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KGSP-Graduate Personal Statement for Archaeology; Dead Men Do Tell Tales


ggmax 1 / -  
Jan 27, 2019   #1
Hi guys! Here's my Personal Statement for the KGSP-G, thru which I'm applying for a master's in archaeology.

Hope you have any corrections, tips, thoughts. Thanks so much!

fascinated with the dead



I have always been fascinated with the dead. As a kid, I loved learning about mummification. As a college student, it manifested in my interest in studying the human body from conception until the cessation of all its bodily functions. Even my love of history was hinged on my fascination with the dead, particularly on how I saw the people of the past - people who have long been dead - as having so much influence by laying the foundations of our knowledge and shaping the very civilization that we know of today.

My fascination with the dead led me to discover the field of archaeology. I remember reading about the Korean mummy Eung-Tae, whose remains were uncovered by archaeologists. With his remains was a letter from his wife, which detailed how much she lamented his death considering he was about to become a father at the time of his death. Moreover, the archaeologists had examined his skeleton and concluded just from that he was a tall, study man who was probably charming during his time, much like those gentlemen in the Korean period dramas I watched. This is what drew me more to archaeology - that it was not only about journeying to ancient temples and revisiting ancient lands like Indiana Jones did, but that I could also incorporate my passion for science by studying the actual people who lived at the time, and not only the material and non-material remains cultures of the past left behind. With bioarchaeology, as this sub-field is called, I can utilize my background in both history and biology to study how people died in order to reconstruct how they lived.

While I showed a particular interest in archaeology, I was always told that an unlicensed career was hard to pursue in the Philippines. Graduating from the science curriculum back in high school, I was expected to pursue a job in science and technology. When it was time to choose a university, I let my archaeology dreams take the back seat as I decided to study at the XXXX, where I was offered a scholarship as a XXXX major. This was a big opportunity for someone like me - a small town boy from a public high school in the province to be accepted on a scholarship to one of the top universities in the country.

I admit that the earlier parts of my undergraduate education were not the best. I was stuck in a program that I did not really like, forced to pursue a path that I did not want to take. When I shifted to the XXX program, medicine was perhaps the only feasible path that we were told we could take. I was initially met with mediocre grades, primarily stemming from a falling out I had with my parents that had gravely affected my academic performance. But I soldiered on and took on the task of turning things around. I noticed how my grades increased significantly the moment I set goals for myself. I found myself on the Dean's List for the first time, much to the appreciation of my parents whom I made amends with.

Most importantly, I rekindled my passion for archaeology. I volunteered in preparations for archaeological excavations. I rendered hours at my university library's history section. I started taking a formal class in archaeology, where I was convinced that I would have to look at opportunities abroad to be able to do more archaeological work in the Philippines. It was through my already existing interest in Korea that made me decide to pursue graduate studies there. I was an active member of XXX, the student arm of my university's Korean Studies Program, where I was part of the Language and Culture Committee. Moreover, I actually studied Korean, via a mix of both self-studying and formal classes. And when I remember the story about Eung Tae - the Korean mummy that sparked my passion for archaeology - everything felt like it was coming full circle and I could not think of a better place to study in.

The great thing about archaeology is that it does not just require you to read up about archaeological sites in books or K-dramas, but you actually have to see the places yourself. When I first came to Korea, I was instantly smitten with the palaces of old that blended seamlessly with the modern terrain. I remember walking the halls of Gyeongbokgung and thinking that I want to examine the bones of all the kings and queens that lived here so I could get a glimpse, if not a retelling, of what their life was like at the time.

Compared to the Philippines, South Korea is a country leagues away in technical advancement, yet it still has its roots deeply embedded in its rich history. Of the Korean universities I researched with archaeology programs, Dong-A University's was the only one that had a professor I wanted to work directly under the helm of - a bioarchaeologist himself, Professor XXX, who has published numerous literature on his work with skeletal remains from archaeological sites. Moreover, Dong-A is located in Busan. While Seoul is undoubtedly the international hub of South Korea, I opted to choose to study in Busan because while it still is a city of the future, it has more relatively untouched spots of Korean culture.

They say that dead men tell no tales - but I would beg to differ. It is precisely through archaeology that Eung Tae the Korean mummy was able to tell his tale, and it is because of it that I want to pursue this career, so I can use what worldly attributes I have to help share the stories of the dead to the living. Through the Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP), I wish to put my academic background, passion for research, and resilience to challenges to good use, especially in an environment as unfamiliar as South Korea - after which, I hope to relay everything I have learned overseas for the betterment of Philippine archaeology.
princesskitten 2 / 2  
Jan 28, 2019   #2
The essay is good as a whole. You write a good story but there are just a few grammatical issues. You seem to have a good mixture of short and long sentences throughout your paper.

Your writing contains too many poor quality phrases such as: have to, big, really, thing, get, good, very, me, hard, small

Your usage of transitional phrases is below average: and, especially, yet, particularly, moreover. Consider using:
· consequently
· nevertheless
· notwithstanding
· accordingly
· conversely
· ordinarily
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 11,734 3791  
Jan 28, 2019   #3
Angelo, your motivation is well developed in relation to your interest in archeology. However, the motivations are purely academic. There is no professional motivation by which the reviewer can consider your application. Your background in archeology is somewhat helped by your background in medical studies, but your lack of actual exposure to the field and work experience at dig sites may be a hindrance to your application. In addition, your college major does not truly align itself with the requirements of an Archeology student.

Normally, the scholarship gives priority to students who can prove a continuing education their current profession. Now, it appears that you are not involved in an archeological profession in your country, which is why you always speak in theoretical form regarding your motivation and have a tremendously weak amateur, rather than professional experience in the field.

Based on your background and lack of experience, I am not convinced that this essay will help you win the scholarship, regardless of your strong interest in Korean based archeology and fascination with all things Korean. The essay doesn't serve to move your application forward. Rather, it hinders the consideration of your application due to lack of proper qualifications. Unless you can prove that you have actual archeological experience of some sort, I do not believe that your application will make it past the screening state.

If you want to have a chance of competing for this scholarship then you should apply for a masters degree that shows a continuing education based upon your actual undergraduate studies. This is because of the succeeding essay requirements that will deal directly with the applicability of your studies to your current career and also study plans for your masters thesis.These are the reasons why you need the continuing education foundation in this essay.
Jazzmin 2 / 4  
Feb 5, 2019   #4
Sorry but this seems more like a letter about the things you like, this has to be a letter that makes you look like a candidate for a country to invest in you, I think you should pay more attention to your previous experience that has made you Take the decision to take a master's degree.


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