sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
pancakelover
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:36 pm

sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby pancakelover » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:12 am

Hi all,

So I'm in a prestigious undergraduate language program currently and am a senior at my undergrad institution. Next year, starting June 1 2012 and ending very late May 2013, I will be studying abroad for my capstone year in Egypt for an intensive language program to take classes and complete an internship of my choosing. My original plan was to apply to law schools while I'm abroad, in Fall of 2012.

However, I don't like the idea of having to miss out on all the potential interviews (Northwestern), Admitted Students Weekends, and visiting law schools in Spring of 2013. But I also don't have any other gigs lined up for the next year, since my plan all along was to go through with the capstone year abroad. I feel like that will distinguish me from other law school applicants, and my language skill is a unique one, so I am loathe to give it up.

Would going abroad really disadvantage me in those respects that I mentioned? For instance, not being able to do a personal interview... would admissions officers even bother to long-distance dial me in Egypt? And not being able to visit all the schools I'd like to and meet other admitted students, while getting a feel for the law schools' vibe and academic focus? Help!! Any and all thoughtful suggestions welcome.

User avatar
kwais
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby kwais » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:17 am

go to Egypt. you will miss nothing. visit a few campuses now while you can and then go have fun. no brainer

User avatar
descartesb4thehorse
Posts: 1147
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:03 am

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:22 am

You have less than a 5% chance of getting Northwestern K-JD anyway, so don't base your decision on that.

Best decision would probably be go to Egypt, find a job for a gap year, and apply in 2 years.

User avatar
pancakelover
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby pancakelover » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:24 am

descartesb4thehorse wrote:You have less than a 5% chance of getting Northwestern K-JD anyway, so don't base your decision on that.

Best decision would probably be go to Egypt, find a job for a gap year, and apply in 2 years.


I'm not going to have a gap year (if you don't count Egypt, which I don't). That's why I'm applying while abroad.

What do you mean by K-JD?
Last edited by pancakelover on Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Kikero
Posts: 1208
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:28 am

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby Kikero » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:25 am

pancakelover wrote:Hi all,

Would going abroad really disadvantage me in those respects that I mentioned? For instance, not being able to do a personal interview...

No interview isn't an auto-ding at Northwestern. Quite a few people without interviews get waitlisted, and it's possible to get straight accepted (not just waitlisted and then accepted) without interviews.

would admissions officers even bother to long-distance dial me in Egypt?

Most communications with schools are done via e-mail. If you're worried about it though, you can always get a global cell phone with a USA number.

And not being able to visit all the schools I'd like to and meet other admitted students, while getting a feel for the law schools' vibe and academic focus? Help!!

It wouldn't be as good/fun as going to ASW's, but you could always visit a couple of schools this year. The downside is that of course you won't know which schools will accept you, so you might visit some that reject you/miss out on some that you get into.

Any and all thoughtful suggestions welcome.

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby Dany » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:25 am

pancakelover wrote:
descartesb4thehorse wrote:You have less than a 5% chance of getting Northwestern K-JD anyway, so don't base your decision on that.

Best decision would probably be go to Egypt, find a job for a gap year, and apply in 2 years.

I'm not going to have a gap year (if you don't count Egypt, which I don't). That's why I'm applying while abroad.

Why do people ask for advice if they're not going to listen to any of it?

User avatar
pancakelover
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby pancakelover » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:28 am

Dany wrote:
pancakelover wrote:
descartesb4thehorse wrote:You have less than a 5% chance of getting Northwestern K-JD anyway, so don't base your decision on that.

Best decision would probably be go to Egypt, find a job for a gap year, and apply in 2 years.

I'm not going to have a gap year (if you don't count Egypt, which I don't). That's why I'm applying while abroad.

Why do people ask for advice if they're not going to listen to any of it?



I'm sorry if I didn't make my OP clear.. The only two options I'm really considering are: 1. not going to study abroad for the next year so I can twiddle my thumbs and probably pick up some job that I hate doing in the interim while I apply to law schools, and 2. study abroad, apply to law schools, and miss out on fun ASW/interviews and all that jazz. Sitting out multiple years just does not sound appealing at all to me, and wouldn't capture the study abroad advantage or get me to start law school quickly.

User avatar
pancakelover
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby pancakelover » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:31 am

Kikero wrote:
pancakelover wrote:Hi all,

Would going abroad really disadvantage me in those respects that I mentioned? For instance, not being able to do a personal interview...

No interview isn't an auto-ding at Northwestern. Quite a few people without interviews get waitlisted, and it's possible to get straight accepted (not just waitlisted and then accepted) without interviews.

would admissions officers even bother to long-distance dial me in Egypt?

Most communications with schools are done via e-mail. If you're worried about it though, you can always get a global cell phone with a USA number.

And not being able to visit all the schools I'd like to and meet other admitted students, while getting a feel for the law schools' vibe and academic focus? Help!!

It wouldn't be as good/fun as going to ASW's, but you could always visit a couple of schools this year. The downside is that of course you won't know which schools will accept you, so you might visit some that reject you/miss out on some that you get into.

Any and all thoughtful suggestions welcome.



What is this global cell phone of which you speak?

And everything you said makes sense - solid! Do you have any numbers to back up the fact that interviews aren't an auto-ding for NU? Or that you can get straight accepted? Do you think they'll do a phone interview if I mention that somewhere in the app?

User avatar
descartesb4thehorse
Posts: 1147
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:03 am

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:33 am

The study abroad is part of your undergrad studies, right? It's not studying abroad to get a masters or anything?

If NU is on your radar, you would have to take at least one year off between undergrad and law. See: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissions/profile/
95% of their class has at least one year work experience. And law school isn't going anywhere, so stop being in such a rush to get there.

User avatar
pancakelover
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby pancakelover » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:39 am

descartesb4thehorse wrote:The study abroad is part of your undergrad studies, right? It's not studying abroad to get a masters or anything?

If NU is on your radar, you would have to take at least one year off between undergrad and law. See: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissions/profile/
95% of their class has at least one year work experience. And law school isn't going anywhere, so stop being in such a rush to get there.


You're correct - it's part of my undergrad studies.

I see... well, I guess that settles applying to NU. Any other schools (in let's say, Tier 1) that require interviews as part of their application process?

User avatar
Kikero
Posts: 1208
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:28 am

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby Kikero » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:53 am

pancakelover wrote:
Kikero wrote:
pancakelover wrote:Hi all,

Would going abroad really disadvantage me in those respects that I mentioned? For instance, not being able to do a personal interview...

No interview isn't an auto-ding at Northwestern. Quite a few people without interviews get waitlisted, and it's possible to get straight accepted (not just waitlisted and then accepted) without interviews.

would admissions officers even bother to long-distance dial me in Egypt?

Most communications with schools are done via e-mail. If you're worried about it though, you can always get a global cell phone with a USA number.

And not being able to visit all the schools I'd like to and meet other admitted students, while getting a feel for the law schools' vibe and academic focus? Help!!

It wouldn't be as good/fun as going to ASW's, but you could always visit a couple of schools this year. The downside is that of course you won't know which schools will accept you, so you might visit some that reject you/miss out on some that you get into.

Any and all thoughtful suggestions welcome.



What is this global cell phone of which you speak?

And everything you said makes sense - solid! Do you have any numbers to back up the fact that interviews aren't an auto-ding for NU? Or that you can get straight accepted? Do you think they'll do a phone interview if I mention that somewhere in the app?


I got a scholarship w/ mandatory year deferral from NU without an interview, and I know someone else who got accepted without an interview, although I'm not sure about her numbers. But if you look at the NU applicants thread, there have been several people there talking about doing the waitlist interview (which you can only do if you haven't done the initial interview). However, I agree with what Descartes said about it being very difficult to get into NU straight out of undergrad (hence my required year deferral to gain work experience).

As for the cellphone, it varies based on your service provider. Verizon has a program where you can rent a global capable (multi-band as opposed to CDMA) phone while you're out of the country, and I believe there is a more long term program as well. AT&T I believe you can just take out of the country and it'll keep working, although then you get charged fees, so you'd want to give them a call and ask about plans/rates.

User avatar
pancakelover
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby pancakelover » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:58 am

Kikero wrote:
pancakelover wrote:
Kikero wrote:
pancakelover wrote:Hi all,

Would going abroad really disadvantage me in those respects that I mentioned? For instance, not being able to do a personal interview...

No interview isn't an auto-ding at Northwestern. Quite a few people without interviews get waitlisted, and it's possible to get straight accepted (not just waitlisted and then accepted) without interviews.

would admissions officers even bother to long-distance dial me in Egypt?

Most communications with schools are done via e-mail. If you're worried about it though, you can always get a global cell phone with a USA number.

And not being able to visit all the schools I'd like to and meet other admitted students, while getting a feel for the law schools' vibe and academic focus? Help!!

It wouldn't be as good/fun as going to ASW's, but you could always visit a couple of schools this year. The downside is that of course you won't know which schools will accept you, so you might visit some that reject you/miss out on some that you get into.

Any and all thoughtful suggestions welcome.



What is this global cell phone of which you speak?

And everything you said makes sense - solid! Do you have any numbers to back up the fact that interviews aren't an auto-ding for NU? Or that you can get straight accepted? Do you think they'll do a phone interview if I mention that somewhere in the app?


I got a scholarship w/ mandatory year deferral from NU without an interview, and I know someone else who got accepted without an interview, although I'm not sure about her numbers. But if you look at the NU applicants thread, there have been several people there talking about doing the waitlist interview (which you can only do if you haven't done the initial interview). However, I agree with what Descartes said about it being very difficult to get into NU straight out of undergrad (hence my required year deferral to gain work experience).

As for the cellphone, it varies based on your service provider. Verizon has a program where you can rent a global capable (multi-band as opposed to CDMA) phone while you're out of the country, and I believe there is a more long term program as well. AT&T I believe you can just take out of the country and it'll keep working, although then you get charged fees, so you'd want to give them a call and ask about plans/rates.


Sweet, I'll look into that. Your numbers look great btw!

defrutamadre
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:48 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby defrutamadre » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:03 am

I applied from abroad this year, and was hesitant about it for the same reasons you said above--missing out on ASWs, complications with communication, etc. I've found that nothing has really been an issue. Most communication is through email, so as long as you have a viable connection you won't be at a disadvantage. I even had a phone interview, which was a bit awkward with the time difference, but they called me on my local cell phone here and just bit the extra charges--very convenient for me! The only downside is now that I'm making my decisions and having to choose between the schools I was admitted to, I can't make it to ASWs or visit the campuses before the deposit deadline. Law school is a huge investment, and some have argued that visiting is the most important thing you can do to gauge your potential happiness at that school, but there are many other resources available to you--since I can't visit I've been emailing professors, skyping with current students, and talking with alumni. I feel like I have an idea, maybe not as good of an idea, but an idea nonetheless, of how I'd fit in. There are ways around it!

User avatar
pancakelover
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby pancakelover » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:07 am

defrutamadre wrote:I applied from abroad this year, and was hesitant about it for the same reasons you said above--missing out on ASWs, complications with communication, etc. I've found that nothing has really been an issue. Most communication is through email, so as long as you have a viable connection you won't be at a disadvantage. I even had a phone interview, which was a bit awkward with the time difference, but they called me on my local cell phone here and just bit the extra charges--very convenient for me! The only downside is now that I'm making my decisions and having to choose between the schools I was admitted to, I can't make it to ASWs or visit the campuses before the deposit deadline. Law school is a huge investment, and some have argued that visiting is the most important thing you can do to gauge your potential happiness at that school, but there are many other resources available to you--since I can't visit I've been emailing professors, skyping with current students, and talking with alumni. I feel like I have an idea, maybe not as good of an idea, but an idea nonetheless, of how I'd fit in. There are ways around it!


That's a great idea. But I don't know that many current students or alumni in the schools I'm applying to, and certainly don't know professors. How did you line that up? And what made you decide to go abroad despite your hesitation?

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby Dany » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:09 am

I wouldn't worry about visits. Law school is law school, just pick a school based on job prospects and scholarships, and location if it's important to you. Do the abroad thing.

User avatar
lsacqueen
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:03 am

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby lsacqueen » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:20 am

Idk, missing ASW and not visiting schools is a pretty big hit IMHO. What's your study abroad program for again?

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby Dany » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:24 am

lsacqueen wrote:Idk, missing ASW and not visiting schools is a pretty big hit IMHO. What's your study abroad program for again?

It starts in June. He has plenty of time to visit schools before then if he wants, and visits aren't that important anyway.

User avatar
lsacqueen
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:03 am

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby lsacqueen » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:27 am

Dany wrote:
lsacqueen wrote:Idk, missing ASW and not visiting schools is a pretty big hit IMHO. What's your study abroad program for again?

It starts in June. He has plenty of time to visit schools before then if he wants, and visits aren't that important anyway.


Oh, then totally hit up your schools between now and then. Obviously pick and choose the ones you think you'll likely go to if accepted and have a decent chance of getting into int he first place. Most schools don't do interviews (phone or otherwise) so I don't think you'll suffer terribly haha. Egypt sounds like it'll be fun!

User avatar
JDizzle2015
Posts: 638
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:16 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby JDizzle2015 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:21 pm

Georgetown and UChicago gives interviews on an invite-only basis, but those interviews are by no means necessary for admission especially if you have a good excuse like being in Egypt for the year. They will likely offer to Skype interview you. Good luck and have a great time, OP!

ETA: I do think it's important to visit schools to get a sense of the environment you'll be in for 3 years. If you're casting a wide net like I did this cycle, it's possible (even likely) that you'll get into peer schools and the tie-breaker will be where you feel most comfortable. I would take the advice in this thread to visit schools prior to leaving to Egypt and take some notes on the different schools in order to help your decision next year.

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby MrAnon » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:34 pm

your language skills or whatever won't really distinguish you. Schools care about GPA and LSAT and thats pretty much it.

User avatar
cinephile
Posts: 3469
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby cinephile » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:10 pm

Spend the year in Egypt. It'll be a great life experience and you won't have the opportunity to take a break from your career once you get started. Furthermore, while languages don't help for law school admissions, they do come up often in interviews with employers.

Besides, I applied while abroad, and though there are some downsides, I'm really glad I did it. What you miss out on: mailing of promotional material, including the little items like folders, bumper stickers, etc. that come with acceptance. You may also miss out on phone call acceptances. For some reason, all my schools chose to email me with my acceptances rather than risk a delay in the mail or do an international phone call. I was still able to do an interview over skype. It may have been easier and less awkward in person, but the opportunity is still there. I can't speak to the benefits of going to ASW since I wasn't interested in that anyway. But basically, this is a year long experience, and it's not worth giving that up for a couple weekends visiting schools and promotional information.

apollo2015
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:13 am

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby apollo2015 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:42 pm

I am not a fan of study abroad programs in general, but if your choice is hanging out in Egypt versus trying to find a short term job in this economy than definitely choose Egypt.

Realistically you wouldn't be visiting many campuses anyway. Before you go abroad visit all of your realistic target schools, and then if you end up applying to and being accepted to a reach school, just count that as an unexpected blessing.

CodyRuegger
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:12 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby CodyRuegger » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:38 pm

What if I told you you could just not apply for Northwestern and then all of these problems aren't problems anymore?

defrutamadre
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:48 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby defrutamadre » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:25 pm

pancakelover wrote:
That's a great idea. But I don't know that many current students or alumni in the schools I'm applying to, and certainly don't know professors. How did you line that up? And what made you decide to go abroad despite your hesitation?


The opportunity abroad wasn't something that I could defer, and I thought--oh what the hell! life only comes at you once.

Once you're accepted, the school will most likely hook you up with a current student, and you can always use that student to connect to more students. I've also sent emails to the admissions office, asking to be put in touch with current students or alumni with similar interests, and they've followed up with me. Professors can be a bit tricky...honestly, I just found ones whose work or classes I was interested in and just sent a short email saying I was a prospective student who would love the opportunity to ask a few questions, and most would send welcoming replies.

I do think visiting is important, and law school is a huge investment--you should know exactly what you're getting into. With that said, I don't think ASWs are necessarily the best way of figuring out a school's atmosphere (you'll be eating what the school wants you to see, in most cases). Talk candidly to current students, visit the campus when school is in session, see how accessible professors are (if they can't even answer your emails now, what will it be like when you're taking a class with them?), and live it up in egypt!

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: sticky situation - year-long study abroad or not?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:39 pm

Have you taken the LSAT ?




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: oliviaj_j, q2w3e and 6 guests