I would love some insight on this! Here's what's going on: DS is a current sophomore/rising junior in our small town in Texas. Stats are: *Top 10% of class *4.25 GPA (5.0 scale) *Varsity Cross Country, Team District Champions, Regional Qualifier, State Qualifier, 2 varsity letters, team captain *Varsity Powerlifting, Varsity Bass Fishing, JV football, JV track *Class President - freshman, sophomore, just elected for junior year *Student Council *National Honor Society *Congressional Medals (Bronze and Silver) for community service *Top 97th % on PSAT *Current SAT is 1320 The issue: He's been offered a full scholarship from the US Department of State to study Russian in Moldova during the 2017-18 school year. The scholarship is through http://www.nsliforyouth.org/ He would not be taking classes as an exchange student - he would be at a university learning Russian. If he goes, he would still be able to graduate on time the following year. He would likely stay in the top 10% of his class (or close to it) when he comes back. Becoming a Navy Officer through the USNA is his ultimate goal. He's taken Pre-AP Algebra I/Geometry/Algebra II and Pre-AP Biology/Physics/Chemistry. If he goes to Russia, he will not take AP Chemistry or AP Calculus AB until his senior year. He will give up Class President and the opportunity to compete for National Merit Finalist. The transcript that he'd send with his application to USNA in the Fall 2018 would only have his freshman/sophomore classes on it. But - he'd come back fluent in Russian and with an awesome life experience. Would spending a year learning Russian be looked at as a positive thing in the USNA application process (he wants to major in Engineering and minor in Russian) -----or would it be a detriment (because of no classes junior year)? He wants to keep moving toward his goal of USNA, and I worried that this might mess him up!