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University: University of Washington, Seattle, USA
School: Juanita High School, Washington State, USA
Cambridge International AS & A Levels in Maths, Biology, English Literature and History
Cambridge International AS Levels in Global Perspectives and Research, English Language
Future plans: After completing her computer science degree, Maggie would like to pursue a career in software engineering
At Juanita High School, in Washington State, Maggie Jiang took Cambridge International AS & A Level subjects in maths, biology, English literature, English language, history and Cambridge Global Perspectives & Research. It was an combination that Maggie Jiang welcomed: ‘When I started the programme I definitely did not know exactly what I wanted to study at university,’ she said, ‘so I’m grateful that the Cambridge approach provided both breadth and depth across a variety of subjects, allowing me to explore my interests. Through my Cambridge studies I became convinced that I wanted to pursue a STEM subject at university, as I greatly appreciated the maths and science courses.
‘I loved thinking logically and feeling as though I was discovering the fine details of how the world worked. Due to my amazing teachers, it was difficult to choose a university course because I genuinely enjoyed parts of every subject, but eventually I decided on computer science - a major that combines logic and creativity and which is relevant to every other area of study.’
Cambridge qualifications can earn valuable course credits at many universities, often resulting in accelerated progress and potentially reduced tuition fees. This was the case for Maggie - as well as helping her determine her academic strengths, her Cambridge qualifications also gave her a significant advantage in terms of college credit. 'I applied to the University of Washington, in Seattle, and was awarded 45 credits for my Cambridge qualifications, the equivalent of a year’s studies,’ she said. ‘The University granted up to 15 credits for each Cambridge International A Level, and 7.5 for each AS Level, with a total cap of 45.'
Maggie started her degree course in 2019, and is enjoying her time as an undergraduate: ‘I enjoy being at the University of Washington because the school is large and diverse, giving students the opportunity to meet many different people without feeling confined,’ she said. ‘You can find a community through a student organisation as well as your academic major, which makes a huge school feel smaller. On-campus housing options provide freedom, independence, and convenience, and learning how to live on my own has been liberating. I also love feeling school spirit at sporting events, walking through the beautiful campus, and living in the city of Seattle — it's a very lively waterfront city, and there's always something to explore.’
Maggie says that the Cambridge programme proved to be the ideal preparation for life at university: ‘The rigour of the Cambridge programme greatly prepared me for college and helped me get a head start,’ she says. 'I admit I had some pretty awful study habits, but my Cambridge studies helped me learn how to prioritise. I learned to think critically, to consider multiple perspectives and to problem solve effectively – all very useful as degree course content becomes more challenging. In addition, the knowledge I gained from the maths and English syllabuses meant that I was already comfortable with much of the content covered by the university’s introductory courses. These subjects also helped me grow as a writer and gave me valuable analysis skills, boosting my confidence and reducing my workload in the English composition courses.'
Aiming to graduate in 2023, Maggie is planning a career in software engineering and continues to recognise the benefits of the Cambridge programme. 'My courses consistently pushed me to become a better thinker and learner, and gave me the opportunity to learn in depth,' she said. 'As a result, I’ve become a more motivated and ambitious student.'