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Pen Pal & International Correspondence – Sample Application Essay – UNEDITED

Note: This essay appears unedited for instructional purposes. Essays edited by EssayEdge are substantially better than this essay. For samples of EssayEdge editing, please click here.

Ever since I was little, I’ve had this overwhelming desire to travel the world. It seemed I was forever reading Motorland, hoarding travel brochures, and tacking up pictures of the places I wanted to visit all over the walls of my room. It was difficult for me to fathom that there could possibly be people living in faraway places, people who spoke strange languages, who practiced unusual customs, and who had cultures so different from my own. My parents couldn’t understand my fascination for these distant places, nor did they share my passion for them. They just thought I was a dreamer, and they were right. I was.

One day when I was flipping through my latest travel magazine, I came across something I had never seen before. It was a page filled with the addresses of kids from all over the world who wanted pen pals! I could barely contain my excitement as I dashed into the kitchen to ask my mother if I could write to one of them. She said, half-paying attention, “Sure, dear, whatever you like,” and I bounded happily back to my room. But then I was faced with a dilemma-which one should I write to? So I did what seemed logical at the time, and after eeny-meeny-miny-mo-ing my finger landed on an address from Finland. It belonged to a girl named [name]. . . .

That was the beginning of my first overseas friendship, and there would be many more to come. In one of her letters, [Name] sent me a little booklet called an “FB” or “friendship book.” Inside it, many people had scrawled their names, addresses and a few of their hobbies. The idea was to add your name to the FB, write to anyone else you found interesting, and send it along to another one of your pen pals. So I flipped through the FB and wrote my name on a blank page, but having no one else to send it to, I returned it to [Name].

Within a month I received letters from the Philippines and from Austria. I was extremely shocked to be getting mail from people I didn’t even know, but nevertheless I was very excited! In the ensuing months I wrote my name in many more FB’s, and I continued to get letters from places as far away as Mauritius, Estonia, Korea, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, and Indonesia. Over the years I’ve become very close to a number of my pen pals, and I can honestly say that some of my best friends live in other countries.

My pen pals are much more than friends, though. They have taught me about their cultures, their politics, and many other things that I never would have learned in school. In a day’s mail, I can learn about anything from Maltese cuisine to the collapse of the pearl industry in Bahrain to the various slang words used by teenagers in England (although I still don’t know what “fanned” means). What I learn is not only interesting, but may prove to be invaluable later on in a future career. I’ve wanted to get involved in international business/relations and foreign languages for as long as I can remember, but I was never able to see the world from so many different perspectives until I started corresponding internationally. Every letter I receive adds another piece to my jigsaw-puzzle-view of the world.

Many things have changed since I’ve gotten involved in international correspondence. I have become more knowledgeable about world events. I am an avid stamp collector, and I must be the best customer the post office has ever had. But there is one thing that has remained the same over the years-I’m still the dreamer who wanted to see the world. Only now, some of my dreams are finally starting to come true as I live vicariously through the ink of my foreign friends.

Comments by Admissions Officers who Assisted in the Creation of this Course

Most of the suggestions for improvement centered around the fact that not much actually happens in the essay.

The writer is direct and clear. She takes the reader along for the ride. It’s simply not a very exciting one.

She could do one thing to dramatically improve this essay: avoid getting caught up in generalizations. She never really communicates the impact of her statement, “Many things have changed since I’ve gotten involved in correspondence. . . .” I wanted one real example. I thought this essay was going to be about her friend and some specific instances when the writer learned from her. But, it wasn’t. This essay is hardly worth remembering.

It seemed that the student was just getting the essay going and then stopped. The experience was interesting but the evolution of the essay fell short of being a complete work.

Note: This essay appears unedited for instructional purposes. Essays edited by EssayEdge are substantially better than this essay. For samples of EssayEdge editing, please click here.

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