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07/01/2020 at 12:24AM

How much will language courses affect me in college admissions?

I want to major in international relations/affairs. I have 1 Spanish credit from middle school, and 2 credits of Turkish(high school). Will this affect my admissions chances to top colleges?

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3 answers

07/01/2020 at 01:54PM

Most top colleges want to see 3-4 years of one foreign language in high school. A strong candidate would have 4 years of at least one language and pursued to the highest level possible (AP/IB). You may even want to pursue a second language to a higher level, and it also helps to have IR-related activities, such as those @crsgo0422 mentioned.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@greentea1207/02/2020 at 01:51AM

Ok so I have two consecutive years of Turkish, however, I didn't take it junior year because I wanted to take as many AP courses as possible and my school only requires 2 foreign language credits and so I was discouraged from taking it. Should I take Turkish 3 senior year and explain my situation in the additional information section?

07/02/2020 at 05:34PM

That's all right, yes - it's definitely good to get at least 3 years of one foreign language, and you can explain the circumstances in the Additional Information section.

[🎤 AUTHOR]@greentea1207/02/2020 at 06:51PM

Thank you!

07/01/2020 at 12:28AM

Most selective schools sub 50% admit rate they likely want 3 years but a non common language that you learned in school such as Turkish in my opinion gives a small boost just becuase of the diversity added to campus that college really care about. If you can get another year of Turkish or an accolade/ achievement such as prez of a Turkish club etc.

07/01/2020 at 12:28AM[edited]

I am in your exact position, I want to major in IR as well and I speak multiple languages (english, french, spanish, little bit of korean). My best advice is learn 1 foreign language fluently (AP/B2 level) by the time you are a senior in high school, which will allow you to skip that language’s 100/introductory courses in college if you want to continue the same language. You can also take another language in college if you wish. i STRONGLY recommend you learn French since that is the official language of the UN and is widely spoken in the Intl Affairs community and professional job scene. I recommend that you have at least One foreign language under your belt, two optimally to get a competitive edge. Honestly you might want to reconsider taking spanish again or taking independent spanish so you can get that certification of fluency, or start elementary level french which is nearly identical to spanish so will be easy for you to pick up. Turkish is definitely a stand out language which is a plus but it is not very commonly spoken so in the future it might put you at a disadvantage for possible work prospects.

Edit: for Ivy League or similar-caliber schools, your best love is to have continuity and advancement. This means going to the highest level of Turkish or Spanish that your school offers and continuing for all four years of high school. You should also look to be in the international.culture club, language club, any language honor society, or found a turkish club etc etc, as well as look into Model UN