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study abroad Essay Examples

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Published: Friday 25th of January 2013

Writing a special essay on studying abroad: examples and tips

In some cases getting to study in another country may feel as difficult as college applications. First, you need to make a choice regarding which country to study in, then choose the right program, put your references in order and then work on a personal statement and an essay on why you made this choice. The personal statement and essay are absolutely crucial to the success of your application for a program enabling you to study in another country. The reason is that all such programs want to have control over who represents them abroad. They need to find out why you made the decision to spend a part of your life in another country. Usual requirements for your statement of intent. Different programs have specific requirements; however, most of them have two things in common:
  1. Your personal, academic and professional reasons for studying abroad. You’ll probably need to describe your aspirations and explain how studying in another country will bring you closer to them.
  2. The reasoning behind choosing that particular program. Here you’ll have to explain what made you choose that particular program over all the others worldwide.
Usually, the essay's parts are:
  • introduction
  • first paragraph
  • second paragraph
  • third paragraph
  • conclusion.
Now that you created the structure, you can start filling it out by creating a few sentences for each part. Making those will aid you in rapidly advancing with your work. So let’s examine each section and add sentences to all of them. Your introduction should contain a sentence that explains your main motivation for studying in another country.
Example: Studying at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid will help me grow and develop from a personal, academic and professional standpoint.
This strong opening sentence clearly lets the reader know about your personal, academic and professional motives for choosing that program, and will be thoroughly described throughout your paper. First 3 paragraphs: Make a sentence that outlines your goals, followed by another one that ties those goals to that specific program or school.

First paragraph (personal motives for studying there)

Example: My grandfather is an immigrant, coming here from Madrid, and ever since I was a little boy, one of my dreams was to be able to experience the scenery where he was raised. Throughout this program, one of my purposes is to immerse myself in the local culture and traditions, so I can fully understand where I come from and show my gratitude by learning the local language and customs.

Second paragraph (academic reasons for studying there)

Example: I majored in history, and I plan to continue my education in this specific field by studying in Spain. In my time spent here, I will travel to places of historic meaning throughout the country and gather information for my graduation paper; the theme is How the Moors Influenced Spanish architecture and culture.

Third paragraph (professional reasons for studying here)

I hope to become a Spanish history and culture teacher at a college one day, and with the help of this program, I will acquire the necessary exposure that I need to be a good teacher. By being so close to places of historical meaning and immersed in Spanish culture, this program will help me develop my career. For the ending part, you need to come up with a powerful statement that recaps your motives for choosing that particular program and country.
Example: After exploring all possible options I have available, I have come to the conclusion that coming to the Universidad Complutense in Madrid to study local culture and history is the perfect way to develop personally, academically and professionally.
Don't worry if it sounds complicated, we can provide you with the best 10 pieces of advice for making the best possible study abroad program application:
  1. Brainstorm. Most applications for studying abroad will give you simple tasks, like telling them a bit about yourself and outlining the reasons behind your decision to study abroad. Although they seem like simple tasks, getting all your thoughts across in a 500-word reply can get a bit tricky. You must keep in mind that good writing doesn't just happen spontaneously, and you need to rack your brain in search of ideas and put them on paper. Write about the most exciting things you expect from living abroad, from the places you'll visit to the food you'll eat. Then consider the downsides, the scary and intimidating parts. Write down your short to medium-term objectives and pin down the exact reasons for taking this major life decision. Did you dream of going there ever since you were in kindergarten? Will it be your first taste of maturity and independence? Are you eager to dig deeper into an academic subject that intrigues you? No matter what it is, make sure you put it on paper.
  2. Layout, layout, layout. It feels like teachers have been pushing you to make layouts for your essay since forever. And, you certainly did your fair share, but managing to split your studying abroad paper into clear and distinctive parts will show you the path to a well-written piece and help you have a clear way and a well-outlined reason why the committee reviewing your work should choose you over other applicants. Do not neglect the process of writing.
  3. Initial opinions are important. Your opening should instantly grab your reader's attention and make it clear to them what kind of person, tourist, and student you are and will be. You only have two sentences to clearly explain what your personal characteristics are and why you want to study in another country. Don't hesitate to outline personal matters, as it's these unique traits and details that set you apart from the many other applicants. Example: When they were in their 20s, my grandparents fled Argentina for my native country, and through their stories, I've grown to adore a country I've never been to. Therefore, it is my love for the Spanish language and my curiosity regarding my family origins that drove me to apply for this program in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  4. Arguments of support. The next piece of advice for an application essay for studying in another country is elaborating on the statements in your introduction. You need to get into detail about how you came to the conclusion that studying in another country in general, and choosing that program in particular, about what events in your life put you on that path. You need to be as open and as honest as possible. If reading Harry Potter earlier in your life drove you to study and be fascinated with English literature, then this is a good reason for going to England to study it. Or maybe you are a great admirer of sea turtles, and that is the reason behind your desire to travel to Costa Rica to study the sea creatures. Or perhaps you'd like to better observe business from an international standpoint and would like to study in Germany. A story like this adds uniqueness to your initiative. The key is making the committee understand that a particular program is closely tied to your life goals, and being chosen would dramatically improve your understanding of a particular subject. They need to understand that what you learn there is so closely tied to your personal passions and goals that it will help you and stay with you for the rest of your life.
  5. Go into detail. In the part where you’re dissecting your motives for studying abroad, you need to make sure your objectives are clearly outlined. Personal passion for the subject makes you stand out from the crowd, but the committee will need to see exactly how this experience will help in your overall development and bring you closer to your academic goals. For example, "my overall goal is to study peace and conflict worldwide, and that goal will greatly be boosted by this program for international studies in Israel because it will give me deeper insight into Middle East countries and cultures, and therefore, expand my entire worldview. So my long-term goals will greatly be helped by studying there.”
  • Be natural. Seriousness and professionalism are the cornerstones of the academic world, but when it comes to being accepted to study abroad, you need to reach out to the human side and make personal connections. That's why it is vital to be completely natural when writing your paper. Obviously, your overall work must sound well-thought and intelligent; but, do not hesitate to add a personal touch to the story. It will add uniqueness to your application and help the readers get a glance of who you are as a person.
  • A double-edged sword. You must focus on how the international program will help you and your goals, but you must also outline the potential benefits the program might have by accepting you. You are a direct representative of your country and your culture, and they need to make sure that the applicants they accept have the potential to do great things in the future. So, if one becomes a famous figure in a field like science or politics, they can use the fact that they went through that program to further solidify their own credibility. In other words, the college will appreciate a chance to brag about their outstanding students and the role that particular program had in aiding their overall development so more outstanding students would be interested in joining in the future. A program like this doesn’t gain a worldwide reputation solely by the benefits they can bring to the students taking it. International programs, in general, value their accepted students. So when writing the essay, it is vital to outline what you can provide for the program and how you plan to use what you learn there to further your career. Let them know that after finishing the program you will continue to work on the program overall goals and missions.
  • A good finish. After all the above points, you need to make sure you end on a high note with a powerful conclusion. The ending needs to sum up the whole work by restating the introduction, your motivation for choosing that program and your future plans, all concisely put in a few sentences. Don't state the exact same things as earlier in the paper, but make sure it underlines their message and convinces the board that you're exactly what they need.
  • Final touches. Review your work a few times before submitting it. Reading it again will help you spot any remaining typos or redundant sentences, and a third reading might give you new ideas on how to expand certain parts and make a stronger argument. Also, a good idea is to get another person to go through the essay, so you get an outside perspective.
  • Submitting the paper on time. Once your paper is checked and polished up, you can send it. Keep in mind, though, that there are application deadlines and certain documents that also need to be submitted, and be sure you manage to send all of them on time. Few things are worse than spending weeks of time and energy elaborating an amazing application essay, only to realize that you have missed your deadline.
Finally, if you are looking for professional help writing your study abroad application essay, you can always get it from our expert team. We’ll make sure your essay truly shines!