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Statement of Intent for a Transfer Application - My Interest in Japan

ballstowall 1 / -  
Feb 24, 2016   #1
Hello Everyone! ***If you just want to skip to the essay, it is at the bottom.***

I have here today a statement of intent for the University of Florida. My main concerns with the essay at hand are issues with grammar, concise and clear language, and expanding upon my reasons for why I am interested in Japanese culture and why UF is most suitable for me without going over my 200 hundred word limit. I am having trouble trimming the essay down to make room for adding layers onto my reasons.

Stuff I want to add into the essay, but can't for lack of room:

My interest in Japan (I don't want to sound like I am just gushing over Japan, but rather trying to give a list of stuff that has my interest in regards to Japanese culture)

-I love the quirky nature of the Japanese culture. The contrast between my culture (U.S.) and theirs.
-The respect they have and demonstrate towards their peers.
-The food is delicious to say the least. I am fan of all things seafood :)
-I have read history/ folklore on Japan and just am engrossed in what it has to say. I would love to visit some of the historical sites in Japan i.e. the castles and shrines.

-Language and writing is very pleasant

Why I would like to attend UF:
-Strong and reputable language program
-The location is ideal for me. As of this moment I am a tad bit sick of living in this frozen tundra that is my home :P

-From what I've seen the community at this school seems very active and friendly.
-Available study abroad scholarships
-Options for smaller classes
-Friends and Family live in the area
-The Air National Guard is generous in this state/ I can afford it.

More details: There are two essays that UF requires. Just to give an idea what the other essay covers, so as not to be redundant in this piece. The topic was:

Please provide any other information about yourself that you feel will help this college make an admission decision. This may include work, research, volunteer activities or other experiences pertaining to the degree program. (200 word limit)

In the other essay I primarily talked about how I started seriously self studying the language, what I've done (Taking the JLPT N4) , and what I plan to do in the future with WWOOF this summer. I'm trying not to overlap any information, so I can give as much unique info about me and basically sell myself to UF.

The essay

Interest in Japan

What are the core skills and knowledge you hope to acquire by completing a degree in this major and how do you plan to apply these when you graduate? (200 word limit)

Current word count: 200

During my time as a youth I would often be at my parent's gym until closing. To pass the time I would occasionally watch TV; one day I came across anime. I was enthralled by the style, pacing, and language of the show. This initial encounter began my exploration of Japanese culture. The honor and integrity in which the Japanese people live by fascinated me. Ever since, I have only continued my self study of the culture, which has lead me to my eventual decision to pick this as my major in college.

The University of Florida's well known Language program that keeps students accountable for their progress, requiring 3rd year students to take the JLPT 3, is the best suited place for me to excel in my studies. I hope to equip myself with a deeper understanding of the language and culture so I too can engage in more meaningful cultural exchanges and develop lasting relationships in Japan after I graduate.

Upon graduation I would like to pursue teaching English in Japan. I want the Japanese people to have an opportunity to learn from a native to better share my language and culture, and to promote communication in Japan.
Crystal812 23 / 55 11  
Feb 24, 2016   #2
Hi, Grant,

From your application, I know that you really want to transfer to major in areas about Japan. Do allow me to give some suggestions:

1.Since the essay requires 200 words, it is very short and you have limited room. So you really need to concentrate well. Every detail should be related to your major. I am quite confused about which specific part you want to study---- language, culture, history, food, people or literature? Now, I'm afraid that your passage seems kind of obscure. Strike your audience by just telling them directly. The interviewers do not have time to search or guess.

2.In the first paragraph, you use more than 50 words to introduce your initial interest in Japan. However, I believe it is not necessary and it's too long. Concentrate! Refine your language. It is not as important as other items of your statement, therefore you can completely use one sentence and make more room for other parts. To make it concise, every espect cannot occupy space more than one complete sentence in your passage, unless it is very essential.

3.Give something professional. You may want to give them an impression of a knowledgeable person. Then give an example. I'm not sure whether you have a good command of UF's projects or curriculum or professors. How about going to their website to find out if you are good at it. Maybe you actually do well in a particular area just meeting their demands. Sometimes, you can use a simple example to display the depth of your knowledge imperceptably. For instance, Japanese' respect for The Chrysanthemum.

4.The final part, I know a lot of people go to teach English in Japan, all over the world. What is your distinguishing feature? And as we all know, Japanese are really good at learning from Western culture. The more advanced the country is, the more likely it is learned by Japanese. So I deduce that you'd better pay attention to teaching English language itself. Do you have more understanding about their real problems? Grammer, spelling or pronounciation? Do a quick research online, and learn that if there have been some particular problems. Adding this sort of details will make your objective more convincing.

Wish you success!

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