Immigration a trite PS topic? (South Africa to Canada to US)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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icecreamwithlsat
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Immigration a trite PS topic? (South Africa to Canada to US)

Postby icecreamwithlsat » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:19 pm

I have written several personal statements that focus on immigrating to Canada from South Africa as a child. In my personal statements I've attempted to address how I coped with the drastic change in political ideologies etc. that is associated with immigration.... but I feel that maybe this a little bit too overdone? Any opinions?

Background information:
- Born in South Africa (entire extended family and ancestors for several hundred years are also South African)
- Moved to Canada at the age of eight and to the US a few years later
- First language is Afrikaans, learned to speak English in Canada
- One of my undergraduate majors was in English (3.91 GPA for all of my classes relating to the English major)
- European heritage (basically I'm white)

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icecreamwithlsat
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Re: Immigration a trite PS topic? (South Africa to Canada to US)

Postby icecreamwithlsat » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:18 pm

Anyone?

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rinkrat19
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Re: Immigration a trite PS topic? (South Africa to Canada to US)

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:27 pm

There's (almost) no such thing as a bad PS topic. It's all in the execution. I'm sure there are many elements in your story of moving to Canada that would make an excellent PS; it just has to be written well.

Sometimes people avoid writing about language/immigration in their PS because they want to save it for their DS, and you don't want the two to overlap too much.

I'm curious--I was under the impression that English was also widely spoken in South Africa and most Afrikaaners would grow up speaking both. Am I totally wrong? (Such a neat accent, btw.)
Last edited by rinkrat19 on Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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drdolittle
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Re: Immigration a trite PS topic? (South Africa to Canada to US)

Postby drdolittle » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:28 pm

Probably not helpful, but it all depends on how and what you write. I'm sure many PS topics are worn out in general. Law is a relatively conservative profession and most law applicants/students are not especially creative, but you seem to have a genuinely unique background which might lend itself to a distinct PS.

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icecreamwithlsat
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Re: Immigration a trite PS topic? (South Africa to Canada to US)

Postby icecreamwithlsat » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:59 pm

Thank you for the responses. They were very helpful!

rinkrat19 wrote:I was under the impression that English was also widely spoken in South Africa and most Afrikaaners would grow up speaking both.


Both of my parents are Afrikaaners and we only spoke Afrikaans at home. I also went to an Afrikaans elementary school and was only mildly exposed to the English language. The children's book "Rainbow Fish" was basically the extent of my contact with the English until we left South Africa.

All of my extended family (grandparents, cousins etc.) speak only Afrikaans. A lot of South Africans that are from Dutch heritage continue to harbor animosity towards the British who put women and children in concentration camps during the Boer Wars. As a result, there are quite a bit of Afrikaaners who refuse to speak English even if they are able to.

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theadvancededit
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Re: Immigration a trite PS topic? (South Africa to Canada to US)

Postby theadvancededit » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:59 am

This is not an overdone topic-- the only ones that are overdone are cliche topics that are forced and insincere. Just be sure to write about your own experiences and how they have shaped you and your perspective, and write about it well. Once you do, you'll be fine.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Immigration a trite PS topic? (South Africa to Canada to US)

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:45 pm

I'm writing my PS on immigrating to the United States! My guess is that it is very, very common for immigrants to write on this topic (schools probably expect it), but that doesn't mean your PS would be trite - it depends on what you write and how you write it.

And as someone else said, all the good topics are heavily used. Just make sure it is sincere and well-written.




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