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.

Central Leader - - NEWS - By CA­TRIN OWEN

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.

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