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Bard College Berlin transfer - how becoming bilingual changed my life


seaweed77 3 / 2  
Feb 13, 2015   #1
Hi all, I would greatly appreciate help on the following essay for transfer admission to Bard College's campus in Berlin! Here is the prompt:

Please upload your essay explaining in at least 250 words why you are applying to the program and how it fits with your interests and future plans.

It doesn't give a word limit, saying only that it needs to about 250 words. Does anyone have a recommendation for how long it should be? My current essay is about 1200 - I'm thinking that's probably way too long. Thanks all for your help! I'll read yours in return :)

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Full of cultural and historical richness, Berlin is the perfect backdrop for any education - but what Bard College Berlin offers is unique. I am excited about the Politics, Economics, and Social Thought BA - it is an opportunity offered nowhere else, and a community that I sincerely hope to be a part of. It is as though the adventure of my life thus far has all been preparation for Bard Berlin.

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EF_Sheri - / 27 22  
Feb 17, 2015   #2
Hello! First, to answer your question about the length. If the minimum is 250 words, ideally I would try to keep this type of essay between 250-500 words. While 1200 words is likely too much and there are several areas you can reduce, it will mean removing much of the background information, which I feel does enhance why you feel drawn to Bard College. So, I have made a few suggestions on how you reduce your word count without taking away from the impact you want to make. This will leave the essay around 1000 words. If you still need to reduce the word count, I would suggest further reducing the paragraph detailing when you first went to Germany.

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Full of cultural and historical richness, Berlin is the perfect backdrop for any education - butand what Bard College Berlin offers is unique. I am excited about the Politics, Economics, and Social Thought BA. - iI t is an opportunity offered nowhere else, and a community that I sincerely hope to be a part of. It is as though the adventure of my life thus far has all been preparation for Bard Berlin. (I would consider removing the last sentence.)

In high school I was filled by an overwhelming urge to escape the confines of a small mountain town and see the world. After graduation I enrolled at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts for its . I chose Hampshire for two reasons: the first was theirits loose structure and design-your-own major program, and the second was that it was the furthest away from home. However, aA fter a semester at Hampshire it became clear that it was not the right fit for me. I chose Hampshire because I did n't not yet have a concrete idea of my plan plans in life , and the creatively designed yet unfocused classes did not help me to discover an interest as I had hoped. I wanted to experience another side of life, and go back to school when I had a clear understanding of what I wanted to pursue. And that is how I ended up spending fourteen of the most rewarding months of my life in Frankfurt, Germany.

When my grandparents invited me to fly to Germany to celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary with them in September 2013, it began a whirlwind of events. I was slowly becoming aware not only of a second language, but a new world and a way of life was opening its pages to me. I felt incredible momentum, but exposure alone wasn't enough:. I enrolled myself at an intensive language school in Frankfurt. I was the only native English-speaker in my class. In a room full of students from every place imaginable - Ukraine, Brazil, Switzerland, Bangladesh - I was overwhelmed by the staggering acceptance with which I was received. I discovered not only a lifelong passion for languages, but also lifelong friends from around the world. Although the grammar was difficult at first, after long hours of study, I felt even the most difficult declensions slowly beginning to fall into place. Grammar is easy to study and learn; however it is the practical use of a language - understanding not only how it is formally structured but how people on the street speak, the graces associated with certain situations, the slang, dialects, and accents - that is the real challenge. And that was my favorite part - the part that finally set me on the path to discovering a passion that made me wake up each morning excited for another day. True to my pattern, I planned on one month at the institute - and stayed five, completing the C1 exam.

After I graduated from the institute, I moved into an apartment in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen., overlooking South Station and a quick jog from the peaceful banks of the Main River. In my continued quest for an exciting, international environment, I and started working at the Frankfurt International Airport, . I welcomed the challenge of a new kind of immersion - an immersion in the professional and corporate world, where I was a cog in the wheel of the largest employer in the state of Hessen. I was forced to function in my second language at a much higher level - employee manuals, schooling, interpersonal relations, and chain of command all in German allowed me to attain a new level of fluency and competence.

My experience in Frankfurt has allowed me to concrete my interests and dreams into a tangible goal. : Aa plan to continue to pursue my linguistic ardor. - I want to be an interpreter for the United Nations, the European Union, or another organization where I can put language to work to change the world, to affect social change. I believe linguistics can be applied to human rights issues - . afterA fter all, the most effective way to create lasting change is to understand the people and the culture, to devise a way that the people themselves can create a lasting difference; and the most basic mechanism of understanding is language. One must understand the situation and the existing forces that have caused an issue to occur - what social, economic, and political conditions have caused a human rights issue such as female infanticide in India and China, or honor killings of women in the Middle East, to become widespread. And the key to understanding cultural and socioeconomic landscapes - at its very base level - are the people's words.There is a human aspect to language; that Google translate will never be able to comprehend - to every word there are social and cultural connotations, and one must perceive the whole picture to understand completely.

And this is why I want to pursue a degree in Politics, Economics, and Social Thought at Bard College Berlin. The program combines all of the aspects important to me: - politics and economics are quintessential to understanding macro issues, and social thought essential to the individual level as well as the world scope. With a liberal arts education that takes into consideration the human aspect, combined with the hard science of economics and a defining understanding of international politics, a Bard College Berlin education is the perfect springboardfoundation . After Bard College Berlin I plan to continue on to graduate studies in Linguistics or Translation and Interpreting Studies, and Bard's offering of a dual American and German Bachelor's Degree is where I hope to begin the journey. I am a dual citizen, German and American, and it has been difficult to decide whether to pursue an American bachelor here in the states or a German degree - both countries are a part of me, a part of my home. With the advantages of both degrees I would be one step closer to achieving my aspirations, while staying true to myself. An American-style liberal arts education set against the backdrop of Berlin, offering not only a dual degree but an academic program that would allow me to develop the thorough awareness of the world and its institutions, necessary to continue on towards my dream - that is why Bard College Berlin motivates me.


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