What do you guys think? (An Infamous Study Abroad P.S.!)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
molomloch
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:29 pm

What do you guys think? (An Infamous Study Abroad P.S.!)

Postby molomloch » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:45 pm

. Edited for privacy concerns.
Last edited by molomloch on Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

doing_it_in_a_car
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: What do you guys think? (An Infamous Study Abroad P.S.!)

Postby doing_it_in_a_car » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:08 am

Hey there, great essay! I like how quickly you immerse the reader in your story by giving them a strong sense of place in the airport. I think the effect would be even stronger if you bring in even more vivid details. Instead of "A surge of fear shot up my spine as I recognized the language being spoken around me: German..." Try "A surge of fear shot up my spine as I heard the woman sitting across from me say "REAL GERMAN PHRASE GOES HERE." It was German, the language I read, wrote, and spoke in the classroom for (however many) years." Or maybe you want to bring in other airport details e.g. the sound of suitcase wheels rhythmically squeaking as they roll past, the occasional shrieks of babies crying or children playing etc.

I found this sentence unclear:
I had never traveled, yet alone lived, outside the country before, and was far from a conversationally fluent German speaker.
Try: "I had never traveled outside the country before, much less lived on my own. Not to mention I was very self-conscious of my rough English accent and my elementary German vocabulary." Of course I'm just making this up, but I think details help tell a more precise and relatable story. I won't analyze every one of your sentences, but I recommend adding more details (within reason) wherever you can. And don't you think the sentiment of being uncomfortable on your own comes across more powerfully when you state it as one thought in one sentence? Try playing around with mixing shorter sentences and longer sentences to emphasize/de-emphasize certain ideas.

Lastly, if you're going to use comma and, both parts of the sentence need to be independent clauses (I was far from a conversationally..."

As for this sentence:
Although I can only imagine what sort of law I will ultimately practice, I have always had a great interest in the law and how it determines, to a great extent, how our society functions.

I think your essay will be stronger without this sentence. Of course you're interested in law (that might be safe to assume when you go to the trouble to apply to law school) but when your entire essay is about your maturation abroad and you stop all the momentum building to your final reflections to mention that you have always been interested in law/society...it just comes off as unsupported and a bit cliche. I think this idea needs a whole other essay to be powerful, so I recommend that you stick to talking about your unique experience abroad and make that adventure as compelling as possible.

Keep working at it, and I'm sure you'll do well. Good luck!

JJDancer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: What do you guys think? (An Infamous Study Abroad P.S.!)

Postby JJDancer » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:53 pm

I had never traveled, yet alone lived, outside the country before, and was far from a conversationally fluent German speaker.
I think you meant "let alone, lived outside.."




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