How do ADCOMs study abroad experience?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

Monkeymaniac

Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Messages
310
Reaction score
0

Members don't see this ad.
I registered for study abroad at University College London for
Fall 2007 term. I am currently a computer science major, and
I am going to take three computer science courses and one
humanity course there. I just wanted to know, for those of you
know or heard about this, how do ADCOMs view such experience?
I saw a lot of people going to study abroad in Europe, so can
it distinguish myself from other applicants? Thanks!
 

pyrois

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2006
Messages
673
Reaction score
2
I registered for study abroad at University College London for
Fall 2007 term. I am currently a computer science major, and
I am going to take three computer science courses and one
humanity course there. I just wanted to know, for those of you
know or heard about this, how do ADCOMs view such experience?
I saw a lot of people going to study abroad in Europe, so can
it distinguish myself from other applicants? Thanks!

Once again, one can only speculate as to what an ADCOM would think in a situation like this (unless you are an ADCOM member, and even then it is likely not all ADCOM members agree).

Logically, studying abroad shows an interest in other cultures. Sometimes, if you are studying a foreign language, it reveals a true passion for understanding your studies at a culturally fundamental level.

On the other hand, if you're a CS major, coming from a school with a good CS program, going to London for a semester sounds more like a vacation than anything else.

It won't hurt you, but unless you do something while you're abroad it's not going to make your application all by itself.
 

notdeadyet

Still in California
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2004
Messages
11,777
Reaction score
2,024
going to London for a semester sounds more like a vacation than anything else.
Yeah, I think I'd separate study abroad into a few different categories:

1. English speaking
2. Non-English speaking, industrialized countries
3. Non-English speaking, developing countries

In terms of interview fodder, England << Spain << Ecuador...

(Disclosure: My education abroad for a year was in Ireland)
 

laurenem

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2006
Messages
181
Reaction score
0
My study abroad experience was always a topic at interviews. I studied in Australia. I not only had the opportunity to discuss my love for travel and cultures in the interviews (something other than medicine/science...that shows I am "well rounded") but also I did an internship while there in a hospital. They always loved asking "how does the Australian medical system differ from the American" etc... Study abroad helps broaden your interests and is only a positive thing on your application. They want to see you're a well rounded person with interests outside of medicine. And, if you can do an internship or something while abroad... that doesn't hurt at all...
 

Monkeymaniac

Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Messages
310
Reaction score
0
On the other hand, if you're a CS major, coming from a school with a good CS program, going to London for a semester sounds more like a vacation than anything else.

Thank you everyone for advice. And pyrois, with that logic, people coming
from a school with good programs in almost every area of studies,
say Columbia or Cornell, can't go to study abroad to Europe because
that sounds more like a vacation. But thanks for your opinion.
 

pyrois

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2006
Messages
673
Reaction score
2
with that logic, people coming
from a school with good programs in almost every area of studies,
say Columbia or Cornell, can't go to study abroad to Europe because
that sounds more like a vacation.

Well, if not a vacation, what is it?

Rather, what reason do you want to go to Europe to study CS aside from that it's a fun thing to do (which is the definition of a vacation).

Don't get me wrong though, you really should get into medical school for the things you do for fun. These are the things that make you a non-lifeless corpse of a candidate. I didn't mean to imply that a "vacation" is a bad thing. No medical school is going to look down on you for having fun. In fact, it makes you seem like a more adventurous and possibly spontaneous person.

By all means I think you should go. It really does sound like fun, but a semester is also a lot of time, so consider volunteering in hospitals over there and getting to know their healthcare system (at least that's what I would be interested in checking out).
 
Top