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question for anyone who has studied abroad

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by B Baby82, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. B Baby82

    B Baby82 Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Hello all, I have a question for anyone that has studied abroad, particulary if they have done this during the application cycle. I am planning on taking the MCAT in April 2005 and hopefully following everyone's advice in getting my application in to the schools as early as possible. However, I am also looking at and seriously considering studying abroad in Chile from July to December. My schedule is only allowing me to do a trip in that fall or the following spring semester and it is something I really would like to do considering I am a spanish major and I think it is something that could help to set me apart in the application process, but in terms of filling out secondaries and doing interviews and all that good stuff, would it be foolish of me to spend my fall semester in south america? Has anyone been in a similar situation or have any advice as to what I should do?
  2. Catalyst

    Catalyst Enjoying Life
    10+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2002
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    I spent July through August in Ecuador last summer while I submitted applications, but your situation is very, very different from mine. If you get your applications in early, you will most likely be offered interviews from September through December and if you are out of the country at that time, that will be a very difficult situation to deal with (esp. with all the rescheduling you'd have to do, which some schools are happy to do while others are not). Also, if you postpone your interviews until you return in January, I do think you'll be at a significant disadvantage with regards to being admitted at those schools.

    With that said, I still think you should go and spend your fall semester in South America; my two summers in Ecuador were the best experiences of my life and I would never take them back (I'm thinking of returning this summer just for vacationing this time). I'd say that you go ahead and do your semester abroad but apply the summer following graduation. That way, you'll have finished with your study abroad experience and will be able to speak about it more reflectively when you interview at schools the following fall. I know I've had my best insights about my experiences a few months later after reflecting on them in the U.S. Don't feel rushed to apply to medical school--I'd say the majority of very successful applicants have taken at least a year off after undergrad and are viewed more favorably by admissions committees. Case in point: a really good friend of mine spent a semester abroad in Ecuador and a summer in South Africa after graduation studying women's issues and was accepted this cycle to UCSF (out of state), Stanford, UWashington (out of state), and HMS among others.

    Do what you want to do and let the medical schools fall where they may.
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