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Review of an essay for joint BA/MA degree at Monterey Institute of Intl. Studies

jasonshah1989 1 / 1  
Nov 30, 2009   #1

I am an international student from Nepal at the University of New Orleans. I am a sophomore, and am applying to a joint BA/MA program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). My MA would be in International Policy with International Development as my concentration.

I wrote my statement of purpose, but it is over the word limit (674 words) . I would appreciate if anyone would go through it, give some pointers to reduce the word count, and give comments on the overall composition. I welcome any comments, suggestions, and/or criticisms. The deadline is Dec 1 midnight, so I would really appreciate the help.

Statement of Purpose below (600 words or fewer). State your educational and career objectives and describe how you expect this degree program to help you meet those objectives.

Learn by Study or Experience

A Nepalese adage says "you learn either through study or experience." This idea has always been the impetus to my decisions. When I discovered MIIS, I was awed by the curriculum and the scope of its programs. MIIS would not only provide me with the tools for understanding policy analysis and implementation but would also offer quantitative skills to convert my ideas into plans, and shape my convictions into large-scale actions.

I come from Nepal, a small South Asian country, with a nascent democracy and development process. For most of its modern history, a self-serving political order maintained control resulting in a misuse of resources and an unfair society. The consequence was a lack of infrastructures such as schools, highways and health services. Moreover, the absence of government services in the rural areas resulted to a decade-long civil war for equality and regime change. Ever since I began to notice these problems, I developed a strong desire to investigate and to initiate change. My actions took different forms: tutoring community students in my high school, organizing an interact club to provide health clinics, volunteering for elderly-day care centers, and participating in the April uprising of 2006 to establish a republican system. Now, as I study the international scene, I realize that these social problems transcend national boundaries. Thus, we must interact to discover new perspectives and engage in collective actions to ensure both local and global solutions.

Social and economic justice should not be considered as the benefits of any political system; rather they must be woven into the social fabric. I believe that all people should be provided with basic needs and equal opportunities to lead a harmonious life. Sadly, the reality is different. Moreover, I strongly support the idea of contributing as a global citizen, transcending nationality, ethnicity and race. For example, South America, Africa, and South Asia are among the poorest regions on the political map, where people fight for their daily survival. It is essential that one understand the culture and traditions of these communities as well as how public and international policies shape their social and economic existence.

I enjoy learning how different people have constructed their cultures. This is the reason that I chose International Studies as my major - to gain a multidimensional education for better insight into multicultural and social issues around the globe. As a career, I plan to use my knowledge of international cooperation and governance in several developing countries to help the people improve their living standards. After I finish my education, I want to be out in the real world - traveling and working with people to understand their situation and help assist their plan to achieving the goals and needs of their societies.

The reason that picked my interest in MIIS is its joint BA/MA degree program. Undergraduate degree is generic in nature and provides a backdrop for further research and education. With this program, I will be able to get right into the study of international policy in a rigorous setting. Thus, at this point of my academic career, MIIS will provide me an opportunity to gain a better knowledge of future possibilities in international development and to develop strong analytical and decision-making skills. At MIIS, I look forward to meeting a diverse set of inquisitive people who challenge themselves and their surrounding to perspectives and paths that were not considered before.

The life I have perceived for myself is about creativity, connections, commitments and challenges. No matter what I do, or what cause I undertake, I want to make a difference. MIIS is definitely a step forward in that direction, and probably an essential one, which opens the vista for self-exploration.
Fidelis 1 / 11  
Dec 1, 2009   #2
Hi Jason,

I managed to read your essay and I think it reads very well. Had a few comments though. I tried to help you reduce and only got to 637 words, some work still needs to be done to get to 600 or less: Sadly, my track changes didn't work when I pasted the essay, so you just have to read through. Perhpas you may also want to consult whether your participation in the uprising will be something that works against you or not.. I like the 1st para but was thinking you could merging with the 2nd and then the line about MIIS and the programmes can come much later... what do you think? I also think in the 3rd para.. the 2nd last sentence you should revise it, it is abit verbose same as the last par especially the last sentence.

Hope this helps...
OP jasonshah1989 1 / 1  
Dec 1, 2009   #3
Hey Fidelis, thank you for your comments. Your changes definitely made my essay flow better. I have made further edits and brought down the essay to 614 words. That means, I should remove one sentence somewhere.

The bold areas are where some changes have been made. If you have further suggestions, let me know. I appreciate your help! :) Have a great day!

Fidelis 1 / 11  
Dec 15, 2009   #4
Hi Jason,

I managed to review the statement after your review. It reads better. See the few changes below. Could you also help to review mine and advise. I am about to post the revised draft. Thanks

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