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Suggestions for Writing a Term Abroad Essay

You must demonstrate academic reasons for studying abroad. Your application will be evaluated on:

  1. The appropriateness of your plan of study to your overall academic plan
  2. The quality of the match between your goals and opportunities the program offers
  3. The strength of your preparation at Union College
  4. The satisfactory assessment of fulfilling essential program requirements

Suggestions for Writing the Term Abroad Essay

You will be required to write a one-page, single-spaced essay. BE SURE TO TYPE YOUR NAME AND THE PROGRAM TO WHICH YOU ARE APPLYING ON THE TOP OF THE PAGE.

While many terms abroad resemble each other in certain ways, each has particular characteristics that differentiate it from the others. Thus, not all of the suggestions below will be relevant to your program. For example, your term abroad may not relate to a major or minor. It should, however, be related to some interest(s) you can explain clearly. It is up to you to learn enough about your chosen program to determine which suggestions are pertinent. You need not respond in the order given below.


  • How does the term abroad relate to your academic program in general? To your major? A minor?
  • What courses have you taken, whether at Union or high school, that relate to the program?
  • Does the program relate to a vocational interest? If so, what reading have you done or what experiences have you created for yourself to give depth to this interest?


  • Why do you think you are particularly well prepared to spend a term living in a different culture? Have you had any experiences that you believe will help the quality of your participation in a term abroad?
  • Do you see yourself as a group person or as an individualist, or both? How do you think that this aspect of your personality will affect your participation in a term abroad?
  • A term abroad provides all students with any number of difficult moments. Be honest. What will be your most difficult moment? How do you think that you will cope with it?
  • You will be spending a term in a particular community. The composition of this community varies from program to program. What do you think that you will receive from this community? What will you contribute to it?

Please note: Ethnic and/or religious reasons for selecting a particular program will be important to some of you and should be stated in your essay or interview. These reasons alone, however, are not sufficient for admission to a program.

Yes, your study abroad experience will probably have an impact on your future. However, relating a term abroad directly to an anticipated career is not an effective way of convincing people to admit you to a program.