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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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Does studying abroad in high school give you an edge in college admissions?

I’ve always been interested in experiencing new cultures and I’m thinking about applying for a high school study abroad program. From an admissions standpoint, does having international experience help you stand out, or is it seen as just another extracurricular?

6 months ago

It's fantastic to hear about your interest in experiencing new cultures. Studying abroad can be a wonderful opportunity for personal growth and learning. As for the college admissions process, international experience can provide an edge by showcasing your initiative to seek out diverse perspectives and your ability to adapt to new environments. This speaks to your maturity and readiness for a college setting, where adaptability and global awareness are valued.

However, like other extracurriculars, the impact it has will largely depend on what you make of the experience. For instance, if you engage deeply with the local community, take on a project, or learn the language, these are elements that can help your application stand out. In your application, you’ll want to articulate how the experience has shaped you, potentially through your essays. What skills have you gained? Did the experience spark any academic interests or new perspectives?

By relating the study abroad experience to your personal growth and academic goals, you can turn it into a compelling part of your college application narrative, but if you don't make that connection, then it could indeed just come across as "another extracurricular." Ultimately, you should go into the experience hoping to learn as much as possible, about yourself and the world, and that growth will then both benefit you on a personal level and naturally translate to your college applications. I hope this advice helps!

6 months ago

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