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Year 10 student seeking advice on Extracurricular Activitie for American Universities Watch

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    Hey there. I am currently in year 10 and since a young age I have wanted to study and live in America. However, I have realized that you need amazing extracurricular activities to have even a remote chance of getting into a prestigious university. Since I am not rich at all, I will definitely require financial aid and there are only 5 universities which offer international financial aid on a need-blind basis (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, M.I.T and Amherst). These are all extremely hard to get into. Therefore, I would like some advice on what extracurricular activities to do to have a good chance of getting into these universities.

    I go to a state school with quite rubbish extracurricular activities (only football,rugby, art club etc.), which I don't particularly enjoy. So my only options are either starting a club (maybe Model UN or Finance society etc.) or doing a scheme like DofE. I am already doing the DofE bronze and will probably do it all the way up to gold. Also, I will start volunteering and hopefully get 300+ hours by the time I apply to the unis. Do you have any suggestions on what clubs would be good to start/join and any other things I should do to increase my chance of getting into an american university? Thanks.

    P.S. I enjoy Maths, Economics, Politics and debating etc.
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    (Original post by swaganomics101)
    Hey there. I am currently in year 10 and since a young age I have wanted to study and live in America. However, I have realized that you need amazing extracurricular activities to have even a remote chance of getting into a prestigious university. Since I am not rich at all, I will definitely require financial aid and there are only 5 universities which offer international financial aid on a need-blind basis (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, M.I.T and Amherst). These are all extremely hard to get into. Therefore, I would like some advice on what extracurricular activities to do to have a good chance of getting into these universities.

    I go to a state school with quite rubbish extracurricular activities (only football,rugby, art club etc.), which I don't particularly enjoy. So my only options are either starting a club (maybe Model UN or Finance society etc.) or doing a scheme like DofE. I am already doing the DofE bronze and will probably do it all the way up to gold. Also, I will start volunteering and hopefully get 300+ hours by the time I apply to the unis. Do you have any suggestions on what clubs would be good to start/join and any other things I should do to increase my chance of getting into an american university? Thanks.

    P.S. I enjoy Maths, Economics, Politics and debating etc.
    Hi there!

    Glad to hear you're interested in studying in the US! It's an incredible place to live, to travel and to study. I've had some experience of studying and applying to US universities, so I can give you some ideas or advice.

    First off, for applying to any of the universities you've mentioned, let alone for getting a scholarship, you will need virtually perfect grades. There are of course exceptions to this, but to have as good of a chance as possible, getting all A's is the best start. I've had friends who studied at Harvard and Amherst and they were exceptional students. Make your grades your number one priority.

    Volunteering is definitely a great idea. The US are very proactive in any sort of extra-curricular activity, and volunteering is one many places regard highly. For the clubs, it can really depend on the course you're applying to or the scholarship requirements. For any of this, there's no set guidelines, which can be both good and bad. Starting up your own club can be very impressive, it shows your initiative and enthusiasm, and it will also require you to lead a club from the ground up and work with others - all useful attributes. Model UN is especially popular in the US, the university I studied at in California, and many many others, all had their own Model UN clubs.

    Even taking the opportunity of joining a sports/art/music club can be very beneficial. Having a broad range of interests can be useful as you'll be used to many different environments and will have experience in different areas. Most academic clubs will also help, e.g. anything maths/science related, anything which involves creating a project, debating, etc.

    Again, I'll stress that this is just advice - many university positions and especially financial aid spots can be highly competitive and can revolve around you standing out amongst the crowd. You still have plenty of time, talk to many different people to get their perspectives and the main thing is to enjoy yourself in school!

    Hope this helps, let us know if you have any other questions!

    Scott
    Undergraduate Rep
    School of Engineering
 
 
 
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