their courses.

At the end of high school, students can take the TCAS exam to enter a Thai university, but it's not mandatory. This test covers subjects such as math, biology, physics, chemistry, social studies, Thai, and English.

In my case, I don't have to take the TCAS because I'm already committed to studying abroad. However, I still want to take it to challenge myself, even though it's not required for my future plans.

Stats and honors

I took the SAT five times before achieving my desired score. It was quite challenging. The final score I submitted was 1540, with a perfect score in math (800) and 740 in the English reading and writing section. I also took the IELTS exam and achieved an overall score of 8.0, which I submitted as well.

My GPA was quite good, especially considering the rigor of the Thai curriculum. It's based on a 4.0 scale, and I achieved a 3.98.

Additionally, I'm a winner of the Thailand Astronomy Olympiad.


In my application, I highlighted my initiative in developing projects to benefit my community and school. I also wrote about my leadership roles in school events as a president and innovator. Since I aimed to study computer science, I ensured my extracurricular activities aligned with my intended major, including numerous examples of my engineering projects.

One such project involved creating a game to help people with dysfunctions improve their hand-eye coordination through drum playing. Inspired by existing drumming games, my friends and I simplified the concept, built both the game and the drum interface, and submitted it to the NSC National Software Contest, earning an honorable mention.

Another engineering project I developed was an app to help farmers manage their crops more efficiently. This involved technical aspects such as sensors and hardware compiling data and sending it to an app we created. Farmers could monitor their crops and fields using just their phones, adjusting factors like watering or lighting based on the plants' needs. This project earned me a gold medal award.

I was also the captain of my school's football team. I've played this sport since kindergarten and it remains a passion of mine.

Additionally, I collaborated with friends to write a book helping secondary school students prepare for their high school entrance exams. As part of a larger team, we divided the necessary material into sections. Being in the gifted science program, this is an annual activity we undertake to raise funds for charity by creating resources that benefit our community.

Why Columbia University

The main reason I chose Columbia University was its location - in New York City, uptown Manhattan, about 30 minutes away from the city center. I believe it's an excellent place to be a university student. At the highest level, I think all university educations are comparable and not significantly different from one another. College is what you make of it, and I believe that in a place like New York, I could maximize my experience.

I tried to envision where I would fit in best, and coming from Bangkok, which is also a large city, I felt I would fit in at Columbia the most. That's why I chose Columbia.

I considered Columbia my dream school and was committed to attending, so I decided to apply for Early Decision (ED). This strategy gave me the best chance of getting into my top choice university.

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Personal statement

My essay focused on defining my personality through two seemingly unrelated objects: a telescope and a football. I explained how these two items, which appear to have little in common, actually combine to define my personality. Through this unusual pairing, I aimed to demonstrate my perseverance, imagination, and creativity. I explored how this seemingly bizarre combination has shaped who I am today.

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from Thailand 🇹🇭

Duration of Study

Sep 2024 — May 2028


Computer Science

Learn more ->
Columbia University

Columbia University

New York City, US🇺🇸


✍️ Interview by


Patryk from Poland 🇵🇱

UWC Dilijan student & politics passionate

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  1. 😀


    2 weeks ago

    did you get in for ED? or did you reapply