back to Admissions Advice
06/10/2020 at 02:28PM
Admissions Advice

Would it be a good idea to write about how I traveled to costa rica for Spanish for my common application essay

One of the prompts for the common app essay reads "Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others." Would it be a good idea to write about how that experience helped me grow or is it too weak of an idea? All feedback is appreciated, thank you!


Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.

2 answers

Accepted Answer
06/10/2020 at 03:29PM

It is indeed a very good idea. You MAY consider it. But please take some points into consideration.

The whole point of this prompt is that:

A) To know what kind of stimuli do you expose yourself to.

B) How do you handle these? What do they mean to you, and how you think.

So write likewise.

About Costa Rican Program:

1. Did it really spark a DEEP, MATURE and CREDIBLE personal growth period? Or is its fanciness the point.

2. We often are moved deeply, but we can't pin down the exact emotions. Then the efforts and feelings are a waste.

3. Do you have a better option for it? If so, how better is it? What makes it better? How better does it define who you are TODAY.

If all these points are thought of, the about writing:

1. Do a Mindmap. Write (Costa Rican Program) in the middle and simple write all the words that come into your mind. Again and again and again. Refine it. Read it. Choose from it. Include those points in your essay. Construct it.

2. SHOW DON'T TELL. Tak the officers to Costa Rica, make us feel the way you do and make things truthful and logical.

I hope this helps.

Good Luck, and don't stress on being unique. That you are!!! BELIEVE.

Upvote if it helps you all, people!


Dhruv Lokhande

06/10/2020 at 03:48PM

I would say personally only write about this if it changed your life in a major way or significantly impacted you how you view life/the world. Otherwise it may come off as “i went on vacation for a class and had fun but i didn’t really learn anything.” If you went to do charity work or community service, or as part of a cultural immersion you might be able to pass it off as an enriching experience. I would try to stay away from abroad trips and such if this didn’t for a large part of your identity or worldview because there are a lot of people who write similar essays about going to a paid internship to build homes in latin america or africa or something like that, and college admissions officers always see through it. i’m not saying this is what you’re doing but you should keep it in mind! hope this helps :,)


Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works