Language Academy Student

How to Use the Academy in Your College Application

Spending four weeks of your summer vacation in language immersion will give you a unique experience that can set you apart in the college admissions process.

If you are planning to attend a college or university, one thing is given: You will be writing an essay as part of your application. This essay is more important than you may think. In a competitive application process, in which high-achievers boast of extracurriculars a mile long, the college essay is a way to catch the attention of admissions officers and distinguish yourself.

Here are several meaningful ways you can utilize your language immersion experience at the Academy in your college application and essay.

1. You have a story to tell (and it’s your story).

The essay prompts in the Common Application require applicants to reflect on a challenge they've faced. They ask applicants to give insight into who they are and who they want to become. After attending the Academy, you will have a story to tell. This may be a story about the intellectual challenge of overcoming a language plateau or about your personal growth as a result of living immersed in language for a month. In any case, your dedication to immersive language learning is an authentic experience.

2. You have stretched yourself.

Admissions officers look for evidence that applicants can move out of their safety zone and thrive. They seek applicants who have self-confidence and grace under pressure. After living away from home for a month, making friends and navigating life on a college campus in another language, you now have tangible evidence that you can withstand the pressures and freedoms of independent living, stay focused and excel.

3. You can inspire.

Admissions officers seek to identify students who will inspire those around them. Language Academy alumni often write us with updates on how they have used their language. They tell us that the Academy allowed them to have meaningful and productive relationships while volunteering abroad. It allowed them to live on the international floor at college or request a roommate from another country. It allowed them to teach Mandarin in an afternoon program at an elementary school. The Language Academy experience is empowering and will help you become a global citizen and make a difference in the world.

4. You have a global mindset.

In this era of global interdependence, language proficiency and cultural competencies have never been more vital. Only by learning another language and being exposed to other cultures, can you really begin to understand and appreciate the world around you and your place in it. During the Summer Language Academy, you will be exposed to the cuisine, art, history, dress, dance, geography and politics of other cultures. You will have language directors, teachers, and residential advisors from around the world. You can make a compelling case in the college admissions process that this culturally immersive experience has made you even more self-confident and open to new ideas and people. You will thrive in a vibrant college community and in our globally connected world.