Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Agonizing Wait

I have heard conflicting info about when I will find out about the CB scholarship. Ive heard mid-march, (so much for that), end of March, (boy that's close), spring, (boy thats general), and I've read that last year people found out around April 15th. I am on pins and needles waiting. I just want to know! I guess college acceptance letters are similar. Everytime the mail comes or the phone rings I rush to get it or answer it. I'm unsure if the notification is through an email, a phone call or a letter which just adds to the mystery and agony! Comon AFS!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Convincing your parents to let you go abroad

It can be reallllllly hard to convince your parents to let you go abroad and spend a whole year away from them. I had to do a lot of convincing. I put a powerpoint together to get my family on board and here are its basic contents:

Financing a Year Abroad: You can afford a foreign exchange!

If you go to private school, consider the price of the tuition you pay, if you go to public school, see if your district will pay part of the tuition. Then consider the price you pay in food and electricity,gas and water for a year. +Many exchange organizations offer financial aide and/or scholarships which can range from full ride scholarships to $3000 to a few hundred dollars.

How will studying abroad affect my college admissions?

I spoke with Yale and Harvard admissions officers. Both said that studying abroad would not at all look negatively on an application. Instead they, internationally known ivy league schools, said that many applicants to these schools are from abroad, or have studied abroad. They said that studying abroad could demonstrate commitment to interests and a sense of leadership.

They also said it provides excellent college essay topics

They said that they would only would not look at grades from study abroad, but would like to see classes I took and teacher statements. They recognize that while studying abroad the language of instruction is not in a student’s first language.

They said that the time away from home students who studied abroad already had experience being away from home and would have an easier adjustment to life away from home.

They said studying abroad demonstrated one’s desire to challenge oneself and “overcome obstacles” e.g. language barrier, culture shock.


Studying abroad is one of the best ways to understand the social, political, and economic issues that profoundly affect the world.

Stand out on college admissions

Stand out on job applications

Becoming fluent in another language

Learn about a new culture

Stronger sense of leadership

Growth in maturity

More independent


You'll be away from your family and home and everything you know and are familiar with for a whole year. You''ll spend your holidays and your birthday away from your natural family.

Getting this thing started

So I figured I would begin this blog with an introduction. My name is John Shinn. I live in Philadelphia. I am currently a sophomore in high school at St Joe's Prep. I will be spending my Junior year (so excited in Germany). I am going through the exchange organization AFS, American Field Service I applied to AFS regular application, where you pay tuition, but I also applied for CBYX Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange, a full ride scholarship that would save my family the whole tuition price and be very prestigious. I am an avid traveller and I relish the opportunity to travel. I also applied to YFU, (youth for understanding) to 2 scholarship programs. One program is to Finland in the summer, the other is in Japan for the summer as an exchange student. I relish the opportunity to travel and going to Finland or Japan would be amazing! Being an exchange student is an amazing experience that opens your mind up! I'll keep in touch with how everything went with the different scholarship. Keep your fingers crossed. Druck dir die Daumen!