Friday, August 23, 2019

International Kids

Raising kids to be successful in this competitive world is tough. It seems if you can’t enroll them in the proper kindergarten their prospects are ruined. A friend of mine is concerned about getting her daughter into the right college. The daughter’s SAT scores are excellent, but she only graduated sixth in her class so they are worried. How crazy is that?

Then there’s the issue of which college to apply to. The daughter wants to go to an Ivy League school. While the parents are well off by local standards, they aren’t Ivy League well off. It’s not even about the academics as many lower tier school provide excellent educations. The issue is that Ivy League schools provide connections that translate into high paying powerful jobs.

Personally I’m appalled at how rigid things are these days for kids trying to get ahead. No wonder anxiety is sky high among teenagers.

On the other hand, I see kids that were raised differently. Their parents traveled all over the world while the kids were growing up. It might be due to jobs, being in the military, or just a sense of adventure like wanting to sail around the world.

Kids grow up exposed to multiple cultures. Sometimes they end up speaking a number of languages and have friends from all over the world. They are perfectly comfortable hitting the ground in a strange country and quickly adapting.

So what happens to these kids when the grow up? Generally they appear to turn out just fine. While their school transcripts, if they exist at all, are a mess, it doesn’t seem to limit them much. They have a wealth of experiences that cannot be acquired in a school at any price.



  1. My personal opinion is that the more traveled kids are better off than those relying strictly on college alone. Speaking several languages sure can't hurt in this day and age.

    1. Those kids usually do well. Often they end up with really interesting careers.

  2. Ivy Leagues are only good if you are of the right social class and going liberal arts or business or lawyer. Unless she's going into weird esoteric theoretical math. MIT and Harvard are still good at that.

    Else, stay away from Ivy League. It's almost a negative stigma to come from one of those schools.

    There are better STEM schools, med schools and vet schools, a lot that are state colleges, that provide a much better education at a lower price. Without the snob stigma.

    If her college testing scores and grade point average are good enough, one of the service academies is a good choice. If she is interested in the services, that is.

    As to 'being travelled,' a summer jaunt on tour or backpacking doesn't count. Living on foreign soil, dealing with foreigners for a long time, even on a US military base, is a much better exposure. (It's a real interesting shock seeing the difference between 1st world US base and not 1st world foreign locations.

    1. Good college advice. Thanks.

      To really experience a new place you have to get off the beaten path and live like a local for a while.