Meet Amelia Yeoh!

You’ve not met them all! With May May and Josephine form UPenn and Wesleyan University respectively, lets get to know Amelia who is studying in a liberal arts college.


Hello! I’m Amelia Yeoh, a rising sophomore at Smith College who plans to major in neuroscience. Born and raised in Penang, I’ve also spent quite some time in Kuala Lumpur; partly because my family has temporarily moved there and that I interned at the Brain Research Institute Monash Sunway (BRIMS) before coming to Smith. However, I’m a Penangite at heart and hokkien mee, to me, would always be yellow noodles in a spicy prawn broth. Yes, I am a foodie.

What was your pathway to the US?

After Form 5, I remember making a difficult decision. I turned down the JPA scholarship to study medicine and instead, pursued STPM at Saint Xavier’s Institution Penang. At 17 years old, the idea of becoming a doctor did not match my enthusiasm for Biology. At the same time, I knew my parents could not pay for a medical degree should I decide to study medicine in the future. Knowing there were not many scholarships available for a medical degree made this choice a hard one. Ultimately, I decided I should pursue something I was sure of. So I did STPM with the intention of applying to the US. Those additional two years made me realize I had other interests and the liberal arts was a good way to cultivate them. And now, here I am.

Tell us something about your application process.

I wouldn’t have gone to Smith if I didn’t know you could actually appeal for financial aid. I mean, it’s quite bizarre if you think about it. Where else could you possibly do so? It was the resources from the USAPPS and the advice from the faci’s that I believe made my financial aid appeal a success.

What do you do in your free time?

If I’m not in class, you’d find me on the water, in a boat. I wanted to row for Smith but my coach decided I’d make a better coxswain. (person in charge of steering the boat, but really there’s a lot more to it!) Yeah, somehow I ended up doing a lot of outdoor activities like skiing, kayaking, hiking and biking. Perhaps once I get out of New England, I will try surfing! But the most fun thing I’ve done in college so far was curating an art exhibition.  I submitted my name for a curatorial program and by random chance, got selected! So I designed my own posters and labels for my show and had access to 1600 drawings, 5700 photographs and more than 8000 prints stored in the Smith Art Museum. The day could not get any better when I received a congratulatory message form the wife of the photographer whose photo I featured.

Amelia with her fellow coxswain buddies at Lake Lanier in Georgia, before attempting the ‘coxswain row’.