Preparing for College

What should Africa trip college essay include?

Question: In my major college essay, I discuss a my trip to Africa. I was wondering if I should include a brief summary of what I did there or should I just say what I learned and have gained from it?

It's hard to answer your question because it seems that what you learned from being in Africa would be intertwined with what you did there. Thus it would be necessary to reveal at least some of the purpose of your trip as you discuss what you gained from it.

As you begin to write, also note that admission officials--especially at the most selective colleges--are usually deluged with "My trip abroad and what I learned from it" essays. These commonly end with predictable refrains such as, "As different as the people were, I found we had much in common," or "I came home very changed and grateful for the advantages of my homeland," etc.

Although a great essay can be written about almost any topic, do keep in mind that admission folks see a lot of travel essays, so you'll have to write yours especially well to make it stand out from the crowd.

Good luck!