Taking a Chance

JD Goblet

Jean-Daniel Goblet ’18

Jean-Daniel Goblet ’18 knew when he started the college search process that he wanted to attend a school in the U.S. Far from his hometown of Brussels, Belgium, he discusses learning about Dickinson, the application process and why he ultimately chose to attend.


International business & management and economics.


Brussels, Belgium.

On learning about Dickinson:

My neighbor gave me a book of U.S. test-optional liberal-arts institutions that had strong business departments. I selected six schools from the book, in which Dickinson was included, and took a 10-day vacation to come and visit them. I visited Dickinson senior year in October—visiting the school was important.

On applying to and choosing Dickinson:

I applied through the Early Decision process. Not only was Dickinson one of my top choices in the U.S., but it was a good opportunity to take that chance looking at the acceptance rate difference in between early decision and regular decision. I wanted to apply to a college in the U.S. as I liked the American acceptance system where extracurricular activities in high school were almost as important as academic grades, something that European universities do not really pay attention to. However, as an international baccalaureate student, I did not have much time to study for [the] SATs and was therefore looking for a test-optional college. Dickinson was one among them. I chose to apply to Dickinson because I liked the small class sizes [and] the low student-faculty ratio, and the facilities were also quite impressive taking into account the [relatively] low number of students in the college. I also really liked the idea of having a cafeteria and other food outlets around the campus, something that is often absent or underprovided in European universities.

On reservations:

Distance from home was one of the main restraining factors. Having three siblings in Paris makes it hard to be so far away from home. On top [of that], most of my close friends decided to go study in the U.K., and I feel like I am missing out on some of the events over there. I am, however, managing through Skype.

On my Dickinson moment:

When I first arrived, I could feel some cultural differences and was not totally content. Somehow during sophomore year, I started feeling more comfortable around the Dickinson and American culture. I think this is partly due to spending more time with my first-year roommate who introduced me to Americans. For our sophomore year, we all moved into a McKenney suite with seven other Americans, and this forced me to break down the cultural barrier that I felt during my first year.

As a kid…

…being a fan of the show “Medicopter 117,” I wanted to become a medevac helicopter pilot.

Little-known hobbies:

I love rock climbing and rugby.

My proudest accomplishment:

At the age of 16, I went on a solo-backpacking trip for two months in Vietnam with a budget of $5/day. I flew in Hanoi and traveled south to Ho Chi Minh. ... I had to figure out what I would do on the spot.

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Published April 10, 2017