Going to college 4,000 miles away

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I am planning to leave the country for college. I am deciding between the University of Tel Aviv and the University of Amsterdam.

As of now, only a handful of people in my grade are leaving the country for college.

It is crucial to raise awareness about how there are other options. They aren’t always conventional options for New Trier students and most students in the United States, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I have had a decent experience at New Trier, and I have made amazing new friends, but I am ready to get the heck out of here. I am sick of the bubble we live in, and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to have such a unique college experience.

When I started telling people I was planning on leaving the country, they were shocked.

It’s so strange to look back to my junior year, when I thought I was going to go to Tulane or Lake Forest. Now, I am ready to live thousands of miles away.
I got denied from my top choice school in the United States, but at the end of the day, I do believe everything happens for a reason. If I had gotten into my top choice, the thought of leaving the country would not have even crossed my mind.

When I was rejected, I was obviously disappointed. What was worse than the disappointment, though, was that I was not satisfied with the options that I had left.

I sat down with my dad, and we started coming up with other possibilities for next year. As we were brainstorming, Amsterdam came up as a potential new home. It’s a beautiful city with culture and great schools, and more importantly, my mom lives there.

Over spring break, my dad and I took a trip to Israel. While we were there, we made a spur-of-the-moment decision to visit the University of Tel Aviv. Once we got there, I immediately felt that this was where I potentially wanted to go. Israel is a special country, and although small, there is a huge variety of places and activities. Since the main language in Israel is Hebrew, hopefully I could pick up on it too.

My main reasoning to leave the country is honestly because I’m fed up with 90% of what is going on here, and because I want to have a clean slate in a completely different country.

The problem with being a student at New Trier is that there is most likely going to be at least one person going to the same college as you. Knowing absolutely no one in a foreign country is as close to a clean slate as it gets.

As I’ve written about before, I am an only child. My dad works a lot, so being alone is nothing new for me. I consider myself to be independent and social, so trying new things does not scare me.

Aside from wanting to experience a new life and culture, my dad and I have taken the financial aspect of college into account as well.
It only costs $2,000 a year to attend school in Israel, and it costs $10,000 a year in Amsterdam.

This is far better than any offers I got from my schools. Basically, one year at a school in America is equivalent to if not more than four years in Israel.
Going abroad for school provides a countless number of opportunities.

It may be a bit late for seniors to start applying to schools abroad, but it’s not too late for underclassmen to look into these other options.

Throughout high school, I thought I only had two options for what I was going to do next year. Either taking a gap year, or going to college here.

I want you to realize you’re not just confined to the schools in America. You might want to look into schools in other countries as well.

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