My school doesn’t offer any extracurriculars but I hear they are important for US schools. What options do I have?

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    Harsehaj Singh
  • harsehajsingh@berkeley.edu

Harsehaj Singh Answered a year ago

If your school is very academically focused, make sure to take up some extra-curricular activity outside of school (play tennis, learn guitar, volunteer at an NGO, participate in case competitions, MUN’s, etc).

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    Kriti Chawla
  • kritich4@gmail.com

Kriti Chawla Answered a year ago

Yes, you heard right that US colleges emphasize on extracurriculars a lot and that is because they have a holistic viewpoint towards applications. I suggest, even if your school doesn't offer much, try looking for something outside your school for eg., sports, dance, painting, drawing, music etc. which can be learnt and proficiency can be attained within a few years of practice. Alternatively, you can also start blogging online. You can volunteer at an NGO or probably give computer or english classes to your domestic help’s children. There are numerous options out there, you just need to find the right ones for you and get working on them. Make sure you are not jack of all trades and master of none.

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2 more answers
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    Tom O'Keefe
  • thomas.joseph.okeefe@gmail.com

Tom O'Keefe Answered a year ago

I’m sorry to hear that, although perhaps it is an opportunity to create your own. Either at school or outside of it, you might look for opportunities to pursue work/activities that you care about on your own or with others. Yes, US colleges and universities care about “extracurricular” activities, but they have an extremely broad definition of what that might mean, and the most important thing is that you are doing work that you care about in pursuit of your passions.

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    Lisa Buchwalter
  • lisabuchwalter@gmail.com

Lisa Buchwalter Answered a year ago

Extracurriculars do not have to be provided by your school. There are many creative ways that you can create your own extracurriculars. First of all, realize that playing a sport, either for your school or in your community, is considered a good extracurricular. Other ideas are getting a job, shadowing a professional in a field of interest to you, doing an internship (ask the friends of your family if they may have any opportunities for you) or start a program such as tutoring local children. You can also do tutoring of students at your school in an area that is of interest to you.


One way to show your initiative and leadership skills is to go to your school administration and seeing if you can start an after-school activity or club. Popular clubs are Computer Science Club, French or other language club, Debate Club, Supporting Students with Disabilities Club, LBGTQ Club or Inclusion Club. It could even be as light as a school spirit club that supports your school or local athletic team. Even better, think of your own club, and what you would like to learn about further or discuss with your friends. You will get more credit for anything that you initiate or any club that you lead.


Another activity that is considered an extracurricular is a summer program. If you have a long summer break and can afford it, consider doing a summer academic program at a US university. There are a great variety of programs available, from one to six weeks, some with college credit, some without, and some which are competitive to gain admission to and some where you pay to play.

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