4 years ago
Admissions Advice

Is learning languages on my own an extracurricular? Or should I use it as an essay idea?

Hello! I am a sophomore in high school and I was wondering if learning languages on my own could count as an extracurricular. However, I have no proof of fluency, I am not fluent at all actually. I am working hard to become fluent in the basics to hold a conversation in the two different languages before I begin college and if I am lucky, before college applications. Taking the time to learn these languages have been putting meaning to my life these past couple of months, so I was wondering if I could use it to fill up my college application even if I did not become as fluent as I planned to. If not that, could I possibly describe my journey and how learning languages on my own (especially since one is my mother country's language -- my parents never spoke their first language to me as they are fluent in english) has impacted my life for a college application essay for a competitive school, such as UCLA or Johns Hopkins?

Again to restate the questions I have (just in case what I was trying to say was confusing):

1) Could I say learning languages on my own as an extracurricular, even if I am not as fluent as one might hope to be by the time I apply for college?

2) If I could not say I learnt languages on my own as an extracurricular, would it be a good essay topic for a competitive school?


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
4 years ago

Generally no, this wouldn't be considered an extracurricular. Probably more of a hobby than anything. I do think there are ways you could probably turn this into an EC though. Is there a language club at your school for this language? If not, you should consider starting one. And an EC doesn't have to do with school either. If you can find a way to weave learning this language into something to help your community that could count. Something like tutoring or volunteering might be a good place to start. When looking for ECs, look for something that can demonstrate leadership, compassion, commitment, passion, responsibility, etc. The longer you are involved in an EC and the more responsibilities you can take on the better.

In terms of an essay topic, yes, it could be a good idea. It's really going to depend on how this has impacted your life and how you present that in your essay. It sounds like you've been doing this for a few months now (awesome job!) but really consider how it has impacted your life and consider the best way to demonstrate that to colleges you apply to.

2 years ago

It definitely wouldn't be considered extracurricular, but I think you can just find a tutor on various services like livexp. Personally, I managed to discover one great tutor on https://livexp.com/skills/hindi that helped me learn the basics of a language in no time, so I'm sure it'll be more beneficial for you.

4 years ago


First of all well done you have way more drive than me for foreign languages I just cruised through them with mainly Cs, Bs and like 2 As. In terms of extracurricular it would not count in my eyes since extracurriculars have to do with school so unless you join a language club and become like the president or something of that sort then yeah it can count. This would definitely be a good topic for any school this is actually probably one of the best ideas I've seen in a while.


P.S. I'm a junior in high school so I'm pretty much done with school and just need to do college applications.

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