Writing College Admissions Essays - An International Student's Guide

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Not long ago I received this email:

“Dear Mrs. Epstein, I am an international student, so the admission process has been quite a challenge to me. As a student outside of the United States, I am a little lost about what to write.”

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“… I am a little lost about what to write.’”

I was quick to reassure the student that everyone can write a great college essay - you just need to understand how to approach it.

Tell a story:  The word “essay” is misleading, because a college admission essay isn’t really an essay - it’s a story. In it, you’ll need a main character (you), a setting (describe it with details), conflict (either external, which is a struggle between you and outside forces, like climbing a mountain; or internal, which is a struggle within yourself), and a resolution.

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“Tell a story …” 

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