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Where should I go to College?

Hi! I'm a 13 year old middle school student in San Diego. Today in history we were talking about college and it got me thinking. I want to go to a good school,but I'm not sure where. I want to major in traveling and linguistics. I would love to be able to travel the world as it had always been a dream of mine to go to Paris. I only speak two languages but I would like to learn more, and maybe get a career in translation.

Thank you to those who have suggestions.

Madi

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Anthony’s Answer

I cannot tell you specifically where you should go to college but I would advise doing some internet searches for the best colleges in your area or where you would like to go that offer linguistics and traveling programs. Some things that you should take into consideration though when you find a list of colleges that offer what you want are:

(1) Location and Distance from your home. How far do you want to go?
(2) Cost. Are there any scholarships you can get that the college may offer?
(3) Class sizes offered at the college
(4) Activities and campus life that you will get at the college
(5) Internship Opportunities that the college may offer or study abroad programs they offer since travel is important for what you want to do.

I wish you the best of luck deciding on where you want to study.
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Nicolas’s Answer

Hi Madi! In terms of traveling, if you'd like to do it during college, most colleges offer a Study Abroad program, where you can spend a quarter/semester studying at another university in another country (and usually for cheaper than it would cost if you didn't study abroad!). As for choosing a school, I always recommend for people to research the program they'd like to study and see what colleges/universities are most reputable for that particular area of study, as you will often get a better quality learning experience and more career opportunities upon graduation. Websites like usnews.com offer great lists and rankings of colleges/universities in many different categories that you can look through, or even just Google "Best Colleges for [insert Program here]" to help you find schools that offer what you're looking for and have a strong program for it.
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Dana’s Answer

Hey Madi!

You still have a lot of time until then, so I think it would be a great idea to research different schools.
A lot of schools have Linguistics as a major. If you want to focus globally, there is also Global Studies as a major.
I think you should narrow down those schools and then focus on which school best fits you!
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Priya’s Answer

Hi Madi, one great place to ask once you get into high school is your counselor/advisor. Even though they do your schedules mostly, they also know about colleges and can help guide you with information. In my opinion, you can begin exploring schools and options online or in person from now until junior or even senior year of high school. You are ahead of the game thinking about college now and will get more and more of an idea of what you want as you go on your journey. There are a lot of great schools so do not feel pressured that there are only one or two good schools or programs out there. Good luck!
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Jessica’s Answer

Hi Madi!

I love that you have an interest in languages and traveling. We have a few things in common -- I am also from San Diego, I graduated from the University of California at San Diego and majored in linguistics, and I've been lucky to travel to Asia, Europe and Central America.

Linguistics is an interesting, fun and challenging field. I speak 2 languages -- my second language is Spanish. Some people think linguistics is about learning many languages, but it's actually about the scientific study of how language works. (Although it's very cool to be a linguist who speaks many languages.) My college classes in linguistics at UCSD included classes like childhood language acquisition (we learned how children learn language/how the brain acquires language), the study of dialects and how people's speech varies across the United States, phonetics (the study of sounds and how people produce sounds, plus you learn all the phonetic symbols you see in a dictionary that help you learn how to pronounce a word), and more.

UCSD linguistics program: https://linguistics.ucsd.edu/
San Diego State University linguistics program: https://linguistics.sdsu.edu/

Both are good schools in San Diego. On that point I'd say that a "good school" (in my opinion) isn't the most expensive or the one that is the most prestigious. I think it matters less which college you go to and matters more how much effort you put into your classes, studying and connecting with your professors. You can get a great education at most colleges.

I loved linguistics as a bachelor's degree. My career choice ended up being writing. I've always loved language, reading, telling stories and writing, so after graduating UCSD I went to SDSU to get my master's degree in rhetoric and writing. Linguistics is a neat field that can lead to different careers, including translation like you mentioned, speech therapy for adults and kids who need help with speech challenges, writing and marketing, and other jobs.

One day you will be in Paris! The way I reached my travel goals was I always saved money. In high school I got my work permit and worked in the summertime at a restaurant, and I saved money in my savings account. When I finished college and started working full-time, I always saved money each month from my paycheck. That is how I saved money to go on my travel trips, and it's totally worth it because travel experiences in other countries and connecting with people are memories you will always cherish.

I'm happy you are exploring your areas of interest and I encourage you to keep learning about things that excite you!
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