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Best way to get this across to an ADCOM?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by vikingvallhalla, May 18, 2008.

  1. vikingvallhalla

    2+ Year Member

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    I moved overseas after undergrad so that my wife could finish her masters in her home country. While there, not wanting to waist any time, I took some intensive language courses and signed up for classes at the same university. Even so, the university is bilingual, and I don't speak both of the languages that courses are taught in, and as someone who has always relied heavily on lectures, my grades were not my customary A's and B's, but rather B's and C's with one lonely A. I admit that it was a risky move taking the chance by going to classes where I couldn't allways understand the lectures, but I stand by my work because of the difficulty of adapting to not one but two new languages. How should I go about explaining this to ADCOMS? My US undergrad grades are 3.8 overall, 3.5 science, but all my science prereqs from overseas are in the B and C range.
    I need to know how to communicate this to them. Is my personal statement the place? Or should I attach a letter to my secondaries?
     
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  3. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Unless things have changed since I applied (2006), you don't even send in transcripts for foreign coursework unless these courses transferred back and appear on the transcript of your home institution (as is sometimes the case with courses taken on a formal education abroad program that lead towards your undergrad BA).

    I took a year of classes independently in Ireland and the grades didn't factor into my GPA, nor could I send in transcripts to AAMC. The courses I took there were not accepted as prereqs.

    I'd look into which schools accept pre-reqs done internationally. Not all will, especially since your coursework won't appear on your AMCAS. I'd look into this ASAP. The international colleges that they accept transcripts for and process grades for were a select few (I only remember seeing American University of Cairo, AU Beirut and a few others). Also contact AAMC and see what they say.

    And if you already satisfied prereqs before you left, you're golden and your GPA will look better than you thought. Congrats.
     
  4. vikingvallhalla

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    Thanks, I have looked into it and I have a list of schools which accept the foreign credentials. Regardless of AMCAS not factoring my foreign coursework as part of my GPA, I would still like to get the chance to explain myself to the committees as they will get the transcripts as part of the secondaries. Well, this may be irrelevant now because just today I got the official translation of my foreign transcripts and it doesn't look good. The grades are better than I thought, only A's and B's, but they're saying that the 60 semester credits I did in Switzerland are only worth 31 US semester credits. I can't figure out how they calculate that. I had 33 hours of class and labs per week all year. My physics classes were 12 credits total and covered EVERYTHING that normal US physics class covers (I checked), and it was a calculus based class. They only gave me 4 credits for physics!!! So, unless they respond with news that they made a mistake in the conversion, it looks like I will be looking for a post bac program. :(
    Thanks again.
     
  5. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Huh. I haven't heard of med schools requesting transcripts as part of the process for secondaries (that's what AMCAS is for), but maybe they have different rules for international applicants.
    Well good news on the grades, but bummer on the credit transfer. This is pretty common with international coursework. It's easy to get hosed. Hope you have better luck with the recount.
     
  6. Hansgullit

    Hansgullit Pre-Med
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    Yeah it seemed weird to me too and I actually called my state school, which fortunately accepts foreign creds, to verify. They ask for both an official transcript from the foreign institution and a credentials evaluation from a service like World Education Service. Since AMCAS won't look at the transcripts, they do it themselves. I dunno though, I'm not counting on hearing any positive news from this evaluation service. I see post bac in my near future.
    Thanks again.
     
  7. sm007thie

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    That's insane. Swiss schools are famously more rigorous than US schools. Sounds like you got bit by the common misnomer US schools have of being superior to all other country's.
     

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