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想上美国大学?多参与课外活动

For U.S. College Applicants, Extra Activities Are Encouraged
想上美国大学?多参与课外活动

Students interested in attending an American university should know that admissions officers will base their decisions on more than just good grades and high test scores. They want to know how a student might enhance the university just by being there. A good indicator is an examination of personal interests, often illustrated by extracurricular activities.

想到美国大学就读的学生应该知道,招生官员做决定时考量的不仅是申请人是否有优异的成绩,考试分数是否够高。他们还想知道,一个学生进入一所大学,能给学校带来哪些裨益。学生的个人爱好就是一个很好的指标,通常能在课外活动中得到诠释。

That phrase -- extracurricular activities -- may seem unfamiliar to Indian students. Generally, it applies to things that students participate in outside of school that show interests, hobbies and future career plans. They should be proactive. (Going to the movies doesn't count, but making a documentary about a relevant issue does.)

“课外活动”这个词,对印度学生来说似乎很陌生。通常,它是指学生们在学校之外参加的各种能够显示兴趣、爱好和未来职业规划的活动。这些活动应当需要积极行动。(去看电影不算数,不过拍摄相关问题的纪录片算。)
 

This week on The Choice on India Ink, we talked to Micah Sieber, an admissions officer at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., about the types of extracurricular activities that American students often include on their college applications.

在本周的“印度实录精选”(The Choice on India Ink)博客专栏里,就美国学生经常会把哪类课外活动包含在大学申请当中,我们咨询了纽约州波基普西市的瓦萨学院(Vassar College)招生官员迈卡·西贝尔(Micah Sieber) 。

Service-Learning Initiatives or Charity Work

服务性学习活动或者慈善工作


Colleges appreciate it when students are aware of the problems their own communities are experiencing.

如果学生能意识到自己所在社区的现有问题,大学会对此表示赏识。

"We admire students who are involved in service-learning initiatives," Mr. Sieber said. "In the same way that clubs and internships say something about who the student is, outreach work shows that students are interested in giving back to their communities and we value that."

“我们很欣赏参与服务性学习活动的学生。”西贝尔说。“就像俱乐部和实习经历能让我们更好地了解学生一样,这类工作能表明学生乐于回馈自己的社区,我们很重视这一点。”

"Students should engage in projects that they're passionate about," Mr. Sieber said. "It's more about their personal level of interest that matters, not really the issues they focus on. If we see that students really care about what they're doing and are actively involved, then that's all that matters."

“学生们应该参与自己热爱的项目。”西贝尔说,“更重要的是他们对个人的兴趣有多么热衷,而不是他们所关注的是什么问题。学生们真的在乎他们参与的活动,并且积极参与其中,在我们看来这样就够了。”

Student Organizations and Clubs

学生组织和俱乐部


A student's involvement in clubs and organizations gives an admissions officer a better sense of that student's interests and how the applicant interacts with peers in a nonacademic setting.

学生对俱乐部和组织活动的参与,能让招生官员更好地了解申请人的兴趣,以及在非学术环境下,如何与同伴进行互动。

"We acknowledge all club involvement, everything counts in that sense," Mr. Sieber said. "We typically tend to prefer students who spent a significant amount of time involved in a few clubs over students who spread their time too thinly over many projects because it shows that they're really committed to the things they say they care about."

“我们认可所有俱乐部活动,从这个意义上说,任何活动都算数。”西贝尔说,“我们通常更喜欢学生把大量时间花在有限几个俱乐部上,而不是在很多项目上都浅尝辄止。因为那样能表明他们真的对自称爱好的活动很投入。”

Having a special role in the organization -- like a club president or treasurer -- can make a difference, but it "doesn't take away from the value of your club experience if you're a general member," Mr. Sieber said.

如果在组织中担任过特别的角色,也会有积极意义,比如担任俱乐部主席或财务主管。不过,西贝尔说,“即使只是普通成员,参加俱乐部的经历也同样有意义。”

Internships

实习经历


Colleges appreciate an applicant who uses his or her free time proactively. Whether it's working on an advertising campaign at a formal internship, or sorting mail as an assistant for a family friend, internships can help admissions officers see how students apply skills and knowledge to a real world environment.

大学欣赏能够积极利用课余时间的申请人。无论是参与广告宣传活动的正式实习,还是为父母的朋友做助理整理信件,实习经历都能让招生官员了解,学生是如何把所学的技能和知识运用到实际中的。

"It really doesn't matter specifically what students do," Mr. Sieber said. "When we consider internships, what we really want to see is that students have done something extra, that they're involved and are doing something related to what they're passionate about. There are no set requirements, so it's not as though we would favor one student over another based only on their job descriptions. We consider the student as an individual and look at everything."

“学生们做了什么,真的没什么特别的关系。”西贝尔说,“我们考量学生的实习经历时,真正想要了解的是学生确实做了额外的工作,他们真正参与了与自己热爱的事有关的工作。我们没有确定的要求,所以不会仅仅根据他们的工作职责,就去偏好某一个学生。我们把学生当作个体来看待,会关注他们的方方面面。”

Internship experience can also help when looking for a job during or after college. Students might even get paid.

实习经历对在校生或毕业生找工作也有所帮助。学生们甚至有可能获得带薪实习。

Individual Projects

个人项目


Whether it's starting a blog, forming a company, making a movie, recording a song, or hosting a science fair, colleges value individual efforts because they show signs of leadership.

无论是创建博客、开办 公司、摄制电影、录制歌曲,还是举办科学展览,学校都会重视个人的努力,因为这些活动能显示出学生具备领导潜力。

Consider Shiv Sakhuja, a computer-savvy student at the Modern School in New Delhi. When he was 14 years old, Shiv purchased his first Apple computer, a 2007 iMac, and soon became enamored of it. Before long, his friends and family started referring to him as "the Mac expert." As the Apple craze grew in India, he found himself answering questions and giving advice to other Mac users.

以希夫·萨库加(Shiv Sakhuja)为例,他是新德里现代学校(Modern School)的一位通晓电脑的学生。萨库加14岁时,购买了第一台苹果电脑,一台2007年款的iMac。很快,他就被这台电脑迷住了。不久之后,他的朋友和家人开始把他称作“Mac专家”。随着苹果电脑在印度越来越流行,他也开始为其他Mac用户答疑解惑,提供咨询。

In 2008, Shiv created controlyourmac.com, a Web site where he could post his answers in one place. The site has grown from simply providing information about Macs to reviewing all Apple products and software. It now receives around 1,200 visitors a day. Earlier this year, Shiv also created his own e-mail software, which is now a Mac application.

2008年,希夫建立了一个名叫controlyourmac.com的网站,他会把对用户的答疑放在这一个网站上。这家网站不断壮大,最初只提供有关Mac的信息,而后发展到对所有苹果产品和软件进行评测。目前,每天约有1200名用户访问该网站。今年早些时候,希夫还开发了他自己的电子邮件软件,现在,这款软件已经成了Mac的应用软件。

"I'm applying to schools in both the United States and India," he said. "But I think that talking about my site in my United States university essays will help me to express my personality better."

“我正在申请美国和印度的学校。”他说,“不过我想,在美国大学的申请书中提及我创建的网站,有助于表达我的个性。”

With so many students applying to the United States with strong G.P.A.'s and exam scores, the extras on your resumes and in your essays could help distinguish you from another student with a similar application. Whether it's an internship, club, or doing magic shows for birthday parties on weekends, invest some time doing the things you love. Your interests and hobbies, however quirky, may be what makes the difference.

申请美国大学的学生中,很多都有极其出众的绩点(G.P.A.)和考试成绩。简历和申请书中额外的专长会让你从有类似申请材料的学生中脱颖而出。不管是参与实习、参加俱乐部活动,还是周末在生日派对上演出魔术,花些时间做你喜欢的事情吧。无论你的兴趣和爱好有多古怪,它们都可能最终助你一臂之力。
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