Poliscidoc

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I was looking to study abroad from Feb. 2010- Dec. 2010. But if I study abroad I will be a semester behind and I will not be able to take the MCAT until May 2011 (Graduate in 2012, start med school 2013). Is it worth it to Study Abroad? I know it would look good but should I devote the time to studying for the MCAT or say forget it and stay here and study? I
 
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I think studying abroad was the best thing i have done in undergrad. i spent half a year abroad, came back in december and right after new years began studying for the MCAT and took it in April. I think it is completely do-able. In fact when i was abroad i never took any science class so i was really enthusiastic about taking the MCAT course when i came back. I also planned it so i took physiology at the same time (which is really helpful). So yes, you must do it. just make sure you plan out everything well, including taking classes that will help you for the MCAT for the semester after you get back, to get you in the MCAT mood.

I wouldn't trade that experience for anything in the world. Especially not to sit in my college town and study for the MCAT. When you look back to college, you will not remember "that time in 2010 when you stayed in your college to study for the MCAT" but you will remember "that time in 2010 when you went to XXXXXXXX"

Where do you want to go anyway?
 

TopSecret

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I was looking to study abroad from Feb. 2010- Dec. 2010. But if I study abroad I will be a semester behind and I will not be able to take the MCAT until May 2011 (Graduate in 2012, start med school 2013). Is it worth it to Study Abroad? I know it would look good but should I devote the time to studying for the MCAT or say forget it and stay here and study? I
You will have no other opportunity to study abroad like you have in college. It's one of the things I wish I did as an undergrad. It's a lot of fun. Of course, much of it would depend on the country where you'll be studying.
 

JJMrK

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Personally, I wouldn't do it because I have no interest in doing it.

If you do, do it.
 
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Poliscidoc

Poliscidoc

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I plan on studying in Australia. Yea I finally got my schedule worked out so I can do it and study for the MCAT at the same time.

Thanks for the input guys
 

MossPoh

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I did two study abroad programs. Hardcore ones too. As in, worked my arse off and was enrolled in courses with students of that country in that language. Most of my friends that did ones in English speaking countries or what I call "study abroad lite" had plenty of time to study whatever else they wanted on the side. Me, I was reading 5 to 6 books a week and writing a ton of papers in German. I still had fun, but my brain got so German shifted that it was hard to think in English.
 
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Poliscidoc

Poliscidoc

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I did two study abroad programs. Hardcore ones too. As in, worked my arse off and was enrolled in courses with students of that country in that language. Most of my friends that did ones in English speaking countries or what I call "study abroad lite" had plenty of time to study whatever else they wanted on the side. Me, I was reading 5 to 6 books a week and writing a ton of papers in German. I still had fun, but my brain got so German shifted that it was hard to think in English.

The exact reason that I am going to Australia. As fun as that does sound I am looking for a little break while still going to school at the same time.
 

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go study abroad! It was one of the best experiences of my life. If you're really worried about falling behind, why not go for a semester instead of an academic year? There so many programs out there, that you don't have to necessarily go with your undergrad if they only offer year-long programs
 
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Poliscidoc

Poliscidoc

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go study abroad! It was one of the best experiences of my life. If you're really worried about falling behind, why not go for a semester instead of an academic year? There so many programs out there, that you don't have to necessarily go with your undergrad if they only offer year-long programs
Yea the way my school does it you have to do a year abroad. So I guess I will do a year, I will just take summer courses to make up the stuff missed
 

Steeler7588

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Where did you study at? I am looking to study somewhere in Sydney
University of Melbourne. Met someone who studied in Sydney, she loved it. It has a high cost of living, but might be the nicest city I've ever been to. Seriously.
 

Accalia

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Heya,

I just got back from studying abroad in Sydney. I loved the city, and I really wish I'd done more there. I think if I'd planned my study abroad earlier (I did this *super* last minute, after deciding "oh hey, I don't really need to go to med school directly after I graduate") , I would have done something else (either language focused or a wildlife program in South Africa). That being said, it was an amazing break, I got to take classes I would never have thought of taking at home (like art and history), and I'm really, really looking forward to next semester after a miserable junior Fall.

It was a great experience overall, though I didn't like the university much (University of Sydney). This may be because it felt huge and bureaucratic--quite different from my 2000 student liberal arts college.

If you go, I advise taking tons of pictures, and if you have the money, travel while you're abroad. Go to the Gold Coast, Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand (all things I didn't do).
 
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Poliscidoc

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Well after going over my schedule it looks like I wont be going next semester. But I plan on volunteering and doing an internship abroad during my gap year. I still plan on going to Australia so it should be fun..

For you guys that went to Australia did you learn or see anything about there medical systems that varies from the U.S.. I am just looking for an experience that will be fun and also impress adcoms
 

Accalia

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Awww, too bad. Still, it sounds like you have a good plan. My pre-med adviser told me that no one she's ever advised has ever regretted taking a gap year. :D

I didn't have any experience with the medical system in Australia. My Uni didn't have good information on volunteering/medical internships, probably because the medical system there is so different. As I understand, there are not really separate undergrad/medical programs In Australia. Sydney Uni had a separate campus for health professions, which is quite far from the main campus. I'm sure you could manage something, but I'm not sure that it would look particularly good with adcoms. I don't think it would look bad--it's just that the medical system is very different, and it wouldn't be considered volunteer work, so I doubt it would help. You might want to travel to Australia *just* for travel, and do a medical internship elsewhere in your gap year.
 
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Poliscidoc

Poliscidoc

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Awww, too bad. Still, it sounds like you have a good plan. My pre-med adviser told me that no one she's ever advised has ever regretted taking a gap year. :D

I didn't have any experience with the medical system in Australia. My Uni didn't have good information on volunteering/medical internships, probably because the medical system there is so different. As I understand, there are not really separate undergrad/medical programs In Australia. Sydney Uni had a separate campus for health professions, which is quite far from the main campus. I'm sure you could manage something, but I'm not sure that it would look particularly good with adcoms. I don't think it would look bad--it's just that the medical system is very different, and it wouldn't be considered volunteer work, so I doubt it would help. You might want to travel to Australia *just* for travel, and do a medical internship elsewhere in your gap year.


Thanks for the info, yea I think I need a gap year just to cool off.
 

MossPoh

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The exact reason that I am going to Australia. As fun as that does sound I am looking for a little break while still going to school at the same time.
Yea, I had my fair share of normal fun travels, so I knew I wouldn't get much out of that. I loved going out to parties where I was the only American, befriending djs and road tripping to abandoned warehouses in round German towns for parties and just overall doing things that I wouldn't have normally done. For me, study abroad was about personal growth and the challenge of the language. It forced me to be out of my element which was great for me. Undergrad wasn't ever that difficult to me. It was just keeping up on work. These were all classes I would've taken at my university, but they would've been a little easier and over a longer period of time.
 

Web MD

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Have you SEEN Australia? It's beaches, bikinis and BBQ everywhere you look. Get off SDN and go sign up. Now.
 

mdeast

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Please, please, please study abroad. One of the best decisions of my undergraduate career. I did the whole European experience (and actually connected it to career ambitions by attending medical school in my country as an undergraduate for six months). It's great to learn about the world, meet new people, get a break from the rigor of American education--most of nights, even weeknights, were spent out and about having fun. You just won't get another opportunity in your life to be so young and be living in such a different place for a long, extended time. I talked about it a lot in my application, and it's provided a lot of interesting stories that I can bring up in interviews. Coming from a school with grade deflation, my semester abroad of straight A's also majorly boosted my GPA (both cGPA and sGPA, because AMCAS counted many of my courses there as BCPM). You can't take pre-requisites abroad, but there are many interesting upper level science classes to take if you choose a good program.

I'd definitely say...do it!
 

Zona Pellucida

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Do it.

I always wanted to do this and didn't as I did not want to be behind (and I regret it).

Life Experiences > Worrying about Med School
 
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I plan on studying in Australia. Yea I finally got my schedule worked out so I can do it and study for the MCAT at the same time.

Thanks for the input guys
I just came back from Melbourne 2 weeks ago and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I took the MCAT before leaving but I completed my AMCAS and secondaries while I was there and still managed to enjoy. Classes are not too hard and you have a lot of downtime so I travelled a lot and was able to complete my app without missing out. I know you are on a different time schedule but still, definitely do it!

If you have any questions about Australia at all, feel free to message me Ill be happy to help but dont miss out because some of my friends did and now they all regret it!!!