SDN Chief Administrator
10+ Year Member
- Sep 30, 2008
- Reaction score
Not everything done abroad is volunteerism, and the fact that you returned speaks to that. Definitely put this experienceHello! Have a question about one of my most meaningful experiences. Thank you so much for helping me out.
Spring break of my freshman year, I did a mission trip through my school to a children’s home/orphanage in a developing country. We raised money, and also had most of the trip covered by my school to go. Anyway, the home we went to was already Christian, so it wasn’t a conversion mission by any means. We were mostly going to help them out because they are financially desperate, and the director of the home is a native to the town my school is in. We helped to build a classroom, taught English, painted, cooked, etc. It was an excellent experience and really helped me to practice the language I was learning in school.
I spearheaded a return trip and brought even more hands to help out the next year. It was cool, I got to teach English in the classroom that I helped to build. Anyway, they faced even more hardships because the director that I previously mentioned was hurt and couldn’t raise money in the states anymore. So a few months later I went alone, made a plan with her to raise money while I was down there, and now serve as sort of an ambassador for them going to churches and other organizations in the states to raise money.
This is one of my most meaningful experiences by far, and I truly, deeply value the friendships, experiences, and life lessons I learned from being involved in that place (many of them I feel are highly applicable to the medical field, such as working with others of diverse backgrounds, mutual kindness and respect, and a yearning for understanding other cultures).
I know sometimes people think things like this are “voluntourism” or some sort of conversion mission, but it genuinely wasn’t. I did not pay an exorbitant price (only tickets, but even that was subsidized) and we were not taking opportunities from the locals because no one would help. Since their funding comes from the US, we wanted to leverage our being where the money came from to help. Do you think Adcoms will look negatively on this? I don’t want to hurt my chances with someone that might twist this experience.