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adventureabroad 2 / 4 1  
Feb 16, 2017   #1
Hello, I am applying for a scholarship through my school to study in France for the fall semester. The prompt is to write a 500 word essay on why I want to study abroad. Please let me know what you think about what I have written so far.

human interaction and meeting others

Studying abroad the fall 2016 semester in Canada helped spark a passion in me that was for so long needed and wanted. Never would I have imagined stepping out my comfort zone and putting myself in another surrounding lead to some of the best experiences of my life. From the amazing people I met and beautiful places that I visited, to the growth in myself that I experienced, my time abroad has acted as a catalyst to my other dreams and aspirations. I am no longer the kid who was once scared to start conversations with people who looked different. Rather, I am the now young man who is keen for human interaction and meeting others.

As a result of this experience, I have chosen to pursue an exchange program in France, at Aix-Marseille Universite in Aix-en-Provence. Through the International Student Exchange program partnership with my school,________, I am able to immerse myself in French culture as well as learn and explore the rich history that France has to offer. In addition to being situated between the beautiful French alps and Mediterranean coast, Aix-Marseille is a ranked French university and one of the most distinguished in the country.

I have yearned for the opportunity to travel to France. In high school, I was fortunate to have the chance to speak with other minorities who went abroad to the country. These students, who came from a similar background of mine, spoke highly of the diversity of the country and the education they received. To many, it was their first taste of what life was outside of America. I remember first hand the story of a black male, similar to me, who told of how his experience made him see the world differently. With every sentence he spoke, I could feel his excitement of what he had accomplished. From being able to immerse himself in a culture so different from his own, to living a rather simplistic life, I felt eager to learn more about his and other's experiences.

From that day on, I aligned my goals and aspirations for this opportunity. Working diligently these past few years, much of what I have done has been for this moment. To be able to accomplish a goal that I have had for so long makes me feel a sense of gratitude and empowerment. I hope to gain from this experience a greater sense of cultural awareness, a better understanding of the world, as well as adaptability skills that will be beneficial to me in the future.

Holt [Contributor] - / 8,804 2614  
Feb 16, 2017   #2
Bryan, your third paragraph, while relevant to the development of your interest to travel to France as an exchange student, removes the focus of the discussion from you and transfers it to the people who you spoke to. In truth, the essay does not require the presence of that paragraph because it speaks of others experience in the program and the hope that you can experience the same. Instead, you should be discussing the connection between your first exchange program, your thirst for knowledge and a desire to experience more in life, and then tie up the discussion with the last paragraph that you have. this is all about why YOU want to study in France. So the reference to the experience of other people is not relevant to the discussion. Tell us why YOU feel that you will benefit from studying in France. What is it that makes you think you will learn more as an exchange student? What academic yearning do you have that can be assuaged by the exchange program? These are the information that you should be delivering in your essay. Sell the reviewer on the idea that you have a unique position as a student that makes this exchange program suited to your needs.
OP adventureabroad 2 / 4 1  
Feb 20, 2017   #3
Hey Holt, so I decided to write some of it over again. What do you think? I'm stuck at this point. My essay is due in a couple days, but I can't seem make this more thoughtful and creative. In this exchange, I won't be studying my major, finance. I am going to immerse myself in the culture.
Holt [Contributor] - / 8,804 2614  
Feb 20, 2017   #4
Bryan, you are over reaching when you tell the reviewer that simply studying in Canada and France will make you a person who embodies global awareness. That does not come from traveling to two countries that share a similar heritage and language. That comes from traveling the globe and visiting at least a dozen countries. Rephrase that part to say something else. Don't exaggerate that part. Keep it realistic. The later part about "This exchange program is about more than just going there..." is more focused on you and your potential to gain more usable lessons from the exchange trip to France. I am not clear about how the trip to Canada connects with your desire to study in France. What was it about Canada that told you or influenced you to pursue studies in France? You need a paragraph to clarify and connect the two. Otherwise, the paragraph from Canada to France has a serious disconnection. Great work though. Just a slight tweak to the content is necessary at this point. This essay is definitely better than the first one that you wrote.
OP adventureabroad 2 / 4 1  
Feb 20, 2017   #5
Thank you so much for the feedback Holt! I really really appreciate it. I know you're getting a bit annoyed with my essays, and I apologize! This is the last one. I think I like this one :)'

I have always lived by the phrase "You can do anything you can put your mind to", but I never realized how important that statement would be until now. When I accomplished my biggest goal of studying abroad in Canada for the fall semester, it sparked a passion in me that was for so long wanted and needed. Although I always knew I loved to travel, I did not have much opportunities to do so before college. Being in Canada allowed me to step out of comfort zone, meet people from different cultures, and expand my horizons on the world. Never would I have imagined that in just four months I could experience so much growth in myself. Before my exchange, it was difficult for me to start conversations. Often times I would hesitate to talk with people who were different. However, my experiences there made me realize my desire for intercultural communication. Thus, I aspire to travel the globe to experience new cultures and see the world from a different perspective.

For the fall 2017 semester, I have chosen to study in France at Aix-Marseille Universite, in the city of Aix-en-Provence. Through the International Student Exchange Program, I am able to delve myself into French culture and language. Because Aix-en-Provence is a small town and not a touristic city, it allows me to be fully immersed and surrounded by French people. This will help me in learning the language and getting accustomed to the culture. In addition, the location of the city allows me to travel the country easily to see all that France has to offer.

Traveling to France has been a goal of mine for many years. However, when I discovered that I had the chance to study there, I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity. While in Canada I had the chance to visit Quebec City, where for the first time in my life I was surrounded by people who spoke a different language. Although this was new to me, I became reluctant to put my small knowledge of French greetings and gestures to good use. In those moments, I felt more grateful than ever. To be able to converse, even in the smallest ways, with people of a different culture made me feel a sense of gratitude. In spite of the fact that Quebec and France are different, I desire to learn more of the language and immerse myself in the interesting and fascinating culture.

France has always stood out to me because of the diverse culture and and great education system. Diversity is important to me and I find France appealing in the fact that, like America, it is a rather inclusive country that has huge influence from others. I had the chance to speak with French students from different ethnicities in Canada. It was amazing how even though they were different in the way they looked, they had great pride in where they were from. As a finance major who wants to go into international business, this exchange will be beneficial in teaching me to adapt to surroundings and preparing me for the globalized economy. I hope to one day move overseas to work as a business developer for startup companies moving into foreign markets. Studying abroad will assist me in this by helping me communicate with those of different backgrounds.

I have aligned my goals and aspirations for opportunities like these. Working diligently these past few years, much of what I have done has been for this moment. Accomplishing a goal that I have had for so long makes me feel a sense of pride and empowerment. I hope to gain from this experience a greater sense of cultural awareness, a better understanding of the world, as well as adaptability skills that will be beneficial to me in the future.
Holt [Contributor] - / 8,804 2614  
Feb 21, 2017   #6
You have to remove your fixation about the studies that you did in Canada. This is the constant issue with your essay that weakens your presentation. In this instance, you can totally remove paragraph 3 because that is a Canada focused statement. Don't focus on Canada. You are not going back to Canada. You are applying to gain admission to a school in France. Two different countries with only one commonality, Canada has some French speaking sectors. That is the only connection they have, which is irrelevant to your desire to study in France. Forget Canada. Removing the 3rd paragraph totally focuses the essay on France and your response to the prompt. That is the best way to respond to it. That is the best presentation for your essay. Do that, remove paragraph 3, and the essay will be set to use.