3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Extracurricular activities and AP classses

I'm an international student hoping to study in America again.I've lived in America for about 9 years and moved back to my home country in 9th grade. The school I go to doesn't provide any honors or AP classes and I know that honors and AP classes are an important part of my application.. what do I do?

And my school doesn't have any sports or services we can participate in either. It's not like students can do anything outside of the school either because we get out pretty late and after school our time is taken up by homework or studying.

... so my extracurricular part of the application is pretty much bad right now. What the hell do I do?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

Although your situation may appear daunting at the moment, I believe that there are still opportunities in your new community. A lot of people put too much emphasis on what the school provides even if clubs and sports are good for extracurriculars. Try to be more open-minded (I don't mean this in a condescending way) and see what you could provide for the community rather than the other way around (just as a small note, talking about what skills or ideas that you could provide to a college should be part of the "why this school" essay if you happen to come across those). You might want to ask yourself, "why doesn't my school have sports? Is the community underfunded? What is the school missing that is preventing it from providing certain things that other schools have?" These types of questions will help you to think of what you can do to make an impact in your community, something that colleges really value. I know that you said that schoolwork takes up a lot of your time, so doing something within your community can be especially difficult, but if you're truly passionate about something, there's always a way to make time (also not in a condescending tone, in case it appears so). If you are able to better manage your time or use better study methods, you might find that you actually have more time than you think. Another thing that you could do is almost somehow weave your school stuff into something that is more unrelated to school. I'm not too informed on this part, but basically, I imagine that you could maybe describe your learning experiences on a blog or share it on social media. Posting probably won't take too long so it might be preferable to do it on social media rather than on a blog. Another option is to simply go to your school's administration and counseling to ask if there are any opportunities. This is rare, but in the case that you are able to gain school credit from some other activities outside of school, it might look better on your application. Also, start to build strong relationships with your teachers because if you really don't have time to do anything outside of school, the teachers may be able to let you do certain research projects, for example, with them which is pretty good on the application, even if it's not necessarily extra-curriculars. Furthermore, they might be more lenient with you on grading if you are on good terms with them (especially since grades will be more important in the absence of extra-curriculars) and may also be able to guide you to other people in their respective fields that you might be interested in talking to and learning from. Lastly, the most generic thing is to start a club, but if everybody is as busy as you, it might not be preferable, but it's still an option. I know this was kinda long-winded, but I hope it helps!

3 years ago

Hi! I would actually suggest something a little different. Your school does not offer much opportunity for extra curricular activities, so maybe you should create one. Find a way to do something for your school or community, for example; teach a class about something your passionate about, or babysit kids for free. These are things that will make you a better person, AND help you get into good colleges.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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