Capstone Project Highlight Series: Heqing (Amy) Yin ’21

Each year, a number of junior and senior class members choose to participate in the MFS Capstone Program. Designed to challenge students who wish to pursue advanced study in a particular field, the program asks participants to produce scholarly work by engaging in independent research and/or creative development under the guidance of an MFS faculty member. This series highlights recently completed projects of the 18 senior students in the program. 

As an international student, Amy Yin ’21 has seen both the challenges and benefits of moving to the U.S. for her Upper School education. Her capstone project, a website titled “EdPassport,” aims to smooth the transition for both Chinese students studying in America and for American teachers who have Chinese international students by providing them with learning resources and background information on the differences between the education systems.

Amy explained, “Before coming to the United States, I was in a very test-oriented school in Kunming, a city in China with far fewer educational resources and opportunities compared to big cities like Beijing or Shanghai. I did not know much about the American education system, culture, or educational philosophy. Therefore, I had a very hard time learning how to participate in class discussions, how to write essays, and how to effectively use English in academic settings, how to make friends, etc.” Reflecting on her own experience helped Amy to identify resources that could be of use to new international students. She started by explaining the background of Chinese Students – who they are and what schools they attended while in China. She then highlighted the differences between the education systems. For example, Chinese schools tend to focus on major courses, specifically STEM and offer less schedule flexibility, while American schools offer minor courses and a number of extracurriculars along with having more varied schedules. 

Her second focus was explaining English learning – the differences between Chinese and English linguistically, common challenges that international students face, and the common errors made. Amy used videos and bulleted lists to communicate the information in a concise and effective manner. She also offered notes of encouragement for those new to ESL (English as a second language.) Moving forward, Amy plans to continue her research and hopes the website will be a valuable tool for both students and teachers. View her website here and read more about her project on her capstone page.

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