Elisabeth Wachtel learned a second language, made friends and lifted her chances of college admission by studying abroad for a year of high school.

Why would a teenager pick up stakes and leave friends and family behind for a year to study in an unfamiliar, foreign country?

Elisabeth Wachtel says she learned a second language, made some of her closest friends and improved her chances of getting into the university of her choice by spending her second-to-last year of high school in France.

Ironically, she says she learned a great deal about her own country, the United States, while living in Rennes, France and studying at School Year Abroad France in 2018-19.

“I thought I would be learning a lot about France, which I definitely did, and French culture and French politics,” Wachtel said. “But also I learned a lot about America and how America is perceived and what makes America different.”

Studying abroad can help a student get into college.

Wachtel has just finished an internship at News Decoder while spending a semester studying at the American University of Paris. This summer, she will resume her undergraduate studies in international relations at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

In an interview, Wachtel discussed the value of studying abroad while dismissing the fears of many parents that their child will fail to be admitted to the college of their choice if they choose to spend time overseas.

Wachtel’s advice for American high school students: “I would say to stress less about college.”

(Nelson Graves is the founder of News Decoder.)

Share This
EducationWhy studying abroad can be right for a young person