Some international students are surprised to find that a personal statement (the 500-word main essay on the Common Application) is required. Most international students are surprised to find that there are even more essays that have to be included with your application to a U.S. school. All of this essay writing requires stamina, a good attitude, and a sense of focus, but it also requires some organizational effort. Keep in mind the big picture of what lies ahead and you’ll see that you’ll have to write at least the following:
- The 500-word common application main essay.
- A shorter common app essay about your most significant extracurricular, personal, or work activity/experience.
You can also expect to write an essay of about 2,000 characters on your academic interests, required by most schools. Many schools are also asking students to write significant essays on how they will contribute to the college’s diversity, on an ethical dilemma they may have confronted, on what they want a roommate to know about them, and so forth.
So, again, you have to plan all this out. If you are the captain of your tennis team, then your main 500-word essay shouldn’t be about your tennis team if you’re also planning to write your shorter common app essay (extracurricular activity) on tennis.
If you have many experiences and activities to choose from, then you won’t find it too hard to do this kind of strategizing. If not, then you’ll really have to pay attention to how you are going to write about yourself in order to avoid redundancies.
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