April 22, 2024

My admission journey from Brazil to Emory to study Public Health


Beatriz from Brazil 🇧🇷

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My admission journey from Brazil to Emory to study Public Health

My background

Hi everyone! My name is Beatriz, I’m a Brazilian studying in New Mexico and here to share my story.

I was born in Brazil and moved to the US when I was 10. I specifically lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where I learned to speak English, finished middle school, and did three years of high school until I heard of UWC, a system of boarding schools.

I decided to apply to one UWC school and when I got in, I was sent to one of its campuses in New Mexico. The main reason I applied was diversity. Pittsburgh is a fairly white neighborhood and as a Brazilian, that felt pretty rare and out of place. Moreover, I was very interested in the extracurricular offerings, the connection with colleges, and the more challenging IB curriculum that I was eager to take.

My whole experience in UWC set my mind to attend college in the US.

Why Emory?

Not many colleges offer public health as an undergraduate major so that narrowed my options.

Emory was my Early decision choice since it is located in Atlanta, Georgia, right next to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). I’m a person who learns by putting her hands on work, so having this place that close and being able to gain job experience there, definitely was a factor that influenced my decision greatly. On the other hand, I was looking for a college in a big city since Montezuma, the place where I’m studying UWC, is a pretty isolated place and there’s not much to do, so in Atlanta, I could be more surrounded by opportunities such as internships (I’m a city girlie). Additionally, Emory is an awesome university to do research at, which was something I really wanted to experience during college.


My Stats and extracurricular activities

I applied to Emory with a 3.72 GPA and test-optional. I didn’t need to submit TOEFL or DET since I had been studying in an English-based school for a long time.

My first extracurricular activity was being a representative of North America in my school council. I was part of the communication team with STUCO, sending emails, working closely with the administration, and hosting meetings with the student body for them to express their concerns.

Secondly, I was the leader of “ Philosophy for Kids”, where a group of students and I used to go to a local elementary school once a week to read to first graders. We helped them to think outside the box and analyze each reading deeply; also, since most of them were international students, we assisted them regarding the cultural shift.

My third extracurricular consisted of a fellowship I did years ago in an organization called “World Affairs”, where I was their Global Careers fellow. There, I would set up large meetings for teenagers in the local Pittsburgh area where they would get to learn about varied careers. Furthermore, I would find people from all over the world to express their experiences in a specific career, such as journalists, photographers, or ambassadors to share this information with local young people and help them to choose their major.


I’m really into creative writing, so making my essays was a process that I liked a lot! My personal statement was about me moving to the US. I started the essay by mentioning that was I supposed to be named Vanessa instead of Beatriz because it’s simpler to pronounce it in English. Then, I tell the story of my life, how moving out felt, and the struggles I had to go through. Finally, I ended up recognizing that I didn’t have to change just because I moved to another country and I was proud of my name Beatriz, which reminded me of my Brazil.

On the other hand, Emory requires two supplemental essays, one about an academic interest and another free prompt to choose from.

Regarding the academic interest essay, I wrote about how my interest in human health had been influenced by my grandmother who was in the field, and how she helped me to get exposed to it. Moreover, I explain how I built my own path in this area by taking anthropology and environmental science in school, a mix of courses that made me choose public health as a major. Also, I mentioned a summer program I did at Brown on public health to verify if it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life and how it impacted my hopes regarding the field. Finally, I added my aim to go into policy, work in government agencies, and change policies that affect public health internationally.

Then, for my second supplemental essay, I had to pick a book character I saw myself in. I chose Louisa from “Me Before You”, who is so energetic and loves to take care of others. I linked her personality and purpose with my interest in public health. I also highlighted her dedicated care to the guy, since I have always wanted to care for somebody else. (Honestly, her bumblebee socks were my favorite thing)

Time, resources, and Financial Aid

I prepared my Emory application in two days. I was home for winter break, the application was due January 1st, and I had just gotten my wisdom teeth surgery, so I was pretty tired and could not think about it. Once I healed, I wrote my supplemental essays in a rush. Fortunately, they were around 250 words each, so I wrote them with ease. Then again, I had already written my Personal Statement.

I completed the application on my own and received help from my UWC counselors regarding my school documents. I’m beyond happy to say that I received an 80% scholarship from Emory and I’m also a Davis Scholarship recipient (a scholarship only available to UWC students).

Biggest advice and waiting for August

My biggest advice is definitely regarding essays, just have fun writing them! I think that many people focus so much on answering the prompt correctly (which is important), but they forget to add their sprinkles and personality to those writings, which is what makes them so special. Creatively tell your story!

I’m pretty excited to start this new stage of my life, meeting new people, taking classes that I love, being in a big city again, and experiencing this American curriculum. I cannot wait until August!

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from Brazil 🇧🇷

Duration of Study

Aug 2024 — May 2028


Public Health

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Emory University

Emory University

Atlanta, US🇺🇸


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