Heading to Princeton
I actually still can’t believe I got it. I keep checking my application letter and expecting it to change but it doesn’t.
PRINCETON University awaits 18-year-old Natalia Chen.
The former St Cuthbert’s College student has been offered a place at not just Princeton but five of the world’s top universities.
‘‘I actually still can’t believe I got it.
‘‘I keep checking my application letter and expecting it to change but it doesn’t,’’ she says.
Chen has just finished her first semester studying biomedical science at the University of Auckland.
She will be leaving on August 10 to start the semester studying bio-chemical engineering at Princeton, where she has been awarded a full financial scholarship, in September.
St Cuthbert’s College associate principal and head of senior school Helen Robertson is not surprised Chen has been accepted.
‘‘Natalia is an academically focused and wellrounded student, who participated in all aspects of school life with a positive attitude,’’ she says.
Chen was one of St Cuthbert’s top students last year receiving the NZQA Outstanding Scholar Award and an International Baccalaureate Top Scholar Award.
She was the only female to represent New Zealand at the International Mathematical Olympiad and she is also a talented violinist having competed at the National Chamber Music finals.
Chen was one of 26,000 applicants to Princeton this year. She was also offered places at University College London, Imperial College London, Duke University in the United States, the University of Manchester and was waitlisted for Harvard.
‘‘I chose Princeton over the others based on their teaching.
‘‘They base their teaching on the Cambridge system so you have more one-on-one time with tutors rather than sitting in big lecture halls.’’
Chen is looking forward to moving away from home and having her own independence.
‘‘I can’t wait to live on campus and do my own laundry,’’ she says.
Top scholar: Natalia Chen is heading to Princeton University in the United States.