Originally Posted by 22B
Thanks, Bostonian. I have nothing against people doing whatever extracurriculars they want for fun and fulfilment. But it seems universities are misusing them to favor some applicants at the expense of others.


Another issue I thought of regarding admissions is foreign languages. Some universities want four years of high school foreign language credit (Harvard, Princeton), while some (MIT, Caltech) just want some foreign language credit but don't really say how much, meaning maybe two is enough if other qualifications are strong.

Two years of foreign language is sufficient for high school graduation, and most universities also seem to think this is sufficient for admission.

So what do people think is the prudent approach for learning foreign languages when it comes to university admissions?

When I had interviews with Canadian schools, I was paired with a foreign language speaker and conducted part of the interview in that language in addition to English. Not sure if US schools have a similar approach.

I'm a skeptic when it comes to foreign language instruction. DH spent 9 years in French courses through high school graduation and can't order a sandwich when we go out. As HK says, it's really a question of the intensity of instruction. I would insist on my DS being taught by native speakers. There's just no comparison. I would argue you don't know a language until you think in it, so 2 vs 4 years is really quite irrelevant from a fluency perspective, but admissions may be a different story.

What is to give light must endure burning.