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How to Write about Your Immigrant Experience in Your Admission Essay

07 Aug 2017

If you are an immigrant to the United States and you are applying to a US school, you may find it rather difficult to deal with all of the demands of the application process, especially your admission essay.  

The great news for immigrants is that they may have the upper hand when it comes to writing an admission essay that is original, unique, and interesting — the three qualities that most admissions committees look for. Because the objective of the admission essay is to introduce yourself to the admission committee, you can use your experience as an immigrant as the topic for your essay.  

Read on to learn more about how you can use your experience as an immigrant for your admission essay.

Benefits of writing about your immigrant experience in your essay

The main benefit of writing about your immigrant experience to the United States is that you have a perspective that is different from non-immigrant applicants.  Because many schools try to diversify their student body by accepting students from different backgrounds, your status as a US immigrant gives you an edge over some of the other applicants.  Basically, it just depends on how you discuss your experience as an immigrant.

Another benefit of being an immigrant is that you can write about the adversity that you have had to overcome, as well as the adjustments you had to make when moving to the US.  Moving to a new country can be quite demanding, especially considering what you are leaving behind in your home country. You can use these hardships and challenges as topics for your essay.

How to effectively discuss your immigrant experience

To discuss effectively your immigrant experience in your admission essay, you will have to find an angle that highlights your personal development. For example, you may want to discuss the challenges of learning English and making other cultural adaptations to persevere and continue to succeed in a completely new environment. You can also discuss some of the life lessons and significant realizations that you have come across as a result of witnessing two separate cultures (that of your home country and that of the US).  

Remember that your personal statement is your opportunity to tell the admissions committee about who you are, what you have accomplished, how you have become the person you are today, and why you deserve to be accepted into the school you are applying to.

Things to avoid when writing about immigrant experience in your essay

When writing your admission essay about your immigrant experience, there are certain topics that you may want to avoid. One topic that you should try to avoid is a direct comparison and contrast of your native country and the US, unless you discuss the topic in relation to your personality or your future goals. You should also avoid controversial or sensitive topics relating to race, culture, or ways of life.  

Finally, avoid writing an essay that will make you sound like an ambassador for everything related to your country or to the United States. In the end, your essay should be about you and not about all of the other aspects regarding your immigrant experience.

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