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studying abroad

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by wingy, Nov 12, 2001.

  1. wingy

    wingy Member
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    I am a 3rd year and here is my plan. I plan to take the MCAT this summer, but this would delay my application process for applying my 4th year. Therefore I want to study abroad my 4th year and come back my 5th year to apply. Would anyone recommend studying abroad for a whole year? I plan to study abroad in England, so if anyone with their experiences can please email me at [email protected] or reply back to this forum would be great. Any experiences like were you homesick, what were the classes you took, how were they and any thing else that was great or bad during studying abroad. Thanks ;-)
     
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  3. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    Do it! You'll most likely never have another opportunity to live abroad for a year whereas medschool will always be there. I studied abroad, but only for one quarter, and I'm so glad I made time for it. It was definitely the highlight of my college years. And yes, I was homesick and had some adjustment problems, but in the end it was so worthwhile. I only wish it could have been a whole year. The classes I took were Spanish language, culture and arts classes as I was in Spain. I'm now taking a year off before medschool. It's more and more common for applicants to have taken some time off before starting medschool, and studying abroad can only enhance your application. Oh, and btw, taking the Aug MCAT is not necessarily the kiss of death for applying that year, so you could take it the summer after your return from overseas study.
     
  4. EpiII

    EpiII Senior Member
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    If you have the opportunity to study abroad, do it. Almost anyone can have this opportunity these days. I studied in Israel for a semester and took archaeology, comparative religions, geography, etc. courses. There were folks there from all over the world which was an added bonus.

    Of course, there are times when you are homesick, have diarrhea, etc., but there are more times when you realize you are learning things outside the classroom that you never would have learned back home. What's more, you see places you only read about, etc.

    Also, you meet people who are involved with situations you hear about on the news, etc. and that really puts a personal touch to those events. For instance, I was able to play on a Palestinian basketball team while I was there. It was interesting to realize that there were some on the team with strong nationalistic views and some who just wanted peace and to live in harmony. Then you would also talk with Jews and hear the same. It really puts a new face on many of the issues - you don't solve anything, but you get a good idea of the complexity of things.

    About taking a year off, that also is good, but only if you do it with purpose. Taking time off in and of itself will not help you get into med school. Many people say these days, "I took time off", insinuating that they are now much more mature. What is important about taking time off is that you have a plan. If you travel, do it purposefully, if you work also do it purposefully. You can do almost anything, but the rationale must be there behind the work.
     
  5. urasia

    urasia Member
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    i'm totally with smw and epi on this one, if you get a chance, go study abroad. i spent one summer studying chinese in china. i kind say that experience changed my life or anything, but i got to see a world that's completely different from north america. the local students are truly amazing. they're friendly and hard-working.

    but there's one thing you should probably be aware of. at my school, the students are not recommended to study abroad during fourth year, because the credits received abroad take at least one quarter to be documented and transferred to home school.
     
  6. grunermann

    grunermann Senior Member
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    DO IT! I studied abroad twice and loved it! It will change your life. You will meet friends and develop relationships that will last a lifetime. You will have a different respect for people in general. Don't think twice about it.
     
  7. Coalboy

    Coalboy Senior Member
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    Definitely do it. I spent a semester at University College London in 1997, and it was probably the best thing I did in college. Sure, I was homesick sometimes, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
     
  8. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A.
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    wingy: echoing the above statements, you will forever be thankful that you went. Many have brought this topic up before, search the Pre-allopathic for the word 'abroad' in the subject to find many.. here are links to recent threads

    <a href="http://www.studentdoctor.net/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=005538" target="_blank">http://www.studentdoctor.net/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=005538</a>
    <a href="http://www.studentdoctor.net/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=001298" target="_blank">http://www.studentdoctor.net/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=001298</a>
    <a href="http://www.studentdoctor.net/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=003782" target="_blank">http://www.studentdoctor.net/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=003782</a>

    they can all be summarized as "go now!"
     
  9. sunilm

    sunilm Junior Member

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    Dear wingy,

    Studying abroad will make your med school application shine! Also, the drinking age in most European countries is 18.

    I highly suggest you apply to a competitive institution. Go to <a href="http://www.ox.ac.uk" target="_blank">www.ox.ac.uk</a> and try applying as a Visiting Student.

    I spent Michaelmas term 2000 at Oxford University and it was quite possibly the best experience of my life (not to mention the focal point of my personal statement!). If you need help picking a college at Oxford, let me know... definitely consider Magdalen or Trinity!

    Cheers
     
  10. philly

    philly Junior Member

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    you should study in a country where you can learn a new language or practice a second language. Spain and Italy are beautiful! UVA has a great program in Valencia, Spain.
     
  11. I can't think of a name

    I can't think of a name Senior Member
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    If you are at ucla, definately go through the EAP program. They have a wide variety of countries, all of your credits and grades are transferred back without a fuss, you get a lot of prep before you leave, and it costs the same as UC for whatever time length you go!! I did EAP...I went to King's College in London and it was fantastic! Best year of my life. I took all classes in my major (but some were more advanced or not available at UCLA - like pharmacology), was homesick only once, and met excellent excellent people. Go!! Now!! The office is in Hershey...
     
  12. Thewonderer

    Thewonderer Senior Member
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    For the above poster, is there a reason to suggest magdalen and trinity? those two colleges are pretty well-off so i don't think that they take american visiting students if any at all!! More luck probably with St. Edmund's Hall, Pembroke, St. Catherine's (they have like a slew of Harvard visiting students starting at hilary term, right after christmas), St Peter's, etc.

    For the original poster, the best way is to go through the study abroad program at your school, ucla because you want those credits from abroad to COUNT. If not, Butler's University has a huge study abroad program at Oxford. You can go through them. I had visiting student friends from small liberal arts colleges that do not have ties with many many foreign universities so they went through butler.

    Also, as someone mentioned before, study abroad in spring in England is better because the fall is so short.
     
  13. sunilm

    sunilm Junior Member

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    Dear The Wonderer,

    Magdalen takes Visiting Students as does Trinity... you need around a 3.6-3.8, some well written essays, and copies of your past work (non-science majors only). They let you choose up to four schools on the application, if you don't care what college you go to just leave it blank and every college will consider you.

    Also, studying in Spring is a whole helluva lot better than studying in Fall, this is because they work off of the trimester system. You can squeeze in two trimesters if you go during Spring, but only one trimester if you go in the fall.

    Also, transferring classes is a real big pain in the ass. Most schools have stipulations that prohibit you from transferring credit for tutorial classes. Fortunately, if you go and talk to your registrar they'll realize they're idiots for not taking credit from Oxford goddang University. It helps if you try and work out a program with your Department ahead of time.

    Once you get past all the details it's worth it. Everything from the pub crawls to the promiscuous women at the balls to the debates at the Union. You'll leave with a lifetime full of memories.

    Cheers
     
  14. cdavidso

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    I'm currently abroad in Japan, and I've got to agree with all the 'GO FOR IT' comments. Just be careful you have all your pre-med courses lined up or scheduled before you go abroad. And also plan your MCAT so studying abroad can be your best experience. I'm retaking the MCAT five days after I get back from Japan x.x not the best idea in the world, but the only way it worked out for me. Best suggestion: go to a non-English speaking country if you can.
     

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