This summer, the Class of 2023 will graduate from Guangdong Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT). They have big dreams and thirst for knowledge; they keep their eyes on the stars, but feet on the ground. The young "Aspirants" grow from GTIIT to a wider world. Let's follow the interview series of the graduates from the Class of 2023 to know their stories.
Li Yitong Class of 2023
High School: Yangjiang No.1 Middle School
Program: Chemical Engineering
Awards: GTIIT Dean's List, third prize of 2020 FLTRP Cup National English Reading Contest in Guangdong Province
Stanford University (PhD full scholarship)
Northwestern University (PhD full scholarship; awarded the Cabell Award, the highest level scholarship among PhD students in the School of Engineering, only award to 10 PhD applicants every year, which is the highest amount of scholarship with the most difficult competition)
University of California, Los Angeles
Johns Hopkins University
University of California, Berkeley
Georgia Institute of Technology
Four years ago, Li Yitong decided to come to GTIIT to rewrite her life track with hard work. Now, her motivation, learning ability and rich scientific research experience have helped her successfully open the door to a number of top universities in the world, making her become the first student to be admitted to as PhD student of Stanford University with full scholarship since the establishment of GTIIT.
There is no shortcut
to the dream
"I can't believe I can go to Stanford!" Yitong and her family were indescribably excited after receiving the offer from Stanford University. "It feels like a dream!"
"Stanford is my dream from childhood. Though it is out of reach, I'd like to try. I was neither confident when I was applying for further study, nor did I realize how well-recognized GTIIT was in the world." Yitong had heard of the Technion and its outstanding scientific research, that's why when she learned that it had a China campus, she immediately decided to come. "As soon as I came to GTIIT, I knew that this platform was so different from others in China. I would get a lot of resources, and I was determined to take advantage of the opportunities here."
Yitong didn't get good grades in the college entrance examination, and she knew that she needed to work harder to catch up with others. "I failed an exam in the preparatory semester and was under pressure. Luckily, the learning atmosphere here is good and the teachers are happy to help students as long as you want to learn. It was not easy to catch up, but the result of effort was pleasing."
She mentioned that research was encouraged and the curriculum was very useful at GTIIT, which gave her a solid foundation for whatever she planned to do in the future. "I had an unprecedented growth in GTIIT. If I hadn't had come here, I wouldn't have been able to be enrolled by any of the universities I applied to, let alone Stanford!" Yitong said with joy.
With passion I can face
The topic of scientific research opens her chatterbox with the light of curiosity and desire flashing in her eyes.
She participated in some scientific research projects at GTIIT. The spirit of "Chutzpah" has encouraged this girl. Her first attempt at independent research began in her junior year. "Yangjiang, my hometown, is near the sea, and red tides happen from time to time. I want to study this direction and contribute to improving the environment in my hometown." With a prepared plan for the project, she discussed the feasibility with her professor. "Teachers at GTIIT always try their best to provide us with scientific research opportunities, so that I can concentrate on research without distractions and dare to try without fear of failure."
She kept reading during the experiments, and an article enlightened her about the connection between math and her project. Interdisciplinary attempt was undoubtedly a huge challenge, but in Yitong's eyes, new ideas mean infinite possibilities. At the thought of this, she seemed to have endless excitement, and soon contacted a professor specialized in related area. "I asked if I could do the project by myself. He said yes, so I joined his group."
A kid's science dream
shines like a diamond
Yitong was deeply influenced by her family education, and she was encouraged to face challenges and express her opinions from an early age. This also coincides with the educational concept of advocating innovation and questioning of GTIIT, which exerts a subtle influence on Yitong's growth.
"I have been interested in science since I was a child, and my parents often took me to science museums and children's palaces. When I was in elementary school, my mother bought me microscopes, telescopes, books on the universe, and subscribed science magazines for me." With the care and support of her family, the child's scientific dream gradually shines, illuminating her way to realize her dream. "I used to hear that science wasn't for girls, and I used to doubt myself when I was a high school student. But my parents often inspire me with stories about female scientists and the top students of science in the college entrance examination as role models, giving me a lot of confidence."
Yitong's parents were excited and relieved when they heard that their daughter was admitted to Stanford. "I was surprised that she performed so well in the interview with the world's top professors. We underestimated her determination and dreams!"
Starting from GTIIT, Yitong's journey to explore the unknown will continue in the wider world. Stanford University will be her new beginning and witness her wonderful future!