Post-graduate students voyage outside of the country


Contributed by Elena Stotts-Lee

Senior Elena Stotts-Lee plans on attending Trinity College beginning in September 2017. Stotts-Lee is excited about her special combination college program she will be enrolled in.

Bertina Xue, Layout Managing Editor

Four-year colleges. Two-year colleges. Gap years. Work. Army. Upon graduation, students have many options as to what their next step in life will be. For some students, embarking on a journey to a new country is their option of choice.

According to senior Elena Stotts-Lee, she committed to Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland because the country captured her attention and the school houses many of her inspirations.

“I’m attracted to the prestige of the University. It’s internationally recognized, and it seems very easy for students to transition into graduate school,” Stotts-Lee said. “The work I want to do in the future is very global. I don’t know exactly what I want to do with my life, but I don’t think I want to limit it to small things. Being in Europe, and being in a central location with the U.S. on one side and Asia on the other, I’ll be able to make more global connections than I can at a small liberal arts school here, I would say.”

Senior Bailey Dwyer committed to the University of Toronto, Canada. Dwyer said the school’s distance from Brookline is not a problem because she is already familiar with Canada.

“I think the reason I’m okay with it is that I have other family that’s near Toronto, so I can see them,” Dwyer said. “ It will definitely be hard at first, being away from my family and home and stuff, but I know there will be friends and people in Toronto that I can see.”

Senior Michal Manor-Peleg said that she was inspired by her parents to take a gap year next year.

“I don’t think my parents would’ve let me go to college right after high school because they did the army, and they would want me to be more experienced and mature before going into another four-year program,” Manor-Peleg said. “I knew I’d have to take a gap year, if not doing the army.”

Manor-Peleg, who will be applying to colleges outside the U.S. after next year, wants to devote time towards understanding herself.

“I want to do a gap year because I feel like I don’t know enough about myself, especially if I commit to a certain major,” Manor-Peleg said. “I don’t know exactly what I love. I need more experiences.”

Stotts-Lee said two things that are different about school in Ireland compared to school in the U.S. are student majors and extracurricular activities.

“Trinity College calls the clubs ‘societies.’ There’s one hundred and twenty different societies, and fifty sports clubs. With the Irish system, you have to apply directly into a major program, and you basically start from day one knowing what you’re going to graduate in,” Stotts-Lee said.

Stotts-Lee said that her special major will allow her to create strong connections with others.

“I applied into a program called PPES that was created at Oxford. It’s the combined study of Philosophy, Political Science, Economics, and Sociology, so basically a social science, super-jumbo major,” Stotts-Lee said. “You’re allowed to drop any of the subjects after the first year, so you start with this large foundation and work your way towards your main interest. You’ll take classes with a lot of other people, but have community in your major program, which is nice.”

Dwyer said she is excited to pursue her interests in studying nutrition.

“I like the program there because there are only eight courses that you are required to complete,” Dwyer said. “The rest you can select based on what you’re interested in.”

As for Manor-Peleg, she said she is most excited about traveling around Europe.

“For me, the biggest benefit is being able to travel, even if it’s alone. I’ve never done that, which is why I want to. You can just take a weekend in Rome. When I talk about going to school internationally, it’s so scary in many ways, but I start to fantasize about being able to travel,” Manor-Peleg said.

Stotts-Lee is looking forward to meeting new people the most.

“I mostly look forward to meeting new people, which sounds cheesy, but I’m not going to school with a single other student from Brookline,” Stotts-lee said. “I’m really excited to build a life somewhere else. I’m really excited to have independence and go to class because I want to go to class and just kind of figure out who I am away from here. I’m also excited to apply all the things I learned at BHS.”

According to Stotts-Lee and Manor-Peleg, applying internationally has many benefits, one of which is a cheaper tuition.

Manor-Peleg said although moving abroad is an intimidating thought, there are many things to look forward to.

“It’s definitely such a scary thing to think about: actually living alone in a foreign country, getting a job and having so much independence,” Manor-Peleg said. “I feel like my parents will visit. My sister’s lived in Israel for two years on her own, and she did it. I like the idea of just doing something out of the usual and experiencing as much as I can.”