BBYO Passport: A BBYO Travel Experience

BBYO Passport: A BBYO Travel Experience

Your College Ticket

You are thinking summer, summer, summer. Your parents are thinking college, college, college. Think of BBYO Passport as the best of both worlds. Each Passport program is full of informal educational experiences, community service opportunities, and the kinds of cultural interactions that will expand your horizons. In other words, in addition to being a great notch on your resume, the Passport experience will be inspiration for a standout college essay.

Read this recent New York Times article:
For a Standout College Essay, Applicants Fill Their Summers

You have heard it over and over again: getting into college is hard! Admissions counselors wade their way through thousands of applications, SAT scores, and teacher recommendations -- all trying to figure out which applicant stands out the most.

While admissions officers clearly pay a great deal of attention to test scores and transcripts, those numbers do not paint the full picture of the applicant. What does it really all come down to? The college essay – your big chance to move your application from the "maybe" pile to the "YES" pile.

Earn College Credit on ILSI!

Passport to Israel is offering an opportunity to obtain college credits to teens taking part in our ILSI program. Incoming and graduating high school seniors can qualify to earn up to three college credits through a special partnership with Gratz College. Contact us for details about this exciting option for making the most of your summer in Israel.

Tips for a College Essay Inspired by Passport to Israel

Keep It Personal

Your essay should have one single theme. For example, perhaps your theme is a passion for change. Highlight this theme through several examples of how you, single-handedly created change: like the one pine tree that you planted in the hills of Jerusalem whose cones will lead to the growth of a forest overtime. "I saw how one seedling, one tree, could alter the whole hilltop. Then why shouldn't I, one person, change my hilltop, my world?"

Prove Yourself

"I'm captain of the basketball team, editor of the yearbook, and president of the student council." Yawn. They already saw that on page two of your application! Don't list what you've done; tell them who you really are. There's a big difference between an obvious statement of opinion and letting your personality and views unfold in the details. Rather then spending your summer life-guarding at the pool, you grappled with the challenges of income disparity in South Africa or contemplating the enduring message of the Holocaust in Europe.

Write What You Want to Say, Not What You Think They Want

Admissions officers already know how awesome their school is, how important the environment is, and how one day you want to be President. An essay about a 2:00am conversation on the meaning of life in a Bedouin tent in the Negev desert is something they might not have seen before.

Be Reflective

Don't be afraid to expose yourself. If you went though a life-changing event, share it. Those experiences shape who you are. Perhaps something as simple as watching the sunrise over the ancient hilltop of Masada caused some intense inner reflections. Or maybe listening to the words of David Ben Gurion declare the independence of the State of Israel in a small art gallery in Tel Aviv caused something to awaken inside you. Write it. Tell them. They want to hear it.