Students applying to U.S. schools from overseas will already have a wealth of experience from which to choose a topic. For those who have only ventured beyond U.S. borders, think about the significance of your international experience: What did you learn about another culture? What did you learn about yourself and your fellow travelers? How has your experience shaped your views?
Another effective way to tackle the question is to explain how the experience has moved you to develop new goals. For example, did your trip to France with your French class during spring vacation solidify your goal of studying eighteenth-century French literature in original manuscript form? If so, you could discuss how your college of choice fits in with your aspirations—how its top-notch French department and liberal policy on studying abroad will help you discover the literary wonders of Rousseau.
When brainstorming for a theme to provide coherence to your piece, remember to visualize the experience so that you can include precise details that will help the reader imagine he was actually there with you. Follow the general guidelines we have provided for other question topics, making sure to personalize the experience as much as possible.
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