Question about personal statements "don'ts" (abroad)

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nwin
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Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:38 am

Question about personal statements "don'ts" (abroad)

Postby nwin » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:59 am

Hello, I am currently a junior with a bit of time before I even get into the application process. However, I am currently doing extensive research on schools and applications.

I know it's generally accepted that writing about your semester abroad experience is cliche, and will probably not sit well with someone who has read many other statements on a "life changing time abroad".

I went on a semester abroad in Vietnam. I do wish to potentially write a personal statement on my time there, but only because I am Vietnamese-American and am a child of the diaspora following the Fall of Saigon. I would frame my personal statement in a way that would not immediately convey that I am writing about being abroad, but about dealing with the unique cultural struggles of being a "Viet Kieu" (overseas Vietnamese) in Vietnam (I've had extensive contact with older Viet who perceive my parents as traitors who abandoned the homeland in a time of need, the perception of the "Viet Kieu princess who has been spoiled by the west", grappling with that fact the only reason I have the privilege of being raised in the US is the war, etc).

Would this still fall along the line of the personal statement abroad "don't"? And on another note, would this be a good personal statement topic to begin with? Thank you!

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rinkrat19
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Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Question about personal statements "don'ts" (abroad)

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:50 am

No, that sounds like a fine topic. What the "don't" is trying to prevent is essays where an upper-middle-class kid spends 6 weeks in Paris speaking English & going on tourist outings and writes about how it changed their perspective on Europe/the world/all different cultures/poverty/a global economy/humankind's struggle for equality or some similar overreach.

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defdef
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:11 am

Re: Question about personal statements "don'ts" (abroad)

Postby defdef » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:04 am

I agree with above, I think that topic sounds fine.




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