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Pdazzle11

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If you started traveling in January you would be on the road for 1.5 years... that’s a bit much and I’m all about traveling and backpacking lol. Then again your resume is stellar and I don’t think you needn’t to beef it up anymore tbh so why not.
 

jarednogeek

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Look at Chinet international. It’s a non-profit teaching English 15-20 hours a week at any country you want. You live with a host family for free and can come and go as you please. Not structured teaching but just having dinner with the family and speaking English etc, no need to know host language. I did 2 months of this then free travelled a month right after I graduated. I even worked on applications overseas. I’d say go for traveling!
 
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jarednogeek

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Nope. When solo traveling you’ll find that there is a lot of downtime at times. Perfect it go find a cafe or library and work for a few hours. I love solo backpacking/traveling. Planning another trip soon. If you plan on traveling multiple months defs find some kind of job/volunteer thing to do or you may get bored. All interviews ever asked is what have I done since graduation, and I’ve done nothing medically related just traveling and working odd jobs, 3 acceptances so far
Thanks for your responses!



That's definitely true... there's a lot of world to see, but I'm not sure if I can do 1.5 years of travel. I'm assuming there would still be some periods of time where I come home for a bit. That being said, it could be nice to go into interviews with a few months of travel already under my belt. Seems like being able to discuss that could help with certain interviewers. Plus, I'm just impatient to start sating my wanderlust.



Oh, there's no doubt that I want to travel. There's going to be about a year of it no matter what. The question is, is adding an extra half a year worth the opportunity cost of missing out on doing things that will add directly to my resume?



I'm going to look into Chinet. I've heard of it before, but never really paid much attention to it. Did you have any trouble staying focused while working on applications overseas? I'm a little worried I'm gonna screw things up if I don't come back home to buckle down and get those apps out.
 

gonnif

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As I tell all applicants, applying to medical school is a full time job from May until at least August if not September, and then you are on call thru March. If you want to travel, then do so. If you want to apply to medical school, then do so. Do not try to do both at once. I suggest you travel now and return in May or delay application until summer 2020

I will also suggest that your application is out of balance with outstanding academic metrics snd research and less so in volunteering.
 

gonnif

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Thanks for your response, gonnif.

My gut was saying the same thing about my app being a little unbalanced.

I've definitely heard that staying home and focused for application writing is beneficial. However, I'm still considering traveling while I'm "on call" for interviews. I realize taking frequent long flights can get costly, but are there other reasons not to do it?
Applicants always underestimate time it takes to make an outstanding AMCAS and, especially secondaries. It is best to have a consistent set of themes across all them. Which means thinking about the secondaries at the same time as you write AMCAS, if not earlier. This means having your schools targeted early which in turns means having your MCAT score early. I have been advising applicants the last few cycles that MCAT should be done by January.
You are in that position and you should be looking and writing both primary and secondary (from last year's prompt) now.

There is also the constant issue of keeping on top of your applications and all the associated pieces, especially LORs. You need to check first AMCAS and then all school applicant portals every day until your application is marked "complete" or "in review" or similar. With AMCAS processing 50,000 submissions that generate 800,000+ individual school transmissions, plus approximately 2.5 million LOR transmissions, and schools compiling 5000+ application files, each with multiple items, things get screwed up. It is up to you to keep on top of it.

And after each of your 10-20-30 applications is marked complete, you need to check every school about every other day to make sure things are moving especially since several schools are solely going to notifying interview invite via portal only.

When I say this is a full time job, I am not being hyperbolic. If you spend the time and effort to put together a coherent, concise and compelling set of applications that show your strong pattern of motivation, commitment and achievement, with your stats you may have choice of multiple schools. This is also why I suggest to applicants who want that extensive travel experience take the year now and do it. You will never have another time in your lfe like this. But do not try to do both long-term, off the beaten path, travel and applying to top medical schools. You will be doing medicine for the next 40 years of your life. Go start a year later.
 
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