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Say Bon Voyage to Admissions Competition

Even if your kids are nowhere near college age yet, the competition for college admissions won’t be letting up any time soon. The U.S. Department of Education predicts that the number of graduating high schoolers will continue to rise through at least 2013. Boost your kids toward the front of the line by exposing them to our global culture — that’s right, by traveling.

Students who have traveled abroad tend to bring a broader perspective of global issues to their studies and can look at topics from multiple points of view, observes Sarah Spooner, assistant director of admission at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “That ability is at the foundation of a liberal arts education,” she says. “It is important to understand that the world extends past your back door, and international travel can do that for students.”

International travel camps and programs for students as young as the fifth grade can open young eyes to global perspectives. “SMU looks favorably at students who have gone abroad for language immersion trips, mission work, academic programs, etc.,” Spooner says.

Try launching a summer camps and programs investigation at Peterson’s, an educational and career guidance site (www.petersons.com). And family travels, of course, can begin from the very start.