Rowena Admitted Into the University of Washington

The story of 2018-2019 Head Girl of Student Council at Dulwich International High School Suzhou - Rowena Y

Rowena Y is a Year 13 student at Dulwich International High School Suzhou has been admitted into the University of Washington. She has also received offers from the following universities:

  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Davis
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick Campus
  • Ohio State University
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Both academic learning and social ability are important to students. Rowena Y. is an excellent student at Dulwich International High School Suzhou. She had grown from being a rebellious teenager to become the Head girl of the student council at our school. She has inspired her classmates to learn about traditional Chinese culture, created “English Only Friday” and organized a charity “Color Run”. Rowena's strongest trait is persistence which is appreciated by elite universities in the US.

It is hard to imagine that Rowena was once a rebellious girl, just four years ago, when people see how confident and independent she is now. Rowena said that in the past, she wasn't good at studying and lacked confidence. Therefore, her parents decided to change her study environment. They sent her to Dulwich International High School Suzhou where the teaching is all in English. Rowena then started a new journey at our school by adapting to these new teaching methods. She mentioned that while Chinese isn't allowed during class, that she and her classmates discussed questions in Chinese secretly, in order to get a better understanding of the lesson.


Rowena found her self-confidence when she joined in the traditional Chinese culture club. Rowena was assigned the role of club president when she just started at our school, since she had a high level of calligraphy and traditional Chinese painting skills. She noticed there were only a few members in the club. She could understand why there were not many students interested in traditional Chinese culture. All of the students at our school will eventually study abroad and, as a result, want to know more about English culture. However, she believes that knowing about traditional Chinese culture can help to differentiate her from other international students when studying abroad in the future.


Therefore, she decided to disseminate traditional Chinese culture by organizing many activities, such as “Guessing lantern riddles”, fan painting, engraving learning and paper cutting, in order to promote the club. These activities attracted lots of students, and even foreign teachers at our school participated. Due to Rowena’s effort, the club has expanded from having five members to twenty-five members during the past four years. Rowena is recognized by all students and teachers and was selected to be Head Girl of the student council.

A dream to be a general practitioner in the US

Rowena Y. was admitted to nine universities at the same time. Some schools even offered her up to $85,000 in scholarships. Eventually, she chose the University of Washington for biochemistry. Her dream is to become a general practitioner in the US.

Most of Rowena’s family members are doctors. She is very fond of an APP called Human Anatomy Atlas and is currently trying to memorize the names of 639 muscles and 206 bones. In year 10, she went to the Chinese Academy of Sciences and participated in the dissection of white mice in order to understand the effects of diseases (diabetes, kidney failure, obesity) on the appearance of organs. She also took part in an experiment extracting DNA from saliva. In year 11, she did an internship in a hospital's laboratory, doing auxiliary work and learning nine IgM physical examinations of respiratory infections. However, because of limited knowledge, she couldn’t fully understand the principles behind these experiments. At that moment, she decided to study biochemistry at university.

Establishment of “English Friday”

As the leader of the student council, Rowena has been working hard to serve all students. At the Dulwich Leadership Conference two years ago, she mentioned that the English level of students at Dulwich International High School Suzhou was the weakest amongst Dulwich’s students across the group. Therefore, she proposed to establish an "English Only Friday" to help students to improve their spoken English.


Rowena found that, while our students had no problem with academic English, they did with oral English. For example, when the teacher made a joke, many students couldn't understand it and daily conversation in English was not deep enough. Rowena thinks poor spoken English skills are very unfavourable for students studying abroad because, without these skills, Chinese students would not be able to communicate with other foreign students. As a result, Chinese students would just talk to Chinese students, staying in the Chinese community. After listening to Rowena’s speech, the teachers have spoken highly of her straightforward, frank and decisive traits.

Rowena Y. also formulated rules and regulations with clear rewards and penalties for English Only Friday. The students who speak Chinese on Friday would be penalized and the students who speak more English would be rewarded. This rule has persisted for two years. Once students were forced to speak English on Friday, they started speaking more English than before, not just on Friday!


Rowena also organized a charity event “Color run”. Rowena and three other student council leaders spent ten solid days working to deliver the event on time: Ordering T-shirts, contacting merchants, making inflatable arches, background boards, powder purchases, organizing volunteers and security applications. Eventually, they raised more than 10,000 yuan in donations. Rowena is a girl with many hobbies. She participated in the school sports team, women's football team, swimming team, volleyball team, choir, and Chinese debate club.


She would like to have a colourful life. She said: "Life is always on a road of exploration. Don't be afraid of the choices you make, do the best you can and enjoy yourself with no regrets."