After American Collegiate Live, Yijia from China Heads to Boston University

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By Shorelight Team
Last updated on August 11, 2023

Yijia from Beijing chose American Collegiate Live to stay on track with her studies from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. After successfully completing the program, she was accepted at Boston University and is now a psychology major.  

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Yijia, a Chinese student at Boston University who first attended American Collegiate Live, stands behind an upright bass

Yijia from Beijing [enrolled in] American Collegiate Live courses in 2020 because she wanted to earn university credits early and stay on track with her studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. She recently shared her experiences with American Collegiate’s online classes – and her path to studying psychology at Boston University.

Choosing American Collegiate Live

“I could not come to study in the USA in person due to the pandemic,” says Yijia. At first, she didn’t not have a backup plan, but then discovered American Collegiate Live.

“I enrolled in American Collegiate Live because I had a plan to transfer eventually,” she says. “American Collegiate Live provided a great opportunity to earn US university credits early, [and has] helped to accelerate my graduation date.”

Studying Online with American Collegiate Live

“Although the classes are online, I have had a lot of time to interact with all my professors and classmates. They have been available whenever I reached out,” says Yijia. “We have an online study group [where] we share notes from the class and study together.”

I don’t feel like there is any real difference compared with studying in person. We talk about academics, as well as life in general. I have made lots of friends from different countries.” – Yijia from China, American Collegiate Live alum, now studying at Boston University

Program coordinators also made a big impact on Yijia’s study experience.

My program coordinator has studied in the US for many years. He understands American culture and university academic culture,” she says. “We also are from the same city, so we were able to have a lot of conversations about our shared experiences growing up in Beijing. When we met online, we generally talked about American culture, especially the academic culture, as well as the general culture living in the US. We also spoke about things I needed to pay attention to and how to interact with students from a variety of backgrounds.”

Collaborations went beyond the virtual classroom, too: “My program coordinator and I did the American Collegiate Live program newsletter together,” Yijia says.

And when it was time to transfer to a US university, her advisors offered expert guidance.

“We talked about the schools that [interested me], especially ranking majors and life in the USA. My program coordinator also wrote me a recommendation letter that supported me during the application process,” Yijia says.

Applying to Transfer Universities in the US

As she neared the end of the American Collegiate Live program, Yijia worked with her education counselor and the American Collegiate Live [program] manager to narrow down a list of universities where she planned to apply. She hoped to attend a highly ranked school with a wide range of majors across multiple disciplines, not just liberal arts.

“I applied to Boston College, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Fordham University, Gonzaga University (where I received a scholarship), Loyola Marymount, New York University, Northeastern University, University of Maryland, and the University of Michigan,” says Yijia, who ultimately chose to attend Boston University for her undergraduate degree.

Choosing Boston University

“I ended up going to Boston University for multiple reasons: First, I am from Beijing, so I chose a big city for my education destination. Second, Boston University has a tremendous academic environment, with [many choices for a] major, which was good because I was unsure which major I wanted to pursue [at first],” Yijia says. “Third, the diversity and inclusion has been wonderful at Boston University. Plus, the safety measures in place at BU made me feel safe to study in the USA. [BU also accepted] the majority of my [American Collegiate Live] credits, shortening the length of time it will take me to graduate.”

Yijia is currently a psychology major, and will be working at an internship with a professor in the Psychology department this summer.

Advice for Other International Students

Have a clear five-year plan,” says Yijia. “Know what you want to study before you apply. Plan ahead … always be looking forward. Have a clear goal and a long-term plan. This will ensure you graduate on time while taking classes in the US. You want all the classes you’re taking to [count] toward graduation.”

Discover how American Collegiate Live can keep you on track with your study in the USA goals >